Labour’s First Ministerial hopeful and chief of their Holyrood clique, Iain Gray appeared to have 'run away' from Alex Salmond in an Ardrossan's Asda store on Tuesday evening.
Alex arrived for a prearranged photoshoot and to meet staff as part of his election campaign, while Iain, being early for his meeting with invited guests at the Ardrossan Civic Centre, decided to pop in and use the loo.
Cunninghame North SNP candidate Kennneth Gibson later said that when Gray saw Salmond "he scurried off", adding, "It's quite a contrast; the First Minister meets the public in a relaxed, open fashion and Mr Gray holds a closed meeting by invitation only, whereby attendees have to confirm their attendance in advance. Iain Gray turned tail just like he ran away from the Glasgow grannies at Central Station.”
Labour’s spin machine went into overdrive, even as Alex was still spending his 40 minutes in the Asda, so determined where they to make sure Iain did not look like the total pillock he did when he ran out of Central Station.
They instantly claimed that Mr Gray’s campaign team had stopped at an Asda branch in Ardrossan when they realized the First Minister was holding a photo shoot in the store and not so that Iain could spend a penny. However this was contradicted by Labour candidate Allan Wilson who said: "When Iain Gray and his aides walked in to the supermarket, a terrified SNP press offer ran up to ask them what they were doing and followed them to the toilet.”
Allan, if you stopped to debate with Alex in the few minutes before your Civic Centre meeting why did the SNP aide follow Iain to the toilet? Was that so that Iain could put on his make up? Or was it so Iain could use the facilities?
Mr Gray later said: "If I’d have known Alex Salmond was there, I’d have gone up and asked him why he is hiding his date for an independence referendum. Sadly he was kept well hidden until I’d left." Video footage released (see first paragraph) shows Mr Gray leaving the store as an onlooker asks him: "Are you not going to hang about?"
SNP Campaign manager Angus Robertson said: “This footage makes an absolute mockery of the claims in a Labour press release issued this morning and raises serious questions about the negativity, dirty tricks and misinformation at the heart of Labour’s 're-launched' campaign.”
Pics: Once again thanks to Holyrood Horrors for the pic (which I took without permission); and Eck popping down to get some curries for the campaign team...at ASDA price!! and clearly hiding from Iain Gray behind a shopping trolly.