A row has erupted as islanders accused a mainland MP of downplaying Scotland’s ferries disaster.
Alyn Smith, the SNP MP for Stirling, spoke throughout the Break Up of Britain convention in Edinburgh this weekend.
He gave a speech that highlighted the SNP’s dedication to independence and rejoining the EU.
But it surely was a remark he made about his marketing campaign for re-election that has drawn the ire of many islanders.
‘Individuals in the true world’
He described speaking to “individuals on the market in the true world” who “need to know that politics isn’t all about WhatsApp messages on iPads and ferries”.
“It’s about larger stuff than that – it’s about coping with the priorities of the individuals of Scotland.”
A now-deleted clip of the speech drew dozens of feedback on social media. Many noticed it as downplaying the significance of the continuing Covid inquiry and the ferries disaster that has devastated Scotland’s island communities lately.
‘It’s all about ferries to us’
“Wow,” said Torcuil Crichton, Scottish Labour’s candidate for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, on X (formerly known as Twitter). “Notice to Alyn Smith – it’s all about ferries for us.”
“Won’t matter to him, however a dependable ferry service is essential to us,” stated author Mòrag Anna NicNèill in response to Mr Crichton’s put up.
We had been unable to get our calves to final Monday’s livestock sale in Lochboisdale as a result of a damaged down ferry. Others in Barra and Vatersay in the same place. Won’t matter to him, however a dependable ferry service is essential to us!
— Mòrag Anna NicNèill (@mogibarra) November 20, 2023
The ferries disaster has seen numerous cancellations hit lifeline ferry companies, and has price the Scottish Authorities lots of of hundreds of thousands of kilos.
Clip ‘a gross misrepresentation’, says Alyn Smith
“That is utter nonsense and a gross misrepresentation of what I stated,” Mr Smith stated in response to the criticism.
“Anybody is aware of I’ve labored with and for the islands since 2004 as MEP and know nicely how vital ferries are, which is why independence getting us again into the EU will increase our connectivity in each approach.”
Extra native reporting from the Western Isles: