Perth charity accused of being pro-independent after literature was found to be biased
A charity has come under fire from politicians for publishing articles appearing to promote Scottish independence.
The Perth-based Scots Language Centre promotes the use of native Scots and also publishes resources for teachers to use in schools.
But it has come under fire for the way it interpreted the results of last year’s referendum in an introduction to a Scots translation of the Edinburgh Agreement.
The document has now been removed from its website but a cached version (below) has been posted on social media .
It said: “On that day 55% of the registered electorate voted against independence, while 45% voted in favour. Or, put another way, two million of the population voted against independence while the remaining three and a half million either voted for independence, didn’t vote, or never had a vote.”
Another article posted on its site described the 1707 Treaty of Union as a “betrayal of the Scottish nation”.
Critics have rounded on the fact the centre is funded by £70,000 of taxpayers' cash although the SNP government said it had no influence over its content.
Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie said: “It’s disappointing that an organisation funded by the state and sending information round schools and pupils is distorting information in this way and with a clear political agenda.
“If they want to be taken seriously they need to have a good look at what they think their objectives are. The education secretary must investigate this.”
Scottish Conservative deputy leader Jackson Carlaw also criticised the “pro-SNP remarks”.
He added: “People will be rightly asking why taxpayers are coughing up to spout this nonsense.”
One tweet by Scotty National joked: “After negative feedback an update on the Scots Language Centre website states "2million voted No but the other 7.123 billion on Earth didn’t’”.
Another tweet said: “They only claim to know about language not numbers!”
Scots Language Centre director Michael Hance responded by saying: “The Scots Language Centre is a small non-partisan charity which seeks to promote Scots language and culture.
“We commission content for our website from a range of sources. We have become aware of items which are phrased in such a way that they might be seen as compromising our independence.
“We have now removed these from our web site and apologise for any offence. We will be implementing mechanisms to ensure firmer editorial control of future content.”
A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “The Scots Language Centre is responsible for the content of its website and we understand that the text in question has now been removed.”