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Election ‘campaigning’ on a Sunday sparks row

A political row broke out yesterday with the Labour Party being accused of breaking an unwritten rule that there should be no Sunday campaigning in the Highlands.

It follows a visit to the area by Scottish Labour leader Jack McConnell on Easter Sunday when he unveiled plans for Scotland’s first golf academy at Nairn and posed for media photographs.

Mr McConnell also joined party workers for a coffee at the Tesco store in Inverness retail park before going to Whin Park to meet party activists in the run-up to the Scottish Parliamentary and local authority elections on 3rd May.

The Scottish National Party, which accused Labour of breaking the unwritten agreement, was joined by other political parties in declaring that Sundays would remain campaign-free in the Highlands.

But yesterday Labour insisted no campaigning had taken place and accused the SNP of a “pathetic contrived attack”. Labour also joined the Tories in pointing the finger at the SNP for putting up campaign posters and telephoning canvassing on Sundays.

Rev Alex MacDonald, media officer for the Free Church of Scotland, said it was significant that the major political parties regarded Sunday as a campaign-free day in the Highlands.

“Obviously, it is a gentleman’s agreement that there should be a day of rest from politics,” he said, adding that if one party campaigned on a Sunday, the tendency would be for the rest to follow.

• Full story at the Inverness Courier.

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