Letter calls into question Scottish Labour MP’s “shut me down” claim

An allegation from Scotland’s only Labour MP that a letter sent to him by an SNP MP was an attempt at silencing him has been called into question after he released the letter in question.

Ian Murray, who represents Edinburgh South, made the allegation on Sunday when he posted the following message on Twitter: “When I defended u I got bizarre letter from Mr Nicholson [sic] trying to shut me down too. It contained strange allegations to justify his actions”

The allegation from the Labour MP brought an immediate challenge from the man he was targeting, SNP MP John Nicolson.  In a reply to his Labour accuser the SNP MP invited Murray to reproduce the letter.

When no letter appeared after twenty four hours, the SNP MP posted another message highlighting the failure of his accuser to publish the letter.

On Monday evening an under pressure Mr Murray finally relented and published the letter [click image to enlarge].  However instead of backing up his own claims against Mr Nicolson it appeared to exonerate the SNP MP.

The letter has been reproduced below in full:

I read your tweet last week about “silencing journalists” and was disappointed by it.

I’m surprised you seem to misunderstand the point I was making.

I don’t believe that STV’s online political editor should abandon the company’s traditional objectivity and write personal opinion – regardless of what that opinion is.  I think whoever holds the post should abide by the same code as the company’s on-air political editor.

Do you disagree?

Moreover I don’t believe that STV’s online political editor should repeatedly tweet to endorse the twitter troll who has insulted, in the most grotesquely misogynistic and sexual terms, women across the political spectrum including your colleague Johann Lamont.

Again do you disagree?

It seems that you do, apparently characterising my criticisms as “U still silencing journos?”

While STV is entirely free to hire whoever it wants, I think it’s perfectly reasonable for any of us to comment where we believe that the ethos of public service broadcasting is under threat.

As you will know, having been my colleague in the Commons for a year, I go out of my way to back journalists, not least at the BBC during the Charter renewal process, and at Channel 4 where programmes like ‘Undiscovered World’ and the hour long ‘Channel 4 News’ would, I believe, be threatened by privatisation.

I look forward to your reply.

John Nicolson MP

Following the letter’s publication, MP John Nicolson tweeted the following response:

The spat between both MPs was prompted by claims that former STV journalist Stephen Daisley was silenced by Mr Nicolson and his SNP colleague Pete Wishart.  Unionist commentators have alleged Mr Daisley was ‘shut down’ by the two MPs because of his criticism of the party.

The claims though have been denied by STV and the National Union of Journalists.  In a recent article for the Scottish Mail on Sunday Mr Daisley himself appeared to admit he hadn’t in fact been silenced but had faced a choice of between continuing as editor or as a writer, but not both.

Daisley faced the choice after posting an endorsement of a well-known Twitter troll ‘Brian Spanner’ who has targeted some of Scotland’s most high profile female figures with disgusting sexual messages.

Read full the story of ‘Brian Spanner’ and his online exchanges HERE.

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10 thoughts on “Letter calls into question Scottish Labour MP’s “shut me down” claim

  1. Bugger le Panda

    Post Truth Politics with a sting in its tail or to put it into Glaswegian,

    Isn’t Karma a bitch when it comes around the real truth bites the liar on the arse, publically.

    Second conviction for Murray.

    Be all over the BBC and the inky fingered Press tomorrow.

  2. Jack Collatin

    We would never have heard of this odious little man if we had been insane enough to re-elect the other 40 ‘F&@king Useless’ New Labour hopefuls.
    We’d have been stuck with Murphy, Wee Dougie ‘Don’t Take My Word For It’ Alexander, and Mags Curran for 5 years, talking pish.
    Nasty wee fake truth from a man who has done nothing for the Scots citizenry since taking office in May ’15.
    A murky little attempt to smear a fellow MP. Magic.

  3. manandboy

    I’m wracking my brain searching for the word that describes Ian Murray MP. I’ve tried words like despicable, odious and obnoxious, but none of these fit as they are all inadequate. I shall just have to keep searching till I find the right word.
    I’m sure that whatever the word is, it will be useful, for there are many politicians just like Ian Murray. So much so in fact, that ‘politics’ itself, understood as the entire ‘industry’ which governs the UK, might justly be tarred with the same brush.

    The stench of corruption pervades the entire British Establishment.

  4. Edward Freeman

    I can’t work out whether this is yet another example of a Scottish Labourite who’s so puffed up with his own and his party’s sense of entitlement that he gets all bent out of shape when anyone challenges his – ah – alternative facts, or if he’s simply just not the brightest bulb in the box.

    Either way, I don’t believe he’s got what it takes to be anything other than lobby fodder. I can’t see him as our Governor-General if the Westminster regime were Labour, can you? Mind you, under the current regime we still can’t see Fluffy as that either.

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