Indy debate is in limbo

A high profile referendum debate planned for Cumbernauld Theatre is in chaos, with no politician from the ‘No’ campaign agreeing to appear.

The 270-ticket event on August 11 will feature former socialist MSP Tommy Sheridan, arguing the case for Scottish independence, but organiser Liam Stevenson says he’s furious local Labour MSP Gregg McClymont, pictured, has refused to attend.

Mr McClymont’s office has said he never gave any assurance he would appear, and at time of going to press none of the other pro-Union parties had volunteered one of their politicians to fill the breach.

Mr Stevenson, of Kildrum, argues he has done everything reasonable to ensure a fair debate, and says he is dismayed at the Labour MSP’s decision to “cancel”, as he sees it.

However Labour insiders have made it clear they are unhappy with the way the event has been organised.

Meanwhile the MP is said to have a busy diary, which includes visits in which he’ll reassert the case for the Union.

Mr Stevenson says he originally organised the event because nothing comparable appeared to be taking place in the area.

“Everyone is talking about this issue and there is a real buzz about it – which is why I wanted to a fair and open debate to take place,” he said.

Cumbernauld Theatre is still advertising the event as going ahead, with Mr Sheridan on the platform debating “with others”.

Meanwhile a debate staged recently in Dunfermline – where Mr Sheridan was one of four platform speakers – was slammed by Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie.

He said he had been shouted down by “a 200-strong crowd, packed out with members of the SNP, socialists and other supporters of independence.”

YouTube footage confirms the event was marred by rowdy scenes.