There were ugly scenes at Tuesday night’s Teviot and Liddesdale Area Forum when chairman George Turnbull was confronted by an angry member of the public.
The incident took place during the open questions section in the lesser town hall, and centred on a comment made by Mr Turnbull at the January forum, when he said those behind the decision not to provide temporary facilities while the Sandbed Post Office was being refurbished, “should be shot”.
Sitting in the front row of the public gallery, Nik Wirsten, of Selkirk, claimed that Mr Turnbull had “broken the law” by making the comments, and claimed that he himself had spent four months in jail for saying he was going to shoot two Selkirk community councillors.
“You [Mr Turnbull] should get 12 months and I’m going to say it right to your face.” Mr Wirsten then got up off his seat, approached Mr Turnbull, and raged:“If you don’t apologise in the next 60 seconds . . .
Mr Turnbull: “Apologise to who?
Mr Wirsten: “Apologise to the area forum for saying people should be shot, in light of what happened in the massacres in Paris.” Mr Turnbull said he had apologised to the woman [Linda Bonar, the Post Office’s public affairs manager].
Mr Wirsten: “If you don’t apologise I’ll make a complaint to the police and the Standards Commission.” Mr Turbull said he didn’t like Mr Wirsten’s body language and that he didn’t like being threatened. “You’re a disgrace,” blasted Mr Wirsten.
Mr Turnbull: “Thank you very much, that’s your view.”
Mr Turnbull then apologised for his comment last month, at which point Mr Wirsten, who was just about to leave the hall, said he would not now be pursuing his complaints to the police and the Standards Commission.