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Debate ‘has divided Scotland’ - Douglas Alexander

Douglas Alexander claimed the referendum had divided Scotland. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

Douglas Alexander claimed the referendum had divided Scotland. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

  • by KATRINE BUSSEY
 

Scottish independence: Shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander says the independence referendum has divided Scotland – after he was verbally abused on a radio phone-in.

He said one of the challenges would be to “bring Scotland together” after the vote.

The leading Labour politician said he had been called “scum”, a “quisling” and “Judas” after speaking out in favour of the Union earlier this week.

A caller to BBC Radio Scotland’s Morning Call show yesterday attacked him for “scaremongering” over independence, then accused the Paisley and Renfrewshire South MP of being a “f****** liar”.

The man, identified only as Tom, told Mr Alexander: “Your party has been continually fooling us for years, and I don’t appreciate your scare tactics. I would like a straight answer – something you’ve not been able to give in nearly an hour.”

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He pressed Mr Alexander on the issue of currency in an independent Scotland, saying claims the country would not be able to use the pound were “about scaremongering from your people”.

Presenter Louise White intervened, saying: “Tom, I’ve been told by my research team that you’ve got a specific question about student fees. Do you want to put that question to Mr Alexander?”

But the caller then responded: “There’s not much point, he’s just a f****** liar.”

Mr Alexander later told the programme: “One of our challenges after 18 September is to bring Scotland together. This referendum is both energising Scotland and dividing Scotland.”

He said that within 20 minutes of being interviewed on radio on Monday morning, “on social media I was being called a quisling, I was being called Judas, I was being called scum”.

He added: “I think we need to work very hard as a community and a nation to leave that behind, because we’re going to have to work together for a better future for Scotland, whatever the outcome.

“I think our most immediate task will be to bring Scotland together. That’s why I welcome the initiative that has been taken by the Moderator of the Church of Scotland in saying he wants to convene a national service of reconciliation at St Giles Cathedral [in Edinburgh], because this debate has divided Scotland and I think we’re going to have to come together in three weeks’ time.”

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