Row erupts over Argyll and Bute radio broadcast

Conservative candidate Alastair Redman and his Labour opponent Mary Galbraith.
Conservative candidate Alastair Redman and his Labour opponent Mary Galbraith.

Labour’s Argyll and Bute election candidate has accused her Conservative opponent of lying about her during a UK-wide live radio broadcast this week.

Mary Galbraith reacted furiously to a suggestion by Alastair Redman, made during the BBC 5 Live Breakfast show on Tuesday, that she lived in Brussels and had worked at the European Parliament.

Mr Redman soon conceded to presenter Nicky Campbell that his statement had been “a factual error, perhaps”, but Mrs Galbraith, who was brought up in Kintyre and now works as a change management consultant and lives in Bishopton in Renfrewshire, has refused to let the matter rest there.

She has now informed all newspapers and other media outlets in Argyll and Bute that she has written to the Conservatives demanding a formal apology.

“For the record,” she says, “I’ve lived in Scotland all my life, bar three years in Germany and England in the 1980s.

“I’ve never lived in Brussels, or any other part of Belgium. Furthermore, I do not work in the European Parliament, and never have done. I’ve never even set foot in the place.

“I don’t know why the Conservative candidate chose to utter lies about me live on national radio. Only he can tell us.

“Perhaps he wanted to suggest I was remote from Argyll and Bute, which is wrong. Or maybe he wanted people to believe that I’m in the pay of the Labour Party, or a ‘career politician’, both also completely untrue.”

We’ve asked Mr Redman to respond to Mrs Galbraith’s points and will publish his reply here when we receive it.

Tuesday’s edition of 5 Live Breakfast was broadcast live from Helensburgh Sailing Club as part of a tour of some of the UK’s most marginal constituencies, with Argyll and Bute viewed - in some quarters, if not all - as a four-way marginal, due to the relatively closely-matched performances of the four main parties at the 2010 Westminster election.

To listen to the segment of 5 Live Breakfast from Tuesday featuring Argyll and Bute’s candidates, click here and start listening at the 2hr 20min mark.

All five candidates will gather to Bute this Sunday, April 19, for The Buteman’s general election hustings: the meeting, at Rothesay Pavilion, starts at 2pm and will be independently chaired by Rothesay resident Dan Edgar, a former senior officer with Strathclyde Police.

Admission to Sunday’s meeting is free and there’s no need to submit questions in advance.