By a Newsnet reporter
A Labour MP who claimed his office had been vandalised by supporters of independence has been accused of making defamatory accusations after photographs appeared to disprove the claim.
Edinburgh MP Ian Murray posted the accusation on social media site Twitter.  The Labour MP said: “…my constituency office was vandalised by Yes supporters last night. I can take personal abuse but it’s getting out of control.”

However photographs taken by locals who live near the MP’s office showed no signs of any significant damage, save for some graffiti that had been scrawled on the office door.  The images, which were published by pro-independence website Wings Over Scotland appeared to show the letters ‘OE’ repeatedly scribbled on two doors.

The site editor Stuart Campbell revealed that the letters ‘OE’ are in fact the signature of a local gang of youths and means ‘Owning Edinburgh’

Writing on his site, Mr Campbell revealed a cursory search of google revealed a Scotsman article which explains the origins of the signature.

The article headlined ’11 held as police wipe out graffiti’ contained the following:

Eleven teenagers have been detained in a police operation aimed at wiping out one of the city’s most notorious graffiti ‘tags’.

The distinctive signature OE – thought to stand for Owning Edinburgh – has been spray-painted across buildings, billboards and signs across the Capital in recent months.

Other articles located by the Wings Over Scotland editor explain that OE is one of two rival gangs operating in the city, the other being ‘DKM’.

In another newspaper article it says:

Graffiti gangs of middle-class children are being blamed by police for disfiguring hundreds of buildings and signs across the Capital.

Police said the respectable backgrounds of many of the worst culprits was making it difficult to trace and prosecute them.

One of the two main gangs working in the city is based in Morningside and Merchiston and often uses a signature “tag” of DKM. The other, known as OE, mainly operates in Niddrie and the city centre.

The work of OE and DKM can both be seen around the city centre, with Niddrie Mains Road particularly badly hit by the OE gang. OE take their name from Own Edinburgh, a name derived from a computer game in which the objective is to decorate urban settings with as much graffiti as possible.

Campbell adds pointedly: “We’re sure that when Mr Murray realises his honest error and gets a moment to attend to his Twitter account, he’ll be quick to retract the defamatory, inflammatory allegation that the minor cosmetic damage done to his door was part of a disgraceful campaign of cybernat terror.  He has, after all, been Edinburgh South MP for almost four years, and we presume must be aware of such issues.”

However despite photographic evidence which appeared to disprove his claim that the premises had been vandalised by Yes supporters, the Labour MP’s tweet remained published over twelve hours later, with no apparent retraction.  Murray has refused to respond to users of the social media site who have questioned his claim.

The claims by the Labour MP echo similar false accusations which were made by the anti-independence campaign group Better Together.

In April last year, the Better Together campaign claimed that its HQ in Blythswood Square “comes under attack with almost daily attempts of sabotage from SNP activists.”

Appearing on STV, Better Together campaign director Blair McDougall claimed there was a coordinated campaign of ‘smear and fear’ orchestrated by Alex Salmond and the people at the top of the Yes Scotland campaign.

However an investigation by Newsnet Scotland found no evidence of any such attack with local police confirming they had received no complaints.

[Newsnet comment.  The media continually fails to hold to account figures connected to the Better Together campaign or the wider anti-independence movement in general when they are caught making false claims.  These people act with impunity.

Labour MP Ian Murray has made an accusation that appears to fly in the face of the available evidence.  As we have chronicled, the official No campaign made similar false claims of vandalism almost exactly one year ago.  That accusation is still published on the official website to this day.

Leaflets are being distributed by Better Together that are blatantly false – one such leaflet distributed on the day Mark Carney gave his speech on the pros and cons of a currency union, falsely claimed that the Bank of England Governor had criticised Alex Salmond’s currency plans.

Last year an academic was pursued and harried by the media after being found to have accepted a modest payment from the Yes campaign for writing an article, yet time after time we have leading figures in the No campaign, and the campaign group itself, issuing statements that are at odds with reality … yet nothing is ever done.

The criticism levelled at people like Ian Murray are not examples of ‘abuse’ but are the justified criticisms of ordinary Scots frustrated and damned angry at the blind eye regularly turned by the fourth estate, when the No campaign transgresses.]


2014-04-01 22:19

Well said!

And well done Wings for exposing yet another lie.
2014-04-01 22:28

That damage has been there since at least August 2012, just check Google Maps.

Here is a snapshot of a zoomed image of the door on Google maps:
2014-04-01 22:43

We have a Yes meeting tomorrow evening in the Minto Hotel which is just across the road from his office.
If he has concerns about Yes activities in Our constiutuency (which do not include grafittii or vandalism) then he should come along and make his concerns known.
Otherwise,he should just shut up.
2014-04-01 22:53

And a cursory search of Google maps street view shows that the vandalism was present when Google photographed the street, some months, or even years ago.

Not only has he no evidence that the vandalism was caused by Yes supporters, there was no vandalism at all last night. It’s a figment of his imagination, or, in other words, a lie.
2014-04-01 23:08

Did a quick Google search doors as the photo so not recent.

2014-04-01 23:28

An absolute disgrace, the No campaign have to rely on complete fabrications at every level.
2014-04-01 23:54

Has it been reported to the police? If not, why not?
What evidence is there that the YES organization had anything to do with it?
Is there anything that can be done legally when an organization has damaging and false claims made against it?
2014-04-02 00:10

Murray is one of the more articulate NO supporters. If he has to resort to blatant lying they must be in bigger trouble than we think they are.

Every NO lie must be tackled immediately to minimise the damage. A letter with photographs of the door should be sent to the local press (or invite a reporter down to see for himself and try and generate some publicity that way.)

2014-04-02 01:13

Is this an April Fool stunt?
2014-04-02 14:13

If it was posted before midday on the 1st April he could claim it was. Even if it is in pretty bad taste.

2014-04-02 02:25


May be he is aiming for a spot on the new STV quiz hosted by Miss Calman “LIE” of which the irony is not lost on me
2014-04-02 16:17

I do not have a TV…. therefore no STV quiz… but is there such a program? … and is the daughter of Sir K. Calman of the infamous Calman Commission a presenter?… as she is often a participant on the bbc radio 4 program “The News Quiz”…. in fact… she features quite a lot on the bbc…. yet she is not very funny!… obviously the bbc think she is…

2014-04-02 04:44

The incident should/would have been reported to the police, if not he should be questioned for defamatory tweets?
2014-04-02 06:48

The good folk of that Edinburgh constituency are surely fortunate to have an under-employed Parliamentary Representative to serve them.
2014-04-02 07:02

Doesn’t this smack of desperation?
2014-04-02 07:16

Apparently, there are tweets that he had his door stickered with a Yes sticker(s)!Righ  t enough, I can see how having a sticker put on his door would be pretty distressing in the midst of all the other graffiti that he couldn’t be bothered to get rid of.
2014-04-02 07:59

I’ve been living in the area of his office for around 2 years and the door has been in that state for ALL of that time.
In fact its a sign of how little regard he has for his constituency that he has taken no action to restore it to a an appropriate level of repair.

He is a PROVEN LIAR – as several other posters have revealed already.

I shall be calling on him personally.
2014-04-02 09:14

Clearly this is an act of a twisted and desperate man who is an embarrassment to himself and the people he represents.

Having said that, his actions are no more than what I have come to expect from Labour representatives and the Labour party as a whole.
2014-04-02 12:15

The man’s job is on the line and he possibly sees a double threat from the SNP.
One is that he could be voted out at the next election or ,more likely in my view, his sinecure at Westminster ceases to exist on the forth coming “Yes” vote.
Desperate times if you have burnt your boats!
The immediacy of the IT age must make life very difficult for those who have become accustom to living with flimflammery and smoke and mirrors as almost any statement can be verified in minutes.

2014-04-02 11:31

Ian Murray needs to resign..oh wait we can do this for him on the 18th…
Dundonian West
2014-04-02 12:29

OT.Estimated 4.1 million people in Scotland are now on the electoral roll.
Electoral Commission.
2014-04-02 13:14

Some disgraceful cybernat vandal has stickered his lapel.

Get it tweeted and phone the papers!
2014-04-02 13:53

O/T (Reuters)
NATO names Norway’s Stoltenberg as next leader.

Will Barroso be sick and angry with Cameron.
From The Suburbs
2014-04-02 15:29

74 sad followers retweeted Ian Murray’s lies.

Was his tweet to divert attention from the fact that he voted with the Tories last week to take more money from his poorest constituents?

Interesting comments about Murray’s huge expenses claims at Wings Over Scotland at 2.31 pm onwards.…/…
Nigel Mace
2014-04-02 17:04

The so-called graffiti are on the doors in the Google map street photo from 2012!
2014-04-02 19:12

Murray has updated his blog, and you get name checked.…/…

[Admin – Thank you for drawing this to our attention.]
2014-04-02 21:07

Ian is concerned enough about a few stickers on the windows, but couldn’t be bothered to repaint or replace a door which has stood the way it is since (by his own admission)2010!!!

I wouldn’t want to be one of his constituents waiting for Murray to take action on their behalf.
2014-04-02 22:12

Here speaks a man in fast reverse..

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