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Salmond ‘cash grab’ poster triggers border row

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By Fiona Reid
Annan and Eskdale

A GIANT poster depicting former SNP First Minister Alex Salmond, apparently picking the pocket of an English voter, has triggered a new pre-election clash.


It appeared on advertising hoardings on a busy route into Carlisle city centre and caused raised eyebrows among politically aware Dumfriesshire commuters.

The wording on the controversial billboards reads: ‘Don’t let the SNP grab your cash,’ adding: ‘The SNP want £148 billion to support Milliband. Vote Conservative X.’

A Gretna resident, who works in Carlisle, said: “I know there’s an election on but these posters cross a line in bad taste.

“Whatever you think of Mr Salmond and his politics, he was Scotland’s democratically elected First Minister and deserves more respect.”

Two of the controversial posters were first spotted at the weekend near the Border City’s busy London Road.

They are close to Trafford Fireplaces showrooms, run by Jan Howe and her husband Peter, a former independent Westminster Parliamentary candidate.

New Zealand-born Mrs Howe said: “I was astonished at first and wondered what Scottish political posters were doing in Carlisle. It is only when I read the words I realised what was going on.”

Carlisle is one of the UK’s most marginal seats which is currently held by Conservative John Stevenson, a Scot, who is facing a strong challenge by Labour’s Lee Sheriff.

Staff at Mr Stevenson’s office revealed the posters were not put up by Conservatives locally.

But a national spokesman for the party, Gareth Parker, said: “Yes, it is one of ours, and is one of a number to have gone up around the country.”

Nationalist politicians in south west Scotland this week condemned the poster.

SNP Dumfriesshire Clydesdale and Tweeddale candidate Emma Harper said: “It is hard to know where to begin with this ill-conceived billboard. ”

Alex Salmond is not the leader of the SNP, the SNP is not planning on picking anyone’s pocket and there is no SNP candidate running in Carlisle. “This is insulting to the intelligence of the people of Carlisle and it demeans the Conservative Party.”

* Also standing in the Carlisle constituency are Alfred Okam (Independent), Fiona Mills (UKIP), Helen Davison (Green Party) and Loraine Birchall (Liberal Democrats).



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