Settler Watch founder was among hecklers at Jim Murphy’s Montrose rally

The founder of a group accused of a campaign of harassment against English incomers is among a Tayside band of hardline Yes supporters.

Bruce Ogilvie from Montrose admits he helped set up Settler Watch in the 1990s.

But he said it was others who “jumped on” the organisation, which allegedly intimidated families who moved to Scotland through verbal attacks, anti-English leaflets and graffiti.

The father-of-three turned up to heckle Labour MP Jim Murphy in Montrose High Street on Wednesday afternoon.

Now part of nationalist protest group Siol nan Gaidheal (Seed of the Gaels), Mr Ogilvie claimed members of the No campaign were not free of blame in the scene of foul-mouthed verbal abuse that unfolded.

He said: “There were things getting said to us. It was the usual threats we have been getting from the No campaign, there have been two or three of them that have been very aggressive towards us.”

Mr Ogilvie said he and other members of Siol nan Gaidheal will continue to heckle Jim Murphy “anywhere he goes”.

“If you are not there heckling then he gets away with spouting all his lies.

“He would not even look at us because he knows what the questions are going to be and he can’t answer them.

“My group is not SNP. We were set up in 1980 and we are not party political, we are a protest group and we don’t take orders from anybody.

“We are basically a cultural group that is passionate about Scotland.”

Alex Johnstone MSP, who introduced Mr Murphy at the Montrose street debate, said: “What should have been an opportunity for voters to hear the positive arguments for staying in the Union, quickly descended into an absolute fracas at the hands of a small number of individuals.

“Let’s put this into perspective this was not just heckling from people putting an alternative view forward, it was clearly designed to drown out the speaker.

“What does it say to school pupils who may be preparing to vote for the first time, when they are confronted by this kind of hecklers’ circus?

“It was actually so bad one Yes supporter was trying to stop the behaviour of the others, but to no avail.”

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