A MORAY SNP branch has moved to distance itself from what has been described as “shameful harassment” against under pressure Orkney MP Alistair Carmichael.
The Lossiemouth, Hopeman and Burghead branch of the SNP insisted that a Twitter account apparently used to launch a campaign against Scotland’s only remaining Liberal Democrat MP was not of their making.
On Friday several national newspapers reported a number of Tweets from an account pertaining to be that of the local Moray SNP branch calling for complaints to be made to the former Scottish Secretary’s local Presbytery, seeking to have him removed as a church elder.
Mr Carmichael has been under intense pressure since admitting that he was behind the leaking of a memo during the general election campaign that wrongly said Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon had expressed a preference for David Cameron to remain as Prime Minister.
The Orkney MP is now facing legal action to have his election overturned.
After former Lib Dem leader Tavish Scott complained of the “increasingly personal and unpleasant” nature of the campaign being orchestrated by the SNP against Mr Carmichael, the SNP central office in Edinburgh released a statement saying the Tweet did “not represent the views of the SNP or the local branch”. The Twitter account was meanwhile closed down.
Last night the Lossiemouth, Burghead and Hopeman SNP branch secretary assured local members that they had no part in any campaign to oust Mr Carmichael.
“It is with regret that we have read some of the press coverage today which suggests that our local branch is involved in a campaign to oust Alastair Carmichael,” an email to local members said, adding: “We wish to make it clear that the Twitter account which is referred to in these press articles is not our Lossiemouth, Hopeman and Burghead official branch account.
“Indeed we have never had a twitter account although we have talked about setting one up.
“The views contained in the twitter account referred to may represent the views of the person who set up the account – but do not reflect or represent the views of the SNP either locally or nationally.
“We continue to do our best to campaign in a positive and constructive manner as we have always sought to do and we would not seek to condone behaviour which might be interpreted as otherwise.
“We trust this clarifies the position from our point of view. It is just unfortunate that the media had not sought to contact our branch before going to print.”