Police are investigating complaints of a disturbance in the centre of St Andrews just minutes before the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was due to arrive for a walkabout.
Shoppers, students and SNP supporters who were gathered in Church Square awaiting Ms Sturgeon’s arrival were shocked when empty beer cans were thrown from the window of a flat at the junction of South Street and Church Square, above the Trespass shop.
A male leaning out of the flat’s upper window was heard screaming Rule Brittania at the crowds gathered below before police were called at 2.24pm.
The First Minister’s visit passed off peacefully minutes later.
Police later took statements from witnesses. A Police Scotland spokesman told The Courier: ”Police did respond to reports of a disturbance following reports of a male shouting abuse and of objects being thrown from a window. No one has been charged or detained, but inquiries are continuing.”
Ms Sturgeon, who visited the top of Dundee Law earlier in the day, was on a ‘helicopter tour’ of key target seats.
According to the recent Ashcroft poll, the SNP are on the brink of taking the North East Fife constituency from the Liberal Democrats – a prediction which has not surprisingly been disputed by the other candidates and is not being taken as a certainty by the SNP.
The previously safe Lib Dem seat has been held for 28 years by retiring MP Sir Menzies Campbell.
Ms Sturgeon’s helicopter landed on the Madras College playing fields at Station Park around 2.30pm before she was driven up to Church Square where she met dozens of activists and shoppers there and on nearby South Street.
She was accompanied by North East Fife SNP general election candidate Stephen Gethins.
Treated more like a pop star than a politician, she could barely get moving at times due to the number of people wanting to take “selfies” with her, but she was happy to oblige.
She also posed with a statue of one of St Andrews’ most famous former residents – the late cat Hamish McHamish – before speaking to shoppers on South Street and popping into businesses including The Old Cheese Shop of St Andrews, Bradburne & Co chartered surveyors and estate agents and the local Cancer Research shop.
Not everyone was impressed with her visit though.
One elderly lady with a walking frame asked what was going on, and when The Courier explained, the lady shrugged and said she’d “never heard of other”.
Ms Sturgeon also stopped to shake the hands of a smiling St Andrews University student. When Ms Sturgeon walked away, the student asked a bystander: ”Who was that?”
Ms Sturgeon was also given a hard time by another man who wanted answers to various fiscal questions.
Ms Sturgeon replied: “Every single year for most of my life Scotland has actually generated higher taxes per head of population than the UK has. We’re not subsidised. This election is not about whether Scotland should be independent it’s about how we actually work with people across England to get better decisions taken at Westminster.
“We’re not asking people to vote for independence at this election. People had that chance last September. If we ever have another chance that will be decided by the Scottish people.”
Ms Sturgeon also called for “big investment” in affordable housing – a particularly sensitive issue in many parts of North East Fife where there is a huge shortage.
She said: ”We in the Scottish Government think there needs to be a target across the UK of new affordable housing of 100,000 per year to meet the challenge for housing. We’ve reinstated council house building, we’ve abolished the right to buy. We’ve done a fair amount.”