Cross-party politicians have condemned a “bizarre and dangerous” anti-vax sticker campaign in Perth.
Official-looking notices which promote Covid conspiracy theories have appeared in streets and parks around the city centre.
One sticker, slapped onto the side of a bin in Tay Street, is a mock-up of a formal NHS Covid slogan but features the words: “Live life, ditch the mask, choose love”.
Another post states “It’s not about health. It’s about control,” beside an image of a syringe.
The stickers have been found throughout the city and appear to follow a trail that stretches from the South Inch, along Tay Street and across the North Inch.
It is not the first time a sticker campaign has caused outrage in Perth. In December 2019, local groups condemned the appearance of posters declaring “It’s Okay to be White” on lamp-posts and drainpipes.
City centre councillor Chris Aherne said he was left “disturbed” by the anti-vax posts, which are thought to have appeared at the weekend.
“Whilst I understand that there will always be some people that have an opposing view of nearly every subject, I cannot understand these claims these people have made under the current pandemic.
“To push these messages that have absolutely no basis in truth is quite frankly bizarre and dangerous. We all know when restrictions have been lifted, numbers of people contracting Covid went up and we went back into further restrictions.”
The Conservative councillor added: “It is not just about meeting other people, it is about opening up business and getting the country back up and running.
“To put out posters that play down the amount of the population that have died of Covid and that there is an intention to have ‘total control’ is dangerous and misleading.”
Mr Aherne said: “Conspiracy theorists spring up all the time and have no basis in truth. This is a worldwide pandemic and is not down the UK government. I urge everyone to ignore these bonkers advertisements and to get the vaccination when offered it.”
SNP councillor Eric Drysdale, who chairs the Perth and Kinross Integration Joint Board, added: “These stickers are grossly irresponsible.
“It beggars belief that, with over 125,000 deaths in a year and hundreds of thousands having been hospitalised many of whom are going to unfortunately suffer from long Covid in the UK alone, that a tiny minority of seriously misguided people are trying to influence others to refuse the vaccine. It’s truly appalling.”
He said: “I would strongly urge everyone eligible and not already vaccinated to please accept their vaccine appointment, in line with Public Health advice, in the coming days and weeks.”