Scottish Labour accuses Alex Salmond of ‘fake news’ over independence referendum claim

Posted On: 
19th March 2017

Scottish Labour has accused Alex Salmond of trying to “rewrite history” after the former SNP leader denied saying the first independence referendum was a "once in a lifetime" opportunity.

Alex Salmond was Scottish first minister during the first independence referendum
PA Images

Ian Murray said the former first minister had copied from Donald Trump’s “'fake news’ playbook” by claiming he had been incorrectly quoted from a 2014 interview prior to the first vote.

Appearing on Radio 5Live's Pienaar's Politics' this morning, Mr Salmond argued: "The phrase was not once in a lifetime, it was the opportunity of a lifetime, I said it on the Andrew Marr show, it’s just one of these collective myths that evolve."

However, a video of that interview shows that Mr Salmond said: "In my view this is a once in a generation - perhaps even a once in a lifetime - opportunity."

In a statement Mr Murray, Scottish Labour’s Westminster spokesperson, said: “Alex Salmond is trying to rewrite history. This comes straight from his old friend Donald Trump’s ‘fake news’ playbook.

“We already know the SNP is perfectly happy to break the vow to the people of Scotland that the 2014 result would stand for a generation.

“But it’s another thing entirely for Mr Salmond to claim he did not actually make this cast-iron promise to voters.

“The people of Scotland will see through this latest bluster from a man who walked into the poorest communities in Scotland and sold them a lie about the economic case for independence."

Nicola Sturgeon this week called for a fresh vote on Scottish independence between autumn 2018 and spring 2019 as Scots prepare to be taken out of the EU against their will.

But Theresa May rejected a second referendum before the UK has quit the European Union.