By a Newsnet reporter
A Labour MP has claimed that if Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond was killed by being run over by a bus that she would not be interested in finding out who the driver was.
Labour MP Margaret Curran (pictured) made the extraordinary remark in an interview with respected magazine Holyrood.com.
MP Curran, also a former MSP, was responding to a question on whether anyone within the SNP was capable of taking over from Mr Salmond, when she said:
“I think if Alex Salmond went under a bus tomorrow – not that I would ask who drove that bus – but seriously, if he wasn’t there, I don’t think there is any other member of that team who could fulfil the role that he is playing”
Ms Curran’s astonishing comment will be embarrassing for the Labour party in Scotland and was published on the same day party colleague and fellow MP Tom Harris launched his own vitriolic attack on Mr Salmond and SNP voters.
Mr Harris accused the First Minister of being ‘undemocratic’ and ‘dishonest’ and of planning to ignore rules in the run-up to the independence referendum.
Speaking to Holyrood.com Mr Harris said: “I think there’s absolutely no chance at all that Alex Salmond, left to his own devices, will actually ask an honest question. It’s in his nature; he will ask the question that he thinks most likely to be answered with a yes.
“He will change any rule – literally any rule – in order to get the result he wants. There’s nothing remotely democratic in that.”
The Labour MP then launched an attack on Labour’s online critics claiming that they are responsible for all online vitriol and that Labour supporters do not indulge in similar.
Mr Harris insisted that these critics are SNP members who use assumed names and that most label their opponents as “traitors”.
He said: “The level of vitriol on the internet from Nats who believe that by disagreeing with them you are a traitor, or a quisling, or you are a bad person; most of them do believe that. They tend to cover it up.
“The SNP [as an] organisation always says, ‘nothing to do with us’ – of course they are, they just used pseudonyms so you can’t prove whether they’re SNP members or not. There’s a lot of bullying on the internet, and that kind of bullying is being used to a huge extent by the Nationalists.
I know people say, ‘there’s just as much antagonism on the Labour side’ and ‘Labour people are just as nasty’ – that’s a lie, that’s wrong, and it’s demonstrably wrong.”
Mr Harris’ attacks on the First Minister are not unusual. Similar attacks have seen Mr Salmond compared to Hitler, Mussolini and Robert Mugabe.
Earlier this year Labour MP Iain Davidson caused outrage after he described the Scottish National Party as ‘neo-fascists’.