Yes campaigner denies lying in MP ‘assault’ trial

No campaigner Marie Rimmer has denied assault. Picture: Contributed
No campaigner Marie Rimmer has denied assault. Picture: Contributed
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A Yes campaigner has denied that she had lied about an MP assaulting her on the day of the independence referendum vote.

Patricia McLeish was asked by defence lawyer Liam Ewing if she had made the whole thing up as part of a political campaign and replied: “Certainly not.”

She also denied that after the alleged assault she had called Tommy Sheridan, the leader of Solidarity.

Miss McLeish, who is a Unison convener and member of Solidarity and the Socialist Party, was giving evidence for a second day in the trial of Marie Rimmer, 69, who is MP for St Helen’s and Whiston in England. Miss Rimmer denies kicking Miss McLeish, 52, on the shin and behaving in an abusive manner toward other Yes campaigners and pointing in the face of Dennis 
Ashcroft.

Mr Ewing accused Miss McLeish of chanting: “Vote yes and get Tories and Red Tories out.”

She told Glasgow Sheriff Court that she would have used the phrase “New Labour Tories” and added: “I wasn’t shouting. I had swollen glands that day.”

The public sector employee claimed that Miss Rimmer asked her where she worked and then was “in her face”.

She denied a suggestion that there had been a heated argument on both sides which had been sparked by talk of Liverpool politics in the 1980s when Militant Tendency ran the council.

Miss McLeish said she was outside the polling station at Shettleston Community Centre on 18 September 2014 with another Yes campaigner handing out leaflets and Miss Rimmer was campaigning for the No camp.

She told the court: “The accused came in to my face twice. She asked me if I was a shop steward and I replied ‘yes’.

“The next piece of conversation was ‘where do you work’. I said local government and she said she was the leader of St Helen’s Council.

“I thought after she claimed to be the leader of a council that she obviously had mental health difficulties.”

Miss McLeish told the court she was kicked on the left shin by Miss Rimmer.

The trial before sheriff Kenneth Hogg continues.