LABOUR leader Iain Gray’s comparison of an anti-cuts protest to the “killing fields” of Cambodia and Rwanda was an insult to the victims of the genocide, it was claimed yesterday.
Mr Gray was ambushed by campaigners at Glasgow Central Station last week and took refuge in a nearby sandwich shop.
Afterwards he was asked if the incident had left him shaken, and he referred to his time as an Oxfam worker saying: “I’ve been in Rwanda just after the genocide. I’ve walked the killing fields of Cambodia and I was in Chile three days after Pinochet demitted office. I’ve been a lot of places, seen a lot of things – that certainly wasn’t the worst of them.”
Protest leader Sean Clerkin, 50, a call centre worker from Glasgow, said: “It wasn’t appropriate to mention that in the context of a peaceful, non-violent demonstration. It was insulting to the people who died in these terrible conflicts.”
Mr Clerkin contrasted Mr Gray’s reaction to that of Tory leader Annabel Goldie when she was challenged. He said: “I disagree with Annabel Goldie and she disagrees with me, but, having said that, she defended her position and gave as good as she got. I respect her for that.”
He also revealed his Citizens United Against Public Service Cuts group is set to target the SNP.
Mr Clerkin said: “We are meeting to discuss our next move. I couldn’t foresee Alex Salmond doing what Iain Gray did but we will be going after the SNP.”