Tory MSP accuses Patrick Harvie of ‘instigating’ swastika vandalism incident

A Conservative MSP has suggested a Scottish Government minister "instigated" an incident of vandalism that saw his office spray-painted with swastikas.

Douglas Lumsden made the claim in Holyrood on Wednesday as the Tories insisted prematurely ending Scotland's oil and gas industry would devastate the economy of the north east.

Mr Lumsden said Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie had called supporters of oil and gas "far right", which he said was "shocking".

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Patrick Harvie

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Mr Harvie is a minister in the Scottish Government following a co-operation agreement between the SNP and the Greens.

Raising a point of order, Mr Harvie said: "I suspect the member knows that I did not use the words far right. I suspect he's very well aware that he's misleading the chamber."

The Green MSP said he had used the words "hard right" to describe Mr Lumsden and his party.

Earlier this month, Mr Harvie was criticised after he said it was "only the hard right who continue to deny the reality that" continued oil and gas extraction is "simply not compatible" with tackling climate change.

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Speaking in the Scottish Parliament, Mr Lumsden said: "Only a few hours later, my constituency office was vandalised, with swastikas spray-painted on the door and windows.

"The police are treating this as a hate crime, and I'm not telling the police how to do their job, but maybe they should be considering that it was maybe a member of this Parliament that instigated that attack."

A spokesman for the Scottish Greens later said: “The Conservatives have no problem misquoting others and calling them extremists.

"It’s about time Mr Lumsden and his colleagues checked their own language, before having a go others and drawing absurd conclusions.”

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It came as the Tories insisted they are the only party "standing up for our oil and gas industry”.

Speaking in Holyrood, SNP energy secretary Michael Matheson said the sector supports around 70,000 jobs and continues to play an important role in the economy.

But he said Scotland must reduce its reliance on fossil fuels "in a way that is fair and just".

He said: "A transition that puts 70,000 workers into unemployment or increases reliance on imports would not be a just one."

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Mr Matheson said the Scottish Government was investing in a "just transition".

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