Scottish independence: ‘No Bannockburn hijacking’

ORGANISERS of the Battle of Bannockburn celebrations next year say they will not allow them to be hijacked by either side of the independence campaign.

The 700th anniversary festival takes place next June, just months before the historic vote in September, prompting fears that pro-independence supporters could seize on its symbolic significance.

But the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) has revealed it will not rent stalls to supporters of the Yes Scotland independence campaign or the pro-union Better Together group. There will also be a clampdown on displaying political banners and leafleting at the three-day event.

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A spokesman for the NTS – which is being given £250,000 from Scottish Government agencies for the event – said: “It is a non-political event, full stop.

“We are talking about concessions for sale of produce, sale of merchandise, that sort of thing. We have a veto on the products and produce that are sold so, clearly, anything that we regard as unsuitable for what will be a family event would not be allowed to be sold.

“We won’t be allowing banners in other than the types that are being sold within the arena area.”

The event marks Robert the Bruce’s victory over the English army of Edward II and is set to attract about 45,000 people.

Murdo Fraser, Tory convener of Holyrood’s tourism committee, said: “Prohibiting political stalls, banners, canvassing and leafleting will be essential in creating a family friendly atmosphere.

Yes Scotland said: “We respect their position of neutrality. Yes Scotland is a movement rather than a political party.”