Blogosphere divided down party lines on deputy's 'duty'

SCOTLAND'S political blogs have been going into meltdown over the Sturgeon affair, with opinion divided down party lines.

Labour MP Tom Harris, a leading blogger who also happens to be Abdul Rauf's Westminster MP, said Ms Sturgeon had no obligation to help the fraudster.

He says: "When Nicola Sturgeon claims she had 'a duty' to interfere in a court case of one of her (and my) constituents, she was clearly wrong. Was she dissembling or is she such a naive newcomer to politics that she doesn't understand the work and duties of an elected representative?"

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SNP bloggers were quick to back their deputy leader. SNP Tactical Voting said: "The deputy first minister has clearly come to a conclusion that society would be no better served with Abdul Rauf behind bars and, given her knowledge of the man, decided to make representations to the judge to aid his decision. Was it an error of judgment? I don't see it that way."

The Planet Politics blog rushed into the fray, with: "Tonight we're being treated to another round of over-reaction to the news that Nicola Sturgeon wrote a letter of support to a court on behalf of a convicted benefit cheat who defrauded the public purse of 80,000 after it, ahem, slipped his mind that he owned a 200,000 property in addition to his 400,000 home."

Stephen's Linlithgow Blog, put together by a Lib Dem party member, was less damning but still critical:"There is no 'obligation', nor is there 'precedent' for this level of intervention," it said.