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Conservatives met with protesters shouting ‘Tory scum’ at Perth hustings

Conservatives met with protesters shouting ‘Tory scum’ at Perth hustings
One Conservative MP claimed ‘eggs were being thrown’ and there was ‘spitting on pensioners’.

A large crowd of protesters gathered outside the Tory leadership hustings in Perth shouting “Tory scum” and “Tories out”.

People demonstrating outside the city’s Concert Hall were seen pushing through barriers and shouting at the attendees before the event started at 7pm on Tuesday.

Police officers were pictured managing the crowds, with people carrying placards saying “Tory scum go away”, “refugees welcome” and “No ifs no buts no Tory cuts”.

Protesters gather outside Perth Concert Hall (Jane Barlow/PA)
Protesters gather outside Perth Concert Hall (Jane Barlow/PA)

A large banner covered one of the barriers which read “Scottish Not British”, with another next to it saying “It’s time for independence”.

Conservative MP for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine Andrew Bowie claimed “eggs were being thrown” and that there was “spitting at pensioners.”

He tweeted: “The good old ‘tory scum’ banner out…Good to see Nicola Sturgeon’s civic and joyous nationalism in action in Perth tonight.”

In response to his tweet, SNP MP for Glasgow East David Linden said: “These morons don’t speak for me or my party.

“We condemn their behaviour utterly and without equivocation.

“If anyone of them is found to be an SNP member, then they should be chucked out immediately.

“It’s as simple as that.”

Tory leadership contenders Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak both promised greater scrutiny of the Scottish Government ahead of the hustings.

Earlier, Mr Sunak was asked if he would ignore the SNP leader, to which he replied: “No, I don’t want to ignore Nicola Sturgeon, I want to take her on and beat her.

“I think we can make a very strong case for what the UK Government does to help people in Scotland and as chancellor I started that.”

His comments come after his rival Ms Truss claimed she would ignore Ms Sturgeon if she wins the Tory leadership contest, and branded the First Minister an “attention seeker”.

Police Scotland confirmed it was aware of a demonstration outside an event in Perth on Tuesday.

The force said there were no reports of injuries, and any reports of criminality will be investigated thoroughly.

A spokesperson for the force said: “An appropriate policing plan was in place to maintain public safety and minimise disruption

“Police Scotland is a rights-based organisation that puts our values of integrity, fairness, respect and a commitment to upholding human rights at the heart of everything we do.

“We have a duty under the European Convention on Human Rights to protect the rights of people who wish to peacefully protest or counter protest balanced against the rights of the wider community.”