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Political stooshie breaks out in Badenoch and Strathspey over 'racial profiling'


By Gavin Musgrove

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Lib Dem candidate Declan Gallacher said he was appalled that his wife Nikka had received this correspondence.
Lib Dem candidate Declan Gallacher said he was appalled that his wife Nikka had received this correspondence.

A political spat has broken out in Badenoch and Strathspey over claims that the SNP is 'racial profiling' voters in the ward.

Local Liberal Democrat candidate Declan Gallacher said he was appalled that his Chinese wife Jieqin Lei – known locally as Nikka – had been targeted with the correspondence directed at local residents from the EU.

Mr Gallacher has posted the correspondence signed by SNP election rivals Dave Fallows and Muriel Cockburn on social media with his thoughts and it has created a stooshie.

The Lib Dem man had tweeted: "To racially profile people in our community - and get it so wrong - is wholly unacceptable. Really grim that my fellow candidates have sent this out."

Declan Gallacher (right) on the Highland Council election trail in the strath.
Declan Gallacher (right) on the Highland Council election trail in the strath.

He later told the Strathy: "I find it highly distasteful that the SNP are profiling people within our communities in an attempt to win votes. It's a really questionable use of data.

"It is also amateurish: my wife is Chinese, not European as they proclaim; and they can't get the date correct at the top of the letter.

"I'm appalled that my wife received this letter from the SNP and disappointed that Muriel and Dave would attach their names to it.

"An apology from the two of them would be most welcome.

"It's simultaneously grim, ominous and patronising that they would target people in this manner. The people of Badenoch and Strathspey deserve better."

However, the SNP candidates have said the SNP is simply an inclusive party and wished to reach out to all the local electorate to make sure they used their vote on May 5.

Mr Fallows and Mrs Cockburn said in a joint statement: "Declan’s naivety is surprising. We are an inclusive party who wish to ensure that everyone has the information to allow them to participate fully in the democratic process.

"We in the SNP represent the clear majority in Scotland who wished to remain in Europe.

"The voters roll marks all individuals of whatever nationality who are ‘European citizens’.

"We simply wish to demonstrate that all such are valued and welcome in our country by having the courtesy to write.

"The use of deliberately distasteful words like ‘profiling’, ‘grim’, ‘ominous’ and ‘patronising’ is, frankly, pathetic and we make no apology for extending the hand of friendship."


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