SNP activist caught up in ‘fake leaflet’ row

THE SNP has become caught up in a “fake leaflet” row after a senior party figure was depicted as a university student endorsing independence.

Gail Lythgoe, a Nationalist activist and member of the SNP’s ruling executive committee, was pictured in a newsletter beside an article she appears to have written on the referendum.

Ms Lythgoe is captioned as a “Stirling University student”. However, online profiles indicate she was a student at Glasgow and Edinburgh universities.

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Labour MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, Dr Richard Simpson, last night seized on the gaffe.

“The local SNP must be pretty desperate if they are reduced this sort of subterfuge,” Dr Simpson said. “This kind of fakery is very serious. If you can’t trust council candidates to produce an honest newspaper, what can you trust them about?

“The last time Ms Lythgoe hit the headlines it was for making false allegations about a Labour MP. She perhaps ought to have more regard for the actuality if her political career is to take off.”

Ms Lythgoe, who is married to Nationalist MSP Humza Yousaf and works for SNP MSP Joan McAlpine, was caught up in a row last year when she was accused of trying to smear Labour MP Ian Davidson.

She was forced to admit she had gone “further than I should have” after distributing an e-mail which claimed the Labour MP had a “history of bullying and intimidation,”.

It came after a row between Mr Davidson, chairman of Westminster’s Scottish affairs committee, and Nationalist member Eilidh Whiteford, who boycotted meetings amid claims the Labour MP had talked of her getting a “doing”.

A spokesman for the SNP said last night: “Labour must be desperate if they are getting vexed about minor things like this. At no point in the text does Gail Lythgoe claim to be at Stirling University. The editor is embarrassed he spelt her name wrongly and gave her the wrong title.”

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