Anger after Labour MP blocks filming of public indy debate

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  By a Newsnet reporter
 
Labour MP, Brian Donohoe (pictured) has been criticised after refusing to allow a debate on independence to be filmed and posted online, saying that a film crew had “shown a lack of courtesy” in not asking for his personal permission in advance of the event in Irvine on Friday night.
 
The crew from Clan Destiny, who were allowed to film at the discretion of the panel members, claim they were asked to leave, after Donohoe threatened to contact the police.

In a statement released by the crew on their latest Youtube video, they say he denied them filming permission minutes before the debate, for reasons which were refuted.

According to the film crew, the Central Ayrshire Labour MP initially said it was “because the radio wouldn’t be happy”.  However after it emerged the local station, Irvine Beat FM, had consented to the filming and even fed the crew audio from their desk the Labour MP then reportedly said that “the local paper had organised the event and wanted to report it.” 

Despite an offer by the film crew to embargo their video until after publication, the Labour MP still refused to alter his stance. 

Clan Destiny say that they had contacted the sponsors of the event held at the Volunteer Rooms in Irvine four days in advance and were told that they only needed the permission of the local radio station and the panellists to carry out filming.  The Yes side which included Tommy Sheridan and Fiona Macdonald consented.

The crew interviewed Donohoe after the event, who challenged claims the organisers had been contacted before the debate took place: “That’s not true because they told me you didn’t.”

Donohoe then said dismissively: “I want my message to go as wide as is possible, and it will do that on Sunday, there’ll be 8,000 of them listening to the programme…which is more than you will get.”

The Labour MP added bizarrely: “This is a meeting for this area, not the whole of Scotland.”

Donohoe was also filmed trying to evade an irate representative of Scottish Independence Live, who were also denied filming access as they had arranged to stream the debate online.

His debate opponent, Tommy Sheridan, described the Labour MP’s actions as “pathetic” and added:

“I find it distasteful and unacceptable that an elected politician is objecting to the words that he’s speaking to the public being filmed.  What is there to hide?”

The full debate can be listened to here: http://www.irvinebeat.com/index.php/ayrshire-community-matters/item/243-independence-debate-irvine-feb-28th-listen-again