Friday, 23 Oct 2020

Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP accused of ignoring calls to remove footage from political clip

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The organisation has reported a complaint to the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) saying the broadcast, which featured a Scouts group leader while in uniform, broke impartiality rules as adult volunteers are not allowed to endorse political parties while wearing their uniforms.

An SNP political broadcast shown on TV this week featured a woman called Helene, who lives in Kirkhill, as being among a number of Scots who have changed their minds on independence.

She says: “For my children, I feel that an independent Scotland is going to offer them an opportunity to be part of something bigger.”

Scouts Scotland said they complained to Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP several months ago when the TV advert was aired and urged them to get rid of the part which features the scout leader in uniform, according to The Times.

But the SNP has denied it was contacted to withdraw that particular section from the broadcast.

Scouts Scotland said: “We are aware that an SNP party political broadcast was shown yesterday that included a leader in uniform.

“The Scout Association is not connected with any political body and have rules which state that members when in uniform or when representing the Scouts must not endorse any political party or candidate.

“We have spoken to the SNP, reported the situation to OSCR and the issue has been investigated at a local level through our complaints procedure.”

In response, the SNP highlighted chief scout Bear Grylls’ appearance at the Conservative Party conference in 2017 while wearing a Scouts uniform.

The TV personality and survival expert was making a pitch for more Government funding.

An SNP spokesman said: “The chief scout appeared on stage at Tory party conference in his full uniform in 2017 so we’re somewhat surprised by these comments.

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“It is also disappointing to read this media statement today given we engaged with Scouts Scotland several months ago when this broadcast was first on TV.”

The Scottish Conservatives accused the SNP of trying to misrepresent the Scouts.

Chief whip Miles Briggs said: “The SNP have questions to answer about how they let this happen.

“They’ve been caught out blatantly trying to misrepresent the Scouts and drag them into politics.

“This must be investigated further and the SNP need to apologise for misleading the public.”

Express.co.uk has contacted OSCR for comment.

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