Scottish independence: Barrowman backs No campaign

Scots-born actor John Barrowman, who branded Alex Salmond the 'pudding of our chieftain race'. Picture: Contributed
Scots-born actor John Barrowman, who branded Alex Salmond the 'pudding of our chieftain race'. Picture: Contributed
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TORCHWOOD star John Barrowman branded Alex Salmond the “pudding of our chieftain race” as he gave his backing to Scotland remaining in the UK.

The Glasgow-born entertainer declared his support for the Union as he took part in an interactive online Burns Supper, organised by the Better Together campaign group.

Barrowman has no vote in referendum

Barrowman, 46, conceded he would not have a vote in September’s independence referendum as he does not live in Scotland.

But he stressed: “I am Scottish. I do have an opinion and I do have a voice.

“This Burns night - and for the coming months - all of us who believe in unity over division should use our voice to help win the referendum.

“We are stronger when we stand together.”

Barrowman, who described himself as an “international Scot”, said he believed Burns “would’ve embraced our world, yes, our union as it now stands, and all the opportunities it has brought us today”.

The actor added: “I believe that’s why over the centuries he remains one of the greatest symbols of Scotland that we have, because Burns is the personification of Scotland’s influence and reach beyond these shores.”

He argued that “nostalgia and nonsense” were the “only things in Salmond’s appeal for independence”.

With people in Scotland voting on the country’s future later this year, he said: “We can take this opportunity to embrace the things that connect us, the things that unite us in our family of nations - not to be caught up in searching for grievances or ways to divide people who should stand together and who have stood shoulder to shoulder for hundreds of years.

“It flies in the face of everything that Burns stood for if we follow the lead of Alex Salmond and look across the border and only see differences. We are bigger than that.”

Scotland more than ‘geographic borders’

He argued that Scotland had “always been more than its geographic borders”.

Barrowman added that rather than “searching for ways to divide people who have stood shoulder to shoulder for hundreds of years” people across the UK should “link arms”.

People across Scotland joined in the event by sending in pictures of their own Burns Supper and watching online as Barrowman delivered the Immortal Memory.

Better Together campaign director Blair McDougall welcomed Barrowman’s support for the Union, saying: “It’s great to have the support of as well-loved a personality as John Barrowman.

“Just shy of a million proud Scots like John who live elsewhere in the UK don’t have a vote but they have a voice. They aren’t foreigners, they are friends and family.

“Sharing with people all across the UK makes us all stronger. There is so much more that unites than divides us, despite Alex Salmond’s attempts to pull us apart. We are stronger and better together.”

A spokesman for the pro-independence campaign group Yes Scotland said: “Scots the world over have their views on the coming referendum, some for Yes and some for No, and John Barrowman, although he does not have a vote, is entitled to his.”