Anger at No campaign supporter’s Commonwealth Games Malaysia slur


  By a Newsnet reporter

A leading supporter of the pro-Union Better Together campaign has caused outrage after posting an offensive tweet about the Malaysian airline tragedy during the opening ceremony of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

Lawyer Ian Smart [pictured] claimed that First Minister Alex Salmond’s speech, in which he spoke of the victims of the Malaysian airline tragedy, was only included in order to ensure the SNP leader was not booed by the crowd.

Labour supporting Smart said: “So did Eck’s people insist that the Malaysian reference was put in to stop him being booed. Check it out Scottish media.”

In his address to the crowd, Mr Salmond had highlighted the links many of the victims of the airline tragedy had with the Commonwealth.  The First Minister then called for a moments silence in respect of those who had died when flight MH17 was shot down over Ukraine.

Within moments of his tweet, the leading No campaigner was condemned by users of the social media site twitter with many calling his tweet ‘disgraceful’ with others describing it as ‘vile’.

However Smart remained defiant, and suggested the reference to the Malaysian tragedy by the First Minister had been opportunistic.

“The process surrounding the terms on which Salmond would be introduced will be a matter of public record. Hopefully the press will be on it” he replied.

The leading No campaigner, who is a regular pundit on the BBC, is no stranger to controversy.

Last year Smart caused similar outrage when he  claimed Scots would turn on ‘Poles’ and ‘Pakis’ after independence.

He tweeted that it would be better to have a century of Tory rule than a Yes vote, saying “Better 100 years of the Tories than the turn on the Poles and Pakis that would follow independence that would fail to deliver.”.

Smart refused to apologise for the tweet and instead tried to blame others he claimed had “twisted” his words.

“I’m annoyed at myself for having made a remark that others have been capable of twisting to suggest that I said.”