by a Newsnet reporter
In a stinging rebuke to the Conservatives, high profile supporter Paul McBride QC has quit the party. In an interview with the Sunday Mail, Mr McBride branded Holyrood’s Tory MSPs as “the most moronic, dysfunctional, introspective bunch of MSPs I’ve ever seen,” and added that the party’s justice spokesman John Lamont was a “twit”.
Mr McBride’s comments came as he announced his resignation from the party due to its opposition to anti-sectarian laws and to minimum alcohol pricing. He denied that his resignation was due to Ruth Davidson’s victory in the Conservative leadership election, saying: “It had nothing to do with Ruth winning. I resigned over their performance on criminal justice, in particular their approach to the Offensive Behaviour Bill.”
However Mr McBride reserved his strongest comments for the Conservatives’ Holyrood MSPs whom he condemned in strong terms saying: “They are the most moronic, dysfunctional, introspective bunch of MSPs I’ve ever seen. They have no interest in the people of Scotland. Their only interest is their careers. I’m joining the 87 per cent of the population who don’t agree with a word they say.”
Although Mr McBride denied that he was resigning because of opposition to the party’s new leader, it was clear that he lacks confidence in Ms Davidson’s ability to turn around the party’s fortunes. Mr McBride said: “All they have done is replace one very nice woman, under whom the party declined, with another woman, who probably isn’t as nice, is going to get less votes and is supported by only two out of her 15 MSP colleagues.”
Mr McBride backed the SNP’s attempts to deal with Scotland’s alcohol abuse problem saying: “In Scotland we have two main problems in criminal justice and society – alcohol abuse and sectarianism.
“Whether you agree with the SNP’s policy of minimum pricing for alcohol or not, at least they are trying to do something about it. The Tories oppose minimum pricing but have no alternative suggestions.”
The QC also gave his backing to the SNP’s anti-sectarian bill. McBride said: “The bill prevents offensive behaviour against people who are gay, disabled or belong to a certain group or religion. It also prevents people glorifying terrorism. The Tories oppose criminalising people who wish to indulge in that kind of behaviour.”
Mr McBride reserved his most scathing criticism for John Lamont, the Conservatives’ justice spokesman, calling him a “twit”. Mr Lamont was Ms Davidson’s election manager during the recent leadership contest. Mr McBride said: “That twit has opposed every single initiative Kenny MacAskill has come out with and hasn’t offered one positive suggestion to deal with crime.”
New party leader Ruth Davidson announced yesterday that Mr Lamont is to head the party’s campaign in the local elections next year.
The Conservative party has declined to comment on Mr McBride’s resignation.