SNP appoint Murray Foote, former Daily Record editor and creator of 'The Vow', as new media chief

The SNP has appointed the former Daily Record editor and the man who created the controversial pro-UK "Vow", Murray Foote, as its new media chief in Holyrood.

Mr Foote, who was editor of the tabloid paper for four years, has been credited with helping sway public opinion during the 2014 independence referendum after the front page pledge from the then Prime Minster, which promised more powers for Holyrood if Scots voted "No".

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But he will now be the SNP's head of communications and research in the Scottish Parliament, replacing Fergus Mutch, who was an unsuccessful candidate for the party in the December General Election in West Aberdeenshire.

The controversial "vow" front page designed by Murray Foote, who has now been appointed as the SNP's media chief.

He will have to guide the party's media strategy through the forthcoming Alex Salmond trial, the demands for a new independence referendum, the impact of Brexit, and the 2021 Holyrood elections.

The move will be seen as controversial among many independence supporters who believe "The Vow" front page won the referendum for "No". It was signed by Tory Prime Minister David Cameron, Labour’s Ed Miliband and LibDem Nick Clegg, and splashed on the front page two days before the vote, and after a shock opinion poll put "Yes" ahead for the first time.

However, after retiring in 2018 after a 33-year newspaper career, Mr Foote declared himself as an SNP supporter and said he had always been "sympathetic" towards independence.

Today Mr Foote said "no trees should be wasted" on writing about his appointment. Asked about "The Vow", he said: “I had a job to do. My job was to represent the views of the readership of the Daily Record. That was what I did to the best of my ability, regardless of my political persuasion.”

He has previously spoken of his stance shift on independence saying he changed his mind because of "vindictive policies" from the Conservative government and Brexit.