Salmond denies going "mental" at MP in gay rights row

Published: 18 Aug 2011 09:30

First Minister Alex Salmond denies claims from Dunfermline MP Thomas Docherty that he went "absolutely mental" at him during a visit to a local school.

Share this image

FIRST Minister Alex Salmond has hit back at allegations that he went "absolutely mental" during a visit to Dunfermline when put on the spot by the local MP about the gay marriage controversy.

The Press broke the story on-line about the bust-up between Mr Salmond and Dunfermline Labour MP Thomas Docherty, who asked the First Minister to condemn the "despicable and disgusting comments" of SNP MSP Bill Walker about same-sex couples.

There was another twist today (Friday) when Mr Salmond's special adviser contacted the Press saying the First Minister hotly disputed the claim that he lost his temper with Mr Docherty.

In fact the claim from Rosyth SNP councillor Douglas Chapman is that Mr Salmond was "the model of restraint" in the face of "juvenile", "crass" and aggressive" behaviour from Mr Docherty.

The incident happened in a private room well away from children, teachers and the gaze of the media covering the visit to the newly opened Carnegie Primary School.

Mr Salmond's special adviser released a statement from Councillor Douglas Chapman, chair of Fife education committee, who was in the same room as Mr Salmond and Mr Docherty during their exchange.

Mr Chapman said, "Any suggestion that Mr Salmond lost his temper is absolutely incorrect.

"I was in the room along with guests and senior council officers and nothing untoward happened, other than Mr Docherty's approach was totally inappropriate given that the focus of the visit was making children feel really proud of their new school.

"In fact, most people in the room were unaware of any supposed incident and Mr Docherty and his press office are guilty of pure fiction. If anything, it was Mr Docherty's inappropriate approach to Mr Salmond that was aggressive and the First Minister's response was a model of restraint.

"Mr Docherty's childish behaviour was questionable in raising a political issue at the opening of a new school, which was a day for the proud pupils, parents and teachers.

" Mr Docherty then left - presumably to prepare his fantasy press release - and didn't even have the good grace to stay to share the day with the children.

"These actions will be seen by many of his constituents as being not only juvenile and inappropriate but wholly crass and opportunistic."

Mr Docherty said, "If Douglas Chapman's happy putting his name to this statement for Mr Salmond that's fair enough but he was in the room and he knows what really happened."

Mr Salmond's refusal to condemn his party colleague's remarks has brought fresh criticism from a students' gay rights group.

Nathan Sparling, NUS Scotland LGBT Officer and a resident of Dunfermline said, "It is inexcusable for the First Minister to have refused to condemn Bill Walker's statements.

"The SNP should distance themselves from anyone who is trying to deny the LGBT community full equality, never mind comparing them to the Nazi's.

" Bill Walker has used his own personal views in these comments and is not fully representing his constituents, and I hope not representing the views of the SNP. Alex Salmond should join those of his colleagues that have condemned these types of views in recent weeks."

Jump to first paragraph.

Get more stories from our Roundup section

23 Apr 2014 16:00

Don't miss tomorrow's 104-page Press!

YOU cannot afford to miss tomorrow's bumper 104-page Press.

Social:

23 Apr 2014 14:30 • Ross Hart

Kelty army veteran Lee aims for Rio after Sochi trip

A KELTY army veteran is aiming for the Paralympics in Rio after enjoying a "trip of a lifetime" to Sochi.

Social: Comments0 comments

23 Apr 2014 14:30

M90 roadworks at Dunfermline start on Sunday

ROADWORKS costing £235,000 will start on Sunday at junction 2A of the M90 at Dunfermline.

Social: Comments0 comments

23 Apr 2014 11:00

International bronze for fencer Mark

WEST FIFE fencer Mark Alvarez-Peres secured a remarkable bronze medal at his very first international tournament recently.

Social: Comments0 comments

23 Apr 2014 09:30 • Gary Fitzpatrick

Twin Atlantic's high hopes for new album

Twin Atlantic singer Sam McTrusty on their new album whose release date was confirmed today.

Social:

21 Apr 2014 15:00 • Stuart Findlay

Breaking: Man detained in connection with death of Kelty toddler

A MAN has been detained in connection with the "suspicious" death of a two-year-old girl in Kelty last night.

Social:

21 Apr 2014 13:35

Breaking: Road disruption in Dunfermline over next two Sundays

Dunfermline’s Glen Bridge will be reduced to a single traffic lane over the next two Sundays due to maintenance inspections.

Social: Comments0 comments

21 Apr 2014 12:35 • Stuart Findlay

Updated: Two-year-old girl in Kelty 'suspicious' death named

THE two-year-old girl who died in Kelty last night has been named locally as Madison Horne.

Social:

21 Apr 2014 07:00 • Gary Fitzpatrick

Fife's top cop upbeat on single force's first year

FIFE’S top cop has given an upbeat assessment on the first year of Scotland’s unitary police force.

Social: Comments1 comment

20 Apr 2014 11:00

Great Scott: Hynd celebrates Auld Enemy leveller

DUNFERMLINE'S Scott Hynd scored the biggest goal of his fledgling football career last week and he is out to repeat the feat as Scotland's under-18 schoolboys continue their quest for silverware.

Social: Comments0 comments

20 Apr 2014 07:00 • Siew Peng Lee

Dad Lee's fairy costume does the trick for fund-raising kids!

IF you were on the Forth Road Bridge last week, no, your eyes didn’t deceive you – that really was a fairy on the bridge!

Social: Comments0 comments

19 Apr 2014 07:00

Fife could be £1.3million short over bedroom tax help

DUNFERMLINE’S Labour MSP Cara Hilton has claimed a party victory over the ‘bedroom tax’ – but Fife Council’s leader says the local authority could be £1.3million short to offset the impact.

Social: Comments6 comments

18 Apr 2014 13:30

New figures show crashes on Fife's roads fall to record low

CRASHES on Fife’s roads where someone was injured fell to a record low last year, according to new figures which will be reported to Fife Council’s safer communities committee next week.

Social: Comments0 comments

17 Apr 2014 16:45

China on my mind

KIERAN STEER achieved one of his goals for 2014 by winning his first Scottish BC4 singles title in Stirling.

Social: Comments0 comments

17 Apr 2014 16:30

Press dog fouling campaign: 'If we all do our bit we can clean up Fife'

FIFE COUNCIL has been upping the fight against irresponsible dog owners.

Social: Comments7 comments

17 Apr 2014 16:15

Fife Council takes delivery of nine new 'quieter' bin lorries

BIN lorries are getting quieter according to Fife Council, who have taken delivery of nine new bin lorries.

Social: Comments1 comment

17 Apr 2014 15:30

Join our blitz on dog dirt as Press launches Bag It and Bin It campaign

WE KNOW you’re sick of it and we’re sick of it too: the thoughtless pet owners who insist on treating our streets and parks like a toilet. That’s why this week the Press is joining forces with Fife Council to launch our ‘Bag It and Bin It’ campaign to tackle this vile nuisance head-on.

Social: Comments2 comments

17 Apr 2014 13:55

Breaking: Convicted wife-beater and former Dunfermline MSP Bill Walker loses appeal

Dunfermline's former MSP Bill Walker, jailed last year for domestic abuse, has had a bid to overturn convictions.

Social: Comments2 comments

17 Apr 2014 10:30 • Gary Fitzpatrick

'Make Your Mark' kicks off tonight

There's a great prize up for grabs as the 'Make Your Mark' competition starts in Dunfermline tonight.

Social:

17 Apr 2014 09:35 • Gary Fitzpatrick

LostAlone rock up to Scotland

LostAlone come north following the release of their new album last week. See their new video here.

Social: