Labour MP Marie Rimmer cleared of abusing Yes campaigner

Marie Rimmer denies the incident
Marie Rimmer denies the incident
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A Labour MP accused of acting in a threatening or abusive manner towards Yes campaigners on the day of the Scottish independence referendum has been found not guilty.

MP for St Helens South and Whiston, Marie Rimmer, still faces a charge of assault for allegedly kicking a woman outside a polling station in Glasgow, on September 18, 2014.

At Glasgow Sheriff Court, advocate Liam Ewing, defending, made a motion that MP Marie Rimmer had no case to answer in respect of that charge on the complaint.

He pointed out there was no foul language or threats made by Rimmer.

Sheriff Kenneth Hogg upheld the submission and found her not guilty

Rimmer, 69, gave evidence at her trial on Tuesday where she denied kicking Patricia McLeish outside Shettleston Community Centre and acting in a threatening or abusive manner towards independence campaigner Dennis Ashcroft.

Giving evidence at Glasgow Sheriff Court, Mr Ascroft, 53, said the Labour MP pointed in his face and told him to “keep your mouth shut” as they campaigned outside Shettleston community centre.

Mr Ashcroft told the court on Tuesday there had been a discussion about how closely his car - decorated with Yes stickers - was parked to the polling station but said there was “no trigger” for Rimmer’s alleged actions.

He said: “She was pointing in my face. Right up to my face. I heard her say something like ‘I don’t like you, don’t speak to me, keep your mouth shut’, something like that.”

Under cross-examination, the St Helens South and Whiston MP’s solicitor Liam Ewing said Mr Ashcroft had tried to intimidate his client.

Mr Ewing said: “You pointed to a car and said ‘the one before you is tied up in the back’.”

Mr Ascroft denied that and said: “No. That never happened.”

Mr Ewing also said the witness had interrupted Rimmer when she was talking to two voters about Gordon Brown.

The solicitor said: “It was at that point Ms Rimmer said you were out of order.” Mr Ashcroft said: “No, that’s a lie.”