SNP under pressure to introduce indyref code of conduct after vile Perth protests

BBC Journalist James Cook is called a 'scumbag' in Perth

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BBC Scotland Editor James Cook was earlier this week accosted by pro-referendum protesters who have since been accused of acting in a “disgraceful” manner. Abuse was hurled at Mr Cook, including the words “liar”, “scum” and “traitor”.

Others were pelted with eggs and spat on.

Nicola Sturgeon’s party is now being pressured into creating an activist code of conduct.

A report is now being drawn up by groups making up the ‘Yes’ movement and SNP President Michael Russell, according to the Scottish Daily Express.

The paper reported that a motion is being considered for the SNP conference in October that calls for the proper establishment of such a code.

This, it said, would be “built on the principles of freedom, tolerance, equality, the protection of individual and community rights and the rejection of prejudice and discrimination in any form”.

After Mr Cook was verbally abused, the First Minister criticised protesters for their conduct.

She wrote in a post on Twitter: “Hurling abuse at journalists is never acceptable.

“Their job is vital to our democracy and it is to report and scrutinise, not support any viewpoint.

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“James Cook is a journalist of the highest quality and a total pro.

“The behaviour he was subjected to last night was disgraceful.”

Some were quick to argue that the abuse was a result of a political atmosphere for which Ms Sturgeon was largely responsible.

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Journalist Chris Musson noted that it “would help if (some) elected members did not fuel the abuse”.

The SNP leader has not commented on proposals for a new code of conduct.

Toni Giugliano, the party’s Policy Development Convener has, however, expressed approval for the plan.

He told the National: “I think that the events that unfolded in Perth shows that there is a need for a code of conduct.

“Ultimately, we need to send a really strong message to our opponents, to our supporters and to the country that we take a 0 per cent tolerance stance on this behaviour, and we take it seriously.

“I would urge SNP groups to consider carefully who they are associating themselves with locally.”

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