An Aberdeen councillor has been accused of trying to “make a political point” out of Remembrance Sunday.
A spat broke out on Twitter after a tweet posted by Conservative councillor Freddie John following the Aberdeen remembrance service at the war memorial on Schoolhill.
He tweeted: “I was quite upset that as far as I could see none of the SNP sang the national anthem at the Aberdeen remembrance service today. Showed a distinct lack of class.”
I was quite upset that as far as I could see none of the SNP sang the national anthem at the Aberdeen remembrance service today. Showed a distinct lack of class.
— Freddie John (@CllrFreddieJohn) November 12, 2017
Cllr John denied making a political statement and instead said he was just replying to another individual’s tweet rather than posting his own Tweet for publicity.
He added: “I didn’t want to create it into a political issue, that isn’t what I wanted to do.
“In my personal opinion if you’re at a remembrance service and it is part of the order of service, you would expect all councillors to take part, but I can understand not all councillors may share that opinion.”
I sent a tweet directly to another Tory that no-one would have seen if it wasn't for an SNP Councillor responding. If I was trying to create a politically motivated attack why would I do it like that?
— Freddie John (@CllrFreddieJohn) November 13, 2017
SNP group leader Stephen Flynn said every SNP councillor attended the service, including three who have served in the armed forces.
He added: “I think it is exceptionally poor etiquette to try and politicise remembrance services.
“These comments are unbecoming of someone in public office and he may wish to reflect upon that.”
Fellow SNP councillor Christian Allard said a lot of people choose not to sing the national anthem, including some servicemen and also some individuals not from the UK.
He added: “The most important thing in all this is Cllr John is trying to make a political point out of Remembrance Sunday.
“It’s about all of us attending and paying our respects for all the people that died during the wars.
“Politics doesn’t take place on Remembrance Sunday and I think it’s very cheap.”
Councillor Douglas Lumsden, Conservative group leader and co-leader of Aberdeen City Council, said: “Remembrance Day is a day for us all to come together and show our respect for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. I think it is the wrong decision for most of the SNP to refuse to sing the national anthem but it is for them to reflect on.
“I find it disappointing that some would use this as an opportunity to make a political point when this should be the last thing on people’s mind on such a poignant day.”