A Liberal Democrat MSP has written a letter of complaint to Ofcom and laid a motion in the Scottish Parliament in response to a party political broadcast by the SNP.
Alex Cole-Hamilton, MSP for Edinburgh Western, believes a claim made in it about free personal care for the elderly is inaccurate and that a character in the broadcast lampoons Scottish journalist David Torrance.
? What has the SNP ever done for us?
Watch our latest party political broadcast to find out and share it with your friends, family and followers.
— The SNP (@theSNP) January 18, 2018
The video, shown on BBC One last night and shared on the SNP’s Twitter and Facebook pages, shows guests at a house party listing the party’s achievements in government in response to a fellow guest’s criticism.
In an homage to Monty Python’s ‘What did the Romans ever do for us?’ scene, anti-SNP character ‘Davey’ is ridiculed and then left standing in the kitchen alone
He bears a resemblance to journalist and historian David Torrance, a political commentator and critic of the SNP.
Nicola Sturgeon, also a guest at the house party, arrives at the end of the video to have her say, before Davey is sprayed in the face by his own drink.
I'm afraid I don't have the inside track on SNP PPBs!
— David Torrance (@davidtorrance) January 18, 2018
Mr Cole-Hamilton says that some of the policies mentioned in the broadcast were introduced before the SNP came to power, including free personal care for the elderly.
He also labelled the apparent lampooning of Dr Torrance a ‘Trumpian challenge to press freedom’.
He tweeted: “I’ve laid a motion before Parliament today, criticising The SNP for their recent broadcast appearing to lampoon David Torrance in a worrying, Trumpian challenge to press freedom & for falsely claiming credit for free personal care. I’ve also raised a formal complaint with Ofcom.”
I’ve laid a motion before Parliament today, criticising @theSNP for their recent broadcast appearing to lampoon @davidtorrance in a worrying, Trumpian challenge to press freedom & for falsely claiming credit for free personal care. I’ve also raised a formal complaint with @Ofcom pic.twitter.com/aUfRtWZ3pv
— Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP (@agcolehamilton) January 19, 2018
Dr Torrance told The Herald: “I find it hard to believe an established political party like the SNP would be so insecure and puerile as to depict a political commentator in one of its broadcasts.
“Besides, the real David Torrance would have pointed out that they were claiming credit – not for the first time – for policies that had nothing to do with their decade in government.”
You are in no position to criticise given your disgraceful lampooning of me @agcolehamilton
— Michelle Thomson (@MichelleThomson) January 19, 2018
I guess @agcolehamilton has been to a party with @davidtorrance so laying @ScotParl motion about whether the bloke in @theSNP PPB who is at a pretendy party looks like DT has some credibility… https://t.co/TDhE4CLYcE
— mandy rhodes (@holyroodmandy) January 19, 2018
An SNP spokesperson said: “As the party broadcast demonstrates, the SNP have worked hard to deliver for the people of Scotland – meanwhile the few remaining Lib Dems devote their time to conspiracies theories such as this.
“David Torrance is not the only person in the country with a beard and hipster glasses.”