Chinese smear attack launched against Sturgeon

sturgeon_chinaA fresh smear attack against First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has been launched after newspapers reported on an alleged ‘secret’ deal which may lead to billions of pounds of investment coming to Scotland.

The smear, which initially appeared in The Scotsman newspaper, centred on a memorandum of understanding between the Scottish Government, Chinese investment group SinoFortone and China Railway No. 3 Engineering Group, the largest construction company in the world.

According to the memorandum, “…the parties will be mutually supportive of each other in working towards this purpose and seek to develop a relationship that could lead to a program of investment into Scottish priority projects and infrastructure to the value of £10Bn.”

The document also states that both parties must agree before any if its contents are released, although it allowed for the full release in the event of a Freedom of Information request being submitted.

The prospect of billions of pounds of investment coming to Scotland did not deter Unionist politicians from launching politically motivated attacks on the First Minister, with some implying inappropriate behaviour.

Speaking to The Scotsman on Saturday, Labour’s James Kelly said: “Why did they sign a secret deal and keep it from the Scottish people, and the Scottish Parliament? What was the involvement of millionaire SNP donor Brian Souter? It would be unacceptable if the SNP signed a deal to build major infrastructure projects in Scotland with Chinese steel rather than British steel at a time of crisis in the British steel industry.”

A SNP spokeswoman responded, saying: “The memorandum of understanding is not about steel, it is about exploring investment opportunities in Scotland.”

The story looked set to fade, until it was picked up by two Sunday newspapers. The Sunday Mail and the Sunday Times versions of the story both featured in a review of newspapers on BBC Radio Scotland on Sunday morning.


The broadcast appeared to prompt BBC Scotland into running the smear itself.


By lunchtime the broadcaster had published the story online and by mid-evening it was being broadcast on the flagship news programme Reporting Scotland.

The BBC’s coverage prompted another statement from Scottish Labour, with Jackie Baillie implying impropriety on the part of the First Minister, saying, “This stinks. This secret deal needs to be published now. Voters deserve the facts on deals the SNP government have signed on their behalf and it is unacceptable to refuse to tell people what is in this deal.

“It simply isn’t good enough to blame the purdah election period. The SNP signed this deal before that but kept it quiet – people deserve to know why.

“It simply isn’t acceptable that a millionaire SNP donor knows the details of this deal but the people of Scotland don’t.”

However it has emerged that, far from being secret, the agreement was actually published weeks ago by the UK HQ of one of the firms involved. In a news release, complete with pictures of the agreement being signed, SinoFortone published details of the agreement together with quotes from the First Minister. The story was published by Chinese news agency China Daily a day later, an agency UK Government officials would almost certainly have been monitoring.

The smear attempt against Nicola Sturgeon comes exactly one year after a similar media inspired attempt was made to discredit the SNP leader. On April 3rd 2015, during the UK general election, the Telegraph newspaper claimed to have obtained a leaked memo which it said showed Nicola Sturgeon wanted David Cameron to become the next Prime Minister.

The leak had come from the Scotland Office, which was headed at the time by Lib Dem MP Alistair Carmichael. Despite denying any knowledge of the leak, an investigation traced the source to an aide of the MP. Carmichael subsequently admitted having lied about the memo and acknowledged the claims about the First Minister were false.

The Chinese smear follows a troubled week for the SNP’s main rivals in the Holyrood election. Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale’s campaign has been hampered with gaffes over independence and a major U-turn involving income tax.

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14 thoughts on “Chinese smear attack launched against Sturgeon

  1. Thomas Mitchell

    Yawn……. It’s actually getting really embarrassing now…. I pray to god a unionist MP knocks on my door in the coming weeks, I’ll have the camera set up (covertly of course) then ask them a series of questions, record their Pi$h, then submit to the same unionist propaganda rags that print this nonsense, to see if they will… Aaah, who am I kidding, we know they won’t. #@$tar:$**

  2. Ronnie

    As previous it’s boring the school playground tactics used by these so called opposition parties. Sadly it opens the mind to the low level of intelligence in the parties but the tragic lack of journalism by the Great British Press. The UK press are acting like a puppy so eager to please it’s master it pisses over the floor when it see”s it’s master (Conservatives and red Tories Labour)

    SNP .. and I’m not a party member however I see no one who has Scotlands financial and social issues . Please grow up and give prose where it’s due . Congratulations SNP all of you have shown the world what civil servants should be doing . Again congrats

  3. ColinTKirk

    Ah the words “so-called” again from Reporting Scotland. “So called secret agreement”. So called by who? BBC, Oppo parties, Yoon MSM. “so called” and the wandering quotation marks around certain words on BBC website means they can recite any old tat.

  4. brian mcardle


  5. Niles

    So we won’t see details unless ALL parties agree? Imagine if this were Cameron or Osbourne doing this deal, cue the UKbad brigade in full swing.
    All this whilst SNP campaign with the Tories on the EU and implement Osbourne’s so-called austerity tax rates.
    Someone earlier mentioned SNPbad, looks like the SNPblind movement is well on show here.

    p.s I say again, swap Sturgeon & SNP for Cameron & Tories, how many reading this would defend and/or praise the whole thing then (Tip: be truly honest with yourself).

    1. Gordon Bickerton

      So, it’s ok to take Chinese money for WM new power station, and Scotlands money forvHS2, Crossrail X 2 , Boris’s sewers, but we get zilch for the new Forth Crossing.

      Nice even playing field.

      1. Niles

        Did I say it was okay? Actually, as a capitalist and a Libertarian, I think the secret deals of corporate crony capitalism stink no matter where it comes from; I am not blinkered.
        If you take your tartan spectacles off for a moment you’ll see that it was the secrecy, hidden behind a puff of ‘FOIs welcome’ smoke, and nationalist double standards I criticised.

        1. Terrence Lusardi

          Did you miss this bit?

          “However it has emerged that, far from being secret, the agreement was actually published weeks ago by the UK HQ of one of the firms involved. In a news release, complete with pictures of the agreement being signed, SinoFortone published details of the agreement together with quotes from the First Minister. The story was published by Chinese news agency China Daily a day later, an agency UK Government officials would almost certainly have been monitoring.”

          1. Niles

            No I didn’t miss a bit, I can’t read Chinese.

            A photo-op and a company release? That would satisfy you 9f this were a Tory deal? None will not contain all the ins and outs, often hidden under category of commercially sensitive material, and it’s those we need to see; it’s our children’s children’s taxes she’s comitting.

            p.s. Would that be the dodgy company that’s under investigation and whom the nationliast’s much vaunted Norwegian gov’t keep away from, or another one?
            Are you going to say ‘the company is innocent until proven guilty’? We know you wouldn’t say that if this were Cameron’s deal.

      2. Niles

        p.s Let’s say there’s nothing to hide here, why was an ‘all parties must agree to disclosure’ agreement consented to by ScotGov?
        Again, if that were the Tories you’d have ripped them a new one by now, and you know it.

        1. Elizabeth Devine

          Niles , Cameron has never been trusted here n has never had the best interests at heart for Scotland unlike Nicola . Why is anyone bothered it wasn’t a secret deal n it’s not about steel which as it happens we don’t have the ability to make some of the steel used on the new bridge in the uk even b4 the closures. She’s said we will use our own steel where we can but some must be imported she said but it won’t be the cheap inferior steel , don’t make me laugh as if the uk gov would do a secret deal for Scotland lol

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