Glasgow MSPs - including Nicola Sturgeon and Patrick Harvie - condemn abuse outside Tory hustings

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Glasgow MSPs, including First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Green co-leader Patrick Harvie, have condemned the abuse of journalists at the Tory hustings in Perth.

A video showing BBC Scotland editor James Cook being targeted with abuse while attempting to talk to the protesters has emerged online.

He was called a ‘liar’, ‘scumbag rat’ and a ‘traitor’ in the short clip.

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Protesters gathered outside the Perth Concert Hall on Tuesday evening, as Tory leader candidates Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak spoke at a hustings event.

Ms Sturgeon described the abuse Mr Cook suffered as ‘disgraceful’.

Protesters outside the Tory hustings in Perth.Protesters outside the Tory hustings in Perth.
Protesters outside the Tory hustings in Perth.

She posted on social media: “Hurling abuse at journalists is never acceptable. Their job is vital to our democracy & it is to report & scrutinise, not support any viewpoint.

“@BBCJamesCook is a journalist of the highest quality and a total pro - the behaviour he was subjected to last night was disgraceful.”

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Glasgow MSP and Green party co-leader Patrick Harvie said the behaviour was ‘indefensible’.

He said: “It’s sad that this still needs saying. Protest is often necessary, but it must be peaceful. The targeting of journalists for abuse is utterly indefensible.

“And those of us who want the independence cause to be taken seriously and to win, have a responsibility to call this out.”

As well as journalists being subject to abuse, there were reports of Tory members having eggs thrown at them and being spat on.

There were a mix of protesters outside the hustings, with banners and placards featuring Black Lives Matter, pro-independence, and anti-Tory comments.

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