Glasgow pub cancels Alex Salmond event over concerns it was ‘political’

A West End pub cancelled an Alex Salmond event over concerns it was “political” amid a councillor complaint that the music venue was hosting the “transphobia obsessed” Alba Party.

The Record Factory was due to host the wee Alba book Roadshow Summer of Independence event on Saturday with former First Minister Mr Salmond. But now the party has been forced to find a different location.

It comes after Glasgow Green councillor Blair Anderson expressed “disappointment” that The Record Factory was “welcoming the business of a party obsessed with transphobia”.

Reacting to the politician’s comments the Alba Party said it would take legal advice and said theStandards Commission will be required to investigate”.

Alex Salmond, leader of Alba.

It is understood the event is now due to take place at the Grosvenor Hotel, which Councillor Anderson has also written to expressing concern.

Commenting on no longer holding the event, The Record Factory owner Paul McJimpsey said: “We made the decision not to host event, simply because we don’t want to be seen as supporters of any party. This is purely what the decision was based on.”

He said a team member booked the event on Friday thinking it “was a book launch, not a political rally event”.

He added: “Once we established it was a political event the organiser was contacted on Saturday afternoon to inform her that it’s not a type of event we would host ( for any political party).”

Mr McJimpsey said the decision was “not based on any posts from the Green Party or any other third party” and “was made purely on the fact that being seen as supporting any political party will just upset others outwith that party”.

Before the cancellation, Councillor Anderson said he would write to The Record Factory “to state my disappointment that they are welcoming the business of a party obsessed with transphobia.”

Councillor Anderson said: “I’m using my free speech to let the venue know people would be disappointed.

“I have a duty of care to my trans and queer constituents who might be going out for a drink on Saturday night.”

Pointing out the Record Factory is in his ward, the Partick East/Kelvindale politician said he is not trying “to cancel Alba” but wants venues to know people would be disappointed if they are not “taking social responsibility seriously”.

Following his questioning of the location of the Alba event, Councillor Blair, 24, said he was subjected to homophobic abuse from Twitter users who also made ageist comments.

The Alba Party is opposed to the Scottish Government’s proposed reforms to the Gender Recognition Act, which would allow trans people to legally change their own gender without requiring a medical diagnosis.

Chris McEleny, General Secretary of Alba Party said they have “held events promoting Scottish independence in halls in towns and cities across Scotland”.

He said: “It is bitterly disappointing that a Scottish Green Party Councillor has attempted to hinder the independence campaign.”

Mr McEleny added: “The party are taking legal advice on the matter, however it is very concerning that the councillor appears to have attempted to exert pressure on a licensed premises to influence its operation, outwith the proper Quasi-Judicial process.”

He said it “is a matter that the Standards Commission will be required to investigate so it would not be appropriate to comment further”.

He continued: “However, Alba Party will not be bullied into silence. We will continue to make the case for independence even if the Green Party try to stop us and we will continue to support the right of women to have their voices heard in opposition to the Scottish Government’s proposed reforms to the Gender Recognition Act.”