WikiLeaks mocked for bizarre poll on Scottish independence

Scottish independence supporters march in Glasgow. Picture: John Devlin
Scottish independence supporters march in Glasgow. Picture: John Devlin
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WikiLeaks, the organisation which gained notoriety for sharing millions of highly confidential documents online, has been mocked for asking a bizarre hypothetical question on Scottish independence.

The website’s official Twitter profile, which is followed by 5.41 million users, waded into the on-going Brexit row ahead of Theresa May’s EU withdrawal bill being voted down by MPs.

In an online poll, WikiLeaks asked: “Post Brexit, EU states have incentive to back Scottish independence so Scotland can rejoin the EU. All UK nukes are in Scotland. If Scotland joins EU, will the new EU Army eventually station troops in Scotland to check the threat of English invasion?”

More than 6,000 votes have so far been registered - with “No” being by far the most popular answer.

Numerous people mocked the filesharing website for asking such a convoluted question on such a hypothetical subject. “Interesting to watch Wikileaks destroying its hard-won credibility” was one reply.

Another replied: “The nukes are at sea, that’s the point of them. The maintenance base is in Scotland, but would be withdrawn on independence. England wouldn’t want to leave them here, Scotland doesn’t want them. Happy to clear that up for you.”

WikiLeaks describes itself as an international non-profit organisation that publishes secret information and classified media provided by anonymous sources.

It was co-founded in 2006 by Julian Assange and gained international attention four years later when it published a log of diplomatic cables sent by American diplomats around the world to the US State Department.

Mr Assange stepped down as editor-in-chief of the site last year. He has been living in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012, after an extradition request was approved by the UK authorities on behalf of Sweden.

Swedish prosecutors dropped their preliminary investigation into an allegation of rape against Assange in 2017. The WikiLeaks co-founder denied the allegations.

Last week a legal defence fund was launched amid fears the WikiLeaks founder is under “increasingly serious threat”.

The Courage Foundation, which offers legal support for whistleblowers and journalists, said Mr Assange had become “isolated” inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London, with “severe restrictions” on his communications and visitors.