A local MSP has been criticised this week after the authenticity of his promotional flyers was called into question.
John Lamomt, MP David Mundell and Tory candidate Alexander Burnett expressed exactly the same views and gave the same answers to identical referendum questions posed by allegedly different constituents in the leaflets which were issued to voters.
Lamont, Mundell and Burnett issued identical responses, writing: “The Scottish Government has refused to give people a straight answer on their pensions. They have not outlined the considerable costs and risks that come with setting up a separate pensions system.”
Despite living in different areas, Mrs Douglas from Dumfries and Galloway, Trevor Adams from the Scottish Borders and Marcus from Aberdeenshire all wanted to know: the “positive case for staying in the United Kingdom?” and all were given the same reply word for word.
Seven questions in all were included in the campaign flyers, including, ‘If Scotland Voted No, are there any plans to give the Scottish Parliament more powers’ and ‘Will we still be able to use the UK pound as our currency if Scotland votes to become independent’.
Branding the leaflets phoney, Hawick Nationalist MSP Paul Wheelhouse said: “John Lamont’s leaflet reveals that the Tory party will stoop to any level to distort the arguments of others in an attempt to scare the people of Scotland from taking their future in their own hands. “They are prepared to deceive the people of the Borders by using party activists and candidates to falsely pose as neutral ‘concerned’ voters on their phoney leaflets. “Both Lamont and Mundell should be ashamed of their tactics and must apologise unreservedly.”
Responding to the criticism, Mr Lamont said: “My leaflet seeks to provide voters with the information that they need before September. It is bizarre and that the SNP should criticise this, when they are refusing to come clean on even the most basic facts. When I speak to people across the Borders, the same questions come up time and time again, they want to know what currency a separate Scotland would have and how pensions and other public services will be funded under separation.
“Given they have no credible answers it’s no surprise me that SNP are trying to use this issue as a smoke screen.”