Socialist MSP jailed for nuclear protest

ROSIE Kane, the Scottish Socialist MSP, was jailed for two weeks yesterday after refusing to pay a fine imposed for breaking the law during a nuclear demonstration.

She was among ten people arrested last March as they protested in a 25ft model submarine outside the Scottish parliament.

Ms Kane, 45, was convicted of blocking the road and obstructing police and fined 300 in December, but refused to pay the sum.

At a hearing yesterday at Glasgow Sheriff Court, she was jailed by Sheriff Nigel Ross. It is the first time the mother-of-two has been given a prison term after several court appearances for anti-nuclear activities. She has been in court for at least five separate arrests during protests since 2001.

During the hearing, Sheriff Ross warned Ms Kane that he had two options. One was to give her an opportunity to do some community work, with the other being custody. Referring to the community work offer, Ms Kane said: "I thank you for that, but I do not feel I have committed a crime and cannot accept that."

Sheriff Ross then said he had no option but to impose the 14 days in custody.

Colin Fox, the SSP leader, said the prison term was "savage". But Bill Aitken, the Conservative's chief whip at Holyrood said: "Once again, the taxpayer has to fork out for immature political posturing. What a waste of time.

"Why should we all have to pay for a pathetic piece of ego-tripping from one of a group of politicians whose credibility is in tatters?"

• The SSP was dealt a new blow yesterday as the RMT union withdrew financial support of up to 10,000 a year from the party, which is still suffering from the split with Tommy Sheridan, its former leader.