Anyone who will be voting ‘No’ in the Independence referendum is a “second class Scot”, according to a Montrose councillor.
SNP councillor Bill Duff has come under fire after debate sparked on Twitter about the Independence referendum, during which Mr Duff said anyone voting against Scottish independence is a “second class Scot” while in conversation on the social media site with political blogger Kevin Hague (@kevverage), from Edinburgh.
The tweet in question now appears to have been deleted.
Mr Duff told the Review he stands by what he said and that Scots who vote to stay as part of the United Kingdom on September 18 are taking the “second class option”.
Mr Duff tweeted: “The choice is do you want to be first class Scot running [your] own country or second class one that lets someone else?”
Mr Hague replied: “So you’re calling me a second class scot?”
“If you want someone else to run your company (country)? Yes,” responded Mr Duff.
Mr Duff told the Review: “In Scotland we are being offered the chance to run our own country. In my opinion that is the first class option.
“If we vote no then we are saying we want someone else to run our country. That has got to be the second class option.
“If people are happy to vote no then they saying they are happy to be second class Scots.
“If people are offended by it then so be it.”
He added: “You wouldn’t give your money to your neighbour and ask them to run things for you, you’d want to do it for yourself.”
The tweet has caused controversy with a number of politicians calling for Mr Duff to revoke his comment.
Montrose Liberal Democrat councillor David May said: “This is appalling. It is very disappointing to read this tweet that all No voters are being called second class citizens. The tweeter should apologise for this comment to all No voters.
“As Scots we should be able to disagree with each other and our differences should be conducted in a much more civilised manner.”
Derek Wann, Westminster prospective parliamentary candidate for Angus for the Scottish Conservatives, said: “This is becoming more and more common from the Yes and SNP camp and we see it daily on the news, however this has come from an elected SNP councillor in Angus which makes it even more worrying.
“This goes against the spirit of the whole campaign and discourages people from expressing their views. It is an absolute disgrace that Mr Duff has said this, especially on social media and surely in this democratic country we all have the right to our opinion’s without an elected representative calling us second class scots.
“Mr Duff was elected to represent all in his constituency and with what the polls indicate the majority of Scots are No voters, he now believes them to be second class to him.
“I would ask that he withdraws his remarks immediately.”