There are calls for the Labour candidate for Rutherglen and Hamilton West to make a statement after a newspaper named him as the source of a leak that threatened the security of the Royal Family.
The Sun newspaper is reporting that Tom Greatrex, a former aide to Jim Murphy, was the mole who leaked confidential correspondence between the Scottish government and the Home Office. The correspondence was in regard to security arrangements around the Balmoral estate – in particular the inclusion of public footpaths on a map.
The SNP’s Environment Minister Roseanna Cunningham had originally been minded to include the paths but had consulted the Home Office over the proposals and had ultimately accepted their advice not to include them.
However, confidential details of the correspondence were published in a Scottish tabloid newspaper and the leak was used by Labour’s leader at Holyrood Iain Gray in order to attack the SNP; Mr Gray also called for the resignation of Roseanna Cunningham.
As a result the Scottish Government asked the Home Office to institute a leak inquiry to establish how this breach in the principle of confidentiality of communications, particularly on sensitive matters such as Royal security, had come about.
The allegation that a Scottish government civil servant was responsibler had been widely reported in the Scottish press at the time. However investigations have established conclusively that the source was not a Scottish Government civil servant.
The SNP have claimed that if the allegations against Mr Greatrex are true, then Labour must suspend him immediately.
Stewart Hosie, the SNP’s election campaign co-ordinator, said:
“This is an extremely serious issue, and Mr Greatrex must immediately confirm or deny the report that he leaked this correspondence. If he did, Labour have no choice but to suspend him as a parliamentary candidate.
“It was the Home Office Minister who, quite rightly, made the point that the police wished as little attention as possible for the paths, and we now have a report that it was a Special Adviser to Jim Murphy and a Labour Party candidate in Scotland who was responsible for this disgraceful leak.
“The position is a very straightforward and urgent. If Mr Greatrex was not responsible, he must deny it. And if he was, he must be removed as the Labour Party candidate in Rutherglen and Hamilton West.”
If true, then the revelation that senior Labour politicians have been using confidential information leaked by their own officials in order to attack opponents will not look good. Questions will also be asked as to how a Scottish tabloid newspaper came to acquire confidential security information and whether Royal security was compromised in an attempt at attacking the SNP.
Labour’s Jim Murphy has denied any knowledge of the leak.