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Scottish election: Iain Gray targeted by protesters


Scottish Labour was forced to cancel an election campaign event at a Glasgow train station, after it was hijacked by rowdy protesters.

Party leader Iain Gray arrived at Central Station to highlight his commitment to the city's airport rail link.

But the event was cut short as he was greeted by people protesting against cuts, ahead of the 5 May election.

The other parties have focussed on health, policing and green issues.

Labour has promised to reinstate the Glasgow Airport Rail Link, if re-elected, after the project was cancelled by the SNP.

But Mr Gray's media event on Thursday was disrupted by protesters from Citizens United Against Public Sector Cuts.

Sean Clerkin, spokesman for the protesters, said he wanted to secure a commitment that cuts would not be passed on if Mr Gray became first minister.

Mr Clerkin said: "Nine of us went there this morning to ambush Iain Gray to talk to him about massive cuts that are being implemented.

"He ran away into a cafe and I chased him - we only wanted to talk to him. We don't want Labour to just manage the cuts."

The group followed the Labour leader and his entourage out of the station and into a nearby Subway sandwich shop.

After the protest, Mr Gray continued his campaign in the city centre, dismissing the interruption.

He told BBC Scotland: "I've worked before for two years in a civil war. I've been in Rwanda just after the genocide.

"I've walked the killing fields of Cambodia and I was in Chile three days after Pinochet demitted office. I've been a lot of places, seen a lot of things - that certainly wasn't the worst of them."

image captionSean Clerkin confronted Annabel Goldie and David McLetchie in Edinburgh last month

And returning to the theme of railway station visit, Mr Gray said that if he were first minister he would reinstate the Glasgow Airport rail link as part of a plan to stimulate growth and "get Scotland working again".

The protesters have already targeted the Liberal Democrats and Scottish Conservatives, and say they intend to meet next week to discuss taking their campaign to the SNP.

During a photo call in Edinburgh last month Mr Clerkin confronted current Scottish Tory leader Annabel Goldie and former Scots Tory leader David McLetchie.

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