THE SNP has been accused of politicising the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow after the star role in the advertising campaign for the event was handed to independence supporting actor Martin Compston.
Compston, the star of the Ken Loach film Sweet Sixteen, is the public face of the adverts for the Games and has already appeared in a TV commercial promoting the 2014 event.
Last night, opposition MSPs attacked the decision to make Compston the “posterboy” for the Games after the actor hosted the star-studded and glitzy launch of the Yes to independence campaign earlier this year.
Games organising committee Glasgow 2014 Ltd, which the Scottish Government is involved in, has also appointed Compston as an official Games ambassador, as well as asking him to front the inaugural advert for the promotional event of the games. The 40-second long commercial shows the Greenock-born star walking through the various Games venues as he talks about different sports in Scotland.
However, the games organisers were under pressure last night to withdraw Compston.
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said that the actor’s Commonwealth Games role was inappropriate.
He said: “I have serious concerns about the employment of someone so politically active as the posterboy of the Commonwealth Games. It’s ill advised for the Games Organisers to secure his services when he has declared support for the SNP’s independence policy.
“It’s especially important with the Games taking place within months of the referendum. I would urge the Games Organisers to rethink this decision.”
A Scottish Government spokesman said: “Ambassadors are chosen for their commitment to helping deliver an outstanding Commonwealth Games in 2014.