Row after SNP uses woman in Scout uniform in party political broadcast

An SNP party political broadcast has come under fire and been reported to the charity regulator for including a woman wearing a full Scout uniform.

Tuesday, 13th October 2020, 4:45 pm
A screenshot of the party political broadcast including a woman in full Scout uniform
A screenshot of the party political broadcast including a woman in full Scout uniform

In the video which was aired yesterday, a woman named Helene is pictured wearing a full Scouts uniform and speaks about her decision for backing the SNP and independence at the next election.

She states: “For my children, I feel that an independent Scotland is going to offer them the opportunity to be part of something bigger.”

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However Scouts Scotland scolded the party for breaking the charity’s rules which state that those wearing uniforms should not endorse any political party or candidate.

The Scottish Conservatives responded to the controversy by saying that the SNP had “questions to answer” about the issue.

The SNP responded by highlighting the chief scout Bear Grylls’ appearance at the Tory party conference in 2017, which was criticised at the time by Labour but defended by the Scouts due to the fact he had not endorsed any political party.

Scottish Conservative chief whip Miles Briggs said the SNP had attempted to “blatantly” misrepresent the Scouts.

He said: “The SNP have questions to answer about how they let this happen.

“They’ve been caught out blatantly trying to misrepresent the Scouts and drag them into politics.

“This must be investigated further and the SNP need to apologise for misleading the public.”

An SNP spokesman responded: “The Chief Scout appeared on stage at Tory party conference in his full uniform in 2017, so we’re somewhat surprised by these comments.

“It is also disappointing to read this media statement today given we engaged with Scouts Scotland several months ago when this broadcast was first on TV.”

A spokeswoman for the Scouts added: "The Scout Association is not connected with any political body and has rules which state that members when in uniform or when representing the Scouts must not endorse any political party or candidate.

"We have spoken to the SNP, reported the situation to OSCR (the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator) and the issue has been investigated at a local level through our complaints procedure.”

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