I bet you have never heard of David Russell Walters but in his 45 years in politics he has ruthlessly hammered the Scots and he has plans to inflict more pain

Truthseeker on Twitter: "David Russell Walters was the Special Assistant in  the Mayor of London's Office #BorisJohnson David Russell Walters house  during a police raid, was allegedly found to have been in

1976: Tory David Russell Walters

Welshman Walters joined the party in the Glamorgan-shire valleys in 1976, and was a Young Conservative (YC) and university branch Chairman and Chairman of South East Region FCS.

On graduating, he took a year’s sabbatical at the Adam Smith Institute, and became a Vice Chairman of the National Association of Conservative Graduates and researcher in the House of Commons.

In his 45 years in politics he has been involved in many right wing campaigns in support of Tory Libertine group agendas. He is a very close confidant of Boris Johnson and was a member of his team when he was lord Mayor of London and true to form when Johnson formed his Tory Government he appointed Walters to the post of Chief of Staff in the House of Commons. His modus operanti is very much under the radar and not a lot is known about his private life except that he enjoyed his time with the Fever party organisation.

1987: Walters failed in a bid for election to the post of vice-chairman of the Young Conservative’s. His campaign brochure said he had served as an officer with the Association for a Free Russia and the International Society for Human Rights stating: “You may have been misled by one of the scandalous lies put into circulation about the Thatcherite team: that we support apartheid and legalisation of hard drugs. Discount such propaganda.”

Conservatives announce manifesto pledge of £3bn over 5 years for a 'new  National Skills Fund'

1988: Russell Walters Lead Researcher For the Right Wing Economic League

The London based Economic League was formed in 1919 and funded by business subscribers to defend ”free enterprise, individual liberty, and parliamentary democracy.”

In addition to compiling lists of political agitators and trade union activists it provided names to companies who used the information when recruiting.

It was also active in the propaganda war waged at the gates of strike-hit factories and saw it as its function to counter trade union and left wing literature with pamphlets of its own.

A World in Action TV programme highlighted the link between the league and its activities and the Conservative party through the exposure of Walters as a much valued member of the research department.

In April, 1988, Walters was involved in a House of Commons row when it emerged that a list he was said to have compiled contained details of the alleged activities and affiliations of Labour MPs, including a number on the moderate wing of the party.

Maria Fyfe, Labour MP for Glasgow Maryhill, a leading campaigner against the league unsuccessfully proposed a Commons Bill intended to make its activities illegal and was astounded that Forsyth had appointed one of its principal research-intelligence officers to high office in the Scottish Tory Party.

She said, “we wanted to amend the Data Protection Act so that the Economic League could not keep card index files on individuals without their knowledge. Their officials have blacklisted thousands of people who know nothing whatever of it and they very often get things wrong. There are now 70 MPs who are members of our campaign.

We have representatives from all parties except the Tories. But we shouldn’t be surprised that Forsyth appointed someone like Walters. They both belong to the hard right after all. This will not go down well with the people of Scotland. Appointments such as these will backfire on the Tories because they hold attitudes alien to most Scots.”

Michael Forsyth explains why he had a change of heart on assisted dying |  The National

4 Oct 1989 – Forsyth Tightens Grip On Scottish Tories – But Walters runs the show

Over the years the libertarian wing of the party maintained a solid base in Scotland. Forsyth was FCS chairman in the mid-seventies and gloried in its image as the Blue Trots with more radical elements advocated legalisation of adult incest, hard drugs, and much else besides.

Moderate Tories were therefore alarmed as party chairman Michael Forsyth completed his right-wing revolution at Scottish Conservative Party headquarters in Edinburgh.

His grip on the party in Scotland was now total with the appointment to senior Central Office posts of a string of young gay men with a background on the ultra-right wing of the party.

But real administrative power now rests with Chief of Staff, Walters. A party insider said: “Make no mistake, Walters is in charge. He now runs the show.” Walters was the first appointment made by Forsyth who was himself the personal choice of Margaret Thatcher who perceived him as the man with the qualifications to run the new-model Scottish Tory Party.

Welshman Walters, was hired as part of Forsyth’s campaign to cleanse the party of those not in tune with his philosophy that “politics is a battleground” and that many Scottish Tories had forgotten how to fight. Right-wingers Simon Turner and Douglas Young, both in the Walters-Forsyth mould with a political past on the libertarian right, were also in the Forsyth’s team.

Forsyth surrounded himself with zealous young gay men whose background was in the controversial world of the now disbanded Federation of Conservative Students (FCS) and similarly rightist groupings.

This Expensive Sex Club Will Set You Back £60,000 A Year - LADbible

May 2005: Fever Club orgies and the Tory Party

The Fever Club was launched in 1998 by Walters, a political adviser and speech writer to senior Tory MPs and preacher of the Tory’ morally-focused back-to-basics policies, Dougie Smith and property tycoon Jonathan Friedman, The first event was a debauched party in a Central London penthouse. Its 2,500 worldwide members include captains of industry, celebrities and multi-millionaire tycoons. Orgies for the rich and beautiful are hosted twice yearly in London and Manchester but there are parties over the summer in New York and Ibiza. Fever receives over 400 applications for each party and the vetting process is extremely strict. The upper age limit of 35 was recently raised to 40 to take account of the advancing years of some of the organisers.

Is Britain's slide down the economic league table inevitable? | Business |

15 Apr 2008: Multinational construction companies illegally blacklisted trade unionists in the UK building industry for years

Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd. played a key role in setting up the Consulting Association to deny workers, most of whom were simply raising concerns over health and safety, employment.

Following extensive investigations the Information Commissioners Office raided the Consulting Association and recovered over 3,214 files naming construction workers and environmental activists.

Police then attended the offices of Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd and served an arrest warrant on Cullum McAlpine for human rights violations relating to the scandal.

In a 2013 follow up a Scottish Affairs Select Committee reported that: “major construction firms caught in illegal anti-union blacklisting are still dodging responsibility”. (Blacklisting in Employment)

The evil of the blacklisters – how the Economic League was exposed

23 October 2013 – Police Colluded In Secret Plan To Blacklist 3200 Building Workers

Police officers across the country supplied information on workers to a blacklist operation run by Britain’s biggest construction companies, the police watchdog has told lawyers representing victims.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission informed those affected that a Scotland Yard inquiry into police collusion identified that it is “likely that all special branches were involved in providing information” that kept certain individuals out of work.

The blacklist, run by a company called the Consulting Association, funded by 40 major firms in the construction industry including Balfour Beatty and Sir Robert McAlpine, was discovered in 2009 after a raid by the information commissioner’s office.

Since then, the victims have fought to find out who was providing information against them. The IPCC’s correspondence is regarded as a major breakthrough.

The information commissioner’s officers confirmed in a freedom of information response that they held notes from a meeting between the Consulting Association and officers from the police national extremism tactical co-ordination unit, which runs undercover officers.

The notes of the 2008 meeting were part of a haul of documents seized by the information commissioner’s office when it discovered the existence of the secret blacklist during a raid on an office in Droitwich, Worcestershire.

Sir Robert McAlpine ltd, a major player in the establishment and funding of the blacklist, is currently being sued in the high court over an unlawful conspiracy to amass a database of information against thousands of people.

Last week, in a dramatic twist, eight major construction companies, including Sir Robert McAlpine ltd., announced that they would compensate some of the 3,213 workers whose names had been on a blacklist.

A joint statement said: “The companies – Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Costain, Kier, Laing O’Rourke, Sir Robert McAlpine, Skanska UK and Vinci – all apologise for their involvement with the Consulting Association and the impact that its database may have had on any individual construction worker.”

A solicitor representing 69 victims in the high court, said he cautiously welcomed the announcement but raised concerns over the involvement of the unions, which are also suspected of providing information to the blacklist operation in some cases.

He said: “We note that there has been reference to the consultation of Ucatt and Unite in the formulation of the proposed compensation scheme and we express serious concern about the involvement of those organisations.

We have seen evidence that implicates Amicus (which evolved into Unite) and Ucatt officials in the supply of negative commentary about the suitability of their members for employment.

That commentary frequently made its way onto the Consulting Association database and was no doubt one of the factors that led to denials of employment.

It is also worthy of note that those unions refused to support their members in bringing a High Court claim so that they could seek redress for the hardship that they suffered.

Many of those that we represent are firm that they object to Unite or Ucatt playing any part in negotiations with the relevant companies for these reasons.”

Crime, Sex Orgies, Politics, the Forces That Drive Westminster – Part 2 –  Ultra Right Wing – Top Tory Orgy Organiser – caltonjock

10 Dec 2013 – The Shrewsbury 24 Conspiracy Parliamentary Debate

Nineteen seventy-two was a momentous year for industrial relations in this country. A weak Government had twice declared states of emergency, first in February during the first miners’ strike for almost half a century, and secondly in August during the national dockworkers’ strike.

Matters were made worse by the Government’s attempts to prevent unions from defending their members’ rights, wages and conditions at work. It was clear that of all the work forces in the United Kingdom, the building industry was a bigger mess than all the rest put together. Wages were low, there was no job security and exploitation was rife through a system known as “the lump.”

Reflecting on the Shrewsbury 24 issue, the conditions that existed in the building industry in the 1970s were a blight on society. Sites with hundreds of thousands of men were given two rat-infested, filthy toilets. There was nowhere to change, so if workers got soaked in the rain, they would either have to go home and lose their pay, or continue to work sodden and freezing. The health and safety conditions were appalling. In 1973 alone, there were 231 fatal accidents in construction.

Protestors were victimised because they raised serious health and safety concerns so as to ensure that workers were safe in the workplace. The response from employers was swift. They acted against the trade unions to make sure that health and safety issues were not raised. The agenda of the bosses was not about looking after their workers.

The Shrewsbury 24 picketed in horrific conditions, calmly protesting against injustice. But it was an almost impossible task trying to organise building workers who were often moved to new temporary sites.

The Shrewsbury 24 hired six coaches and picketed large sites around Shrewsbury, which were chosen because they were not as well organised as some places in the bigger cities. It was peaceful. There were no cautions and no arrests. They had the permission of site owners. Chief Superintendent Meredith even shook the hand of Des Warren and thanked him for the co-operation of the UCATT and the then Transport and General Workers Union.

For that reason, when 24 men were arrested on conspiracy charges months later, they were shocked and confused. Six were sent to jail, and over four decades later, the pickets still deny that they were guilty of any of the charges levelled against them.

The sentences had a devastating impact on these men. While in prison, Des Warren was regularly forced to drink “liquid cosh”, which has been blamed for his death from Parkinson’s disease in 2004. These men struggled to get work afterwards. Let me finish by saying that if there were any sort of national security issue, it would never be viewed as acceptable in this day and age that information for which people are looking should be denied to them.

The Scottish Affairs Select Committee investgated issues past and current arising from blacklisting. And the evidence tabled by Trade Unions confirmed that even today trade union organisers are being refused access to building sites, simply because they want to raise health and safety issues that the employer does not wish to be addressed.

Economic League - The Canary

23 Jan 2014 – Who Was It Who Funded the Economic League’s Secret Committee?

Lord McAlpine ltd. funded the Economic League’s secret committee but it was Tory researcher, Russell Walters, who was chief of staff for would-be Tory leader, the hon. Member for Windsor (Adam Afriyie) who also worked for Economic League.

Another person involved was Edward Walsh, a 5th columnist who in the 1960s and 1970s convinced the unions that he worked only in their interests whilst employed by the Economic League. A well-organised conspiracy.

Young Britons Foundation Posters Called Into Question

27 Jan 2015: David Russell Walters planning for the future with his right-wing-Group “The Young Britons Foundation”

Behind heavy wooden doors in Committee Room 10, in the House of Commons Walters is actively involved in teaching young Tory graduates. Formed in 2003 its heroes are Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan and their free-market, libertarian, low-tax ideals.

With strong links with the American neo-conservative movement, the YBF regularly sends activists on subsidised trips to conferences in the US. An insider said: “We go into schools and preach conservatism and then get hold of the best kids and train them up. We have been described as a Conservative madrasa, so we send the next generation out to the States and bring them back radicalised.”

The YBF claims to have trained 2,500 party activists and sources familiar with the Conservative Central office said there is an understanding that the YBF is the main provider of training for young Conservative activists. Significantly, at least 11 Tory parliamentary candidates have either been delegates or speakers at its courses since 2003. It seems the graduates of the “Conservative madrasa” could be about to take power.

Crime, Sex Orgies, Politics, the Forces That Drive Westminster – Part 2 –  Ultra Right Wing – Top Tory Orgy Organiser – caltonjock

A heads up on Dougie Smith the Scot who wields the big stick in Boris Johnsons government


Tory Central Office Adviser – Douglas Smith

In the 1997 general election, Scottish born Smith campaigned energetically for Sir James Goldsmith’s Referendum Party and became great mates with Sir Jimmy’s son Zac whom he later recruited to the Tory party.

Smith was the respected co-ordinator of the influential Tory think tank Conservatives for Change (C.change) spearheaded by Tory modernisers and set up by party chairman Francis Maude.

But he also devoted a deal of his attention to coordinating the activities of the “Fever Club” which enjoyed a reputed 2,500 worldwide membership including captains of industry, celebrities and multi-millionaire tycoons.

Orgies for the ultra-rich and politically influential were hosted twice yearly in London and Manchester and other parties were held over the summer in New York and Ibiza. The club received over 400 applications for each party was launched in January 1998 with a debauched event in a Central London penthouse.

Leading moderniser Smith forged the morally-focused back-to-basics policies of the Tory government of the ill-advised John Major. He was forced to cut his links with “Fever”. Following which he took on the role of political adviser and principal speechwriter to David Cameron the leader of the Tory Party.

Smith was also previously an adviser to the late Sir James Goldsmith and wrote speeches for a number of leading Conservative MPs including former party leader Michael Howard. He was also the Head of the political section of “Conservative Intelligence.”

6 Aug 2006: The Fever Party Orgies

Entrepreneur Smith ran the sex parties for toffs for five years. Events saw couples swapping partners and taking part in bizarre sexual combinations.

According to Fever’s website, the parties were the most “exclusive and sizzling sex parties” going. They were held at glitzy locations including a townhouse in London’s Mayfair, luxury villas in Ibiza and a country mansion near Manchester. Summer parties attracted couples from all over England. Couples also flew in from Grenada, the Netherlands, the South of France and Iceland.

The parties have strict entry rules – people must be under 40, good looking, and prepared to leave any inhibitions at the door. Guests are asked to make a financial contribution, usually no less than £500 per person. Couples are lavished with free drinks and party bosses boast of their reputation for attracting stunning couples to their events.

The political power couples who rule Westminster – The State

Smith and Cameron

Smith was a speech-writer for family man Cameron, a leader desperate to shake off the sleazy image of previous Tory regimes. A senior Tory source said: “Dougie was a very valued member of David Cameron’s team and played an important role.” But participants in the “five-star” events he organised for “Fever” tell of orgies with giant double beds heaving with writhing couples. His key role horrified senior Tories who wanted to promote Cameron as squeaky clean and a “new breed” of politician. One said: “we really didn’t want someone like this involved with running our organisation these parties are filthy and disgusting. What kind of message does that send out about us?”

Revealed: how Tory co-chair's offshore film company indirectly benefited  from £121k tax credits | Conservatives | The Guardian

14 Jun 2021: Smith Special Adviser to Boris Johnson

It’s never the crime that gets them, it’s always the cover-up. That’s the saying in politics, and while there’s no hint whatsoever of any misdemeanour associated with Smith, there is certainly a growing whiff of intrigue hanging around Boris Johnson’s senior aide.

When questioned the Prime Minister’s official spokesperson said Smith was a Special Advisor who reported to the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff. But when asked why he hadn’t been on the official list of Special Advisors as of 2020 there was no immediate answer.

Smith has a desk in No.10 and is part of the set-up but appears not to have been on the books. But no one got selected as a Tory candidate for the 2019 general election without their name first going in front of “Dougie.” A fact the 1922 Committee Executive having been indifferent to are definitely becoming more and more interested in. But it is possible that the secrecy, to do with who pays Smith, and what they pay him, is just a coincidence.

Tory co-chair Ben Elliot's Quintessentially seeks £140m sale | Business |  The Sunday Times

Smith’s friend Ben Elliot and his career in politics

A nephew of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Elliot is the mastermind behind top concierge service Quintessentially. An excellent well-connected networker, he was appointed co-chairman of the Conservative Party by Boris Johnson in July 2019. He is a regular fixture at charity events and openings, where he is often pictured alongside celebrities.

He finds his relaxation at high stakes weekly poker tournaments at Aspinall’s in the company of Dougie Smith, Boris Johnson and fellow old-Etonian Zac (now Lord Goldsmith courtesy of Boris Johnson) who asked Elliot to join his failed campaign to become London mayor in 2016. As campaign treasurer, the role gave Elliot his first introduction to the world of political fundraising.

Who is Munira Mirza, the PM's adviser who has quit No 10? | The Independent

Munira Mirza’s job with a salary of £123k courtesy of London Mayor Boris Johnson

Mirza is married to Dougie Smith, who works out of the Tory party Central Office. So it’s who you know!!

Aged just 30, after nearly a decade spent in academia and with little relevant work experience, she was appointed as an art adviser by Boris Johnson. And only a year later she was promoted to the deputy mayor for education and culture. Never having had a proper job she was now a paid-up member of the establishment. Privilege is a fitting term. No need to fill in online applications for jobs, just get a friend to whisper in Boris’s ear and before long you might be selected to be an MP and enjoy the perk of renting out your second home etc. (total politics)

3 Feb 2022: Munira Mirza resignation

Munira Mirza has worked for Boris Johnson for 14 years, resigned as head of Downing Street’s policy unit after he failed to apologise, as she had advised for falsely accusing Sir Keir Starmer of failing to charge Jimmy Savile when he was Director of the Crown Prosecution Service.

News of her resignation was released by The Spectator’s James Forsyth, a friend of Mirza whose wife Allegra Stratton worked alongside her in Downing Street.

Before today’s event, there was no closer confidant to the Prime Minister than Mirza, other than her husband Dougie Smith. The Oldham-born daughter of Pakistani immigrants, Mirza worked with Johnson throughout his eight-year reign as Mayor of London and her departure will hurt Boris more than any aide resigning or MP filing a letter of no confidence. Here is the full letter of resignation:

“Dear Prime Minister,

It is with great regret that I am writing to resign as your Head of Policy. You are aware of the reason for my decision: I believe it was wrong for you to imply this week that Keir Starmer was personally responsible for allowing Jimmy Savile to escape justice. There was no fair or reasonable basis for that assertion. This was not the normal cut-and-thrust of politics; it was an inappropriate and partisan reference to a horrendous case of child sex abuse. You tried to clarify your position today but, despite my urging, you did not apologise for the misleading impression you gave. I have served you for fourteen years and it has been a privilege to do so. You have achieved many important things both as Prime Minister and, before that, as Mayor of London. You are a man of extraordinary abilities with a unique talent for connecting with people. You are a better man than many of your detractors will ever understand which is why it is desperately sad that you let yourself down by making a scurrilous accusation against the Leader of the Opposition. Even now, I hope you find it in yourself to apologise for a grave error of judgement made under huge pressure. I appreciate that our political culture is not forgiving when people say sorry, but regardless, it is the right thing to do. It is not too late for you but, I’m sorry to say, it is too late for me.

Yours sincerely, Munira.”

What Munira Mirza said in her letter resigning as Boris Johnson's policy  chief | Politics | The Guardian


Pete Wishart- his tweets have offended so often even some in his own party wish he’d shut up

Pete Wishart - Wikipedia

Jonathan Brocklebank

Is this the SNP’s biggest Twit? Rude, insulting, crass and often sent in the dead of night, Pete Wishart’s tweets have offended so often even some in his own party wish he’d shut up.

Puerile insults: The SNP’s Pete Wishart is a regular presence on social media

Twenty-odd years ago tensions were running high in the Celtic rock band Runrig. The singer, Donnie Munro, was a lifelong Labour supporter whose heart was set on becoming an MP. The keyboard player, Pete Wishart, was increasingly politically engaged to having given up his card-carrying membership of the Labour party – as an ardent Nationalist.

Where did this leave a group whose identity was rooted in its Scottishness? In songs about the nation’s history and politics, what was the band’s message to a fanbase steeped in Caledonian culture? Something had to give. It was Skye-born Munro who blinked first, leaving Runrig in 1997 and, in the process, unburdened himself of years of frustration.

SNP activists had called him an ‘English b *** ’, an ‘English lover’ and ‘a traitor’, he said. He feared the party was capitalising on the populist symbolism of the film Braveheart to poison Scottish minds against their neighbours across the Border. He warned that a rump of SNP supporters now believed anyone who was not one of them must be the enemy. As a description of the kind of fingers-in-ears Nationalist shouter Pete Wishart was to become, it was spookily accurate. In the years since their paths diverged, the man Mr Munro once shared a stage with has become one of the most malignant public figures on Twitter – and better known as the trolling MP than he ever was as a member of Runrig or, before that, Big Country. In short, the singer has watched his old musical mucker become the leading exponent of exactly the kind of aggressive, tribal Nationalism that prompted him to leave the band in the first place. Having established himself over several years as a tweet-first, engage brain-later SNP firebrand, the Dunfermline-born politician plumbed fresh depths when he shared a mocked up council election ballot paper on his Twitter account. On it the Lib Dems were described as W, Labour as Wier and the Conservatives as Absolute Total W. Puerile insults from a 55year-old parliamentarian in the very week his party leader Nicola Sturgeon had called for a civilised and respectful debate in Scotland. How eyes must have rolled at SNP HQ. But the timing of his crassness was disastrous for another reason: days after it appeared, Prime Minister Theresa May announced a General Election. Mr Wishart’s own name was about to appear on a ballot paper three years earlier than scheduled – and his Perth and North Perthshire seat is a prime Tory target. ‘I will treat this as a marginal constituency and fight for every vote,’ he pledged last month. ‘I’m the longest-serving MP for Scotland and everyone in North Perthshire will know someone I have helped.’

The trouble is almost everyone will know someone he has offended too – and many even in his own party would cheerfully see him lose his seat.

Mr Wishart’s cause will not be helped by signs of impatience among his own constituents over an MP apparently more interested in Twitter trolling than any other part of the job. Then there is the fact that his own party appears increasingly embarrassed by him.

Even party leader Miss Sturgeon has joked to journalists that she would like to confiscate his mobile phone to keep him off Twitter.

Sources indicate that senior SNP figures now see him as ‘Uncle Pete’, the bedraggled curmudgeon who shoots his mouth off at weddings and is tolerated only through gritted teeth. They dearly wish he would give social media a rest.

‘He is, to all intents and purposes, a professional internet troll,’ said one parliamentary source. ‘He’s looking for a reaction. He thrives on reaction and annoying Unionists on Twitter and absolutely revels in it. Basically, it’s a hobby for him but the party’s patience has been wearing thin for a long time now.’

Mr Wishart deleted his offensive ballot paper tweet 24 hours after posting it – but still tried to have the last word.

He tweeted: ‘For press accuracy. It was a retweet of a popular meme that’s doing the rounds on a popular Chewing the Fat sketch. You’re welcome.’

Whatever the mechanics, his lamentable lack of judgment was well established long before the latest episode. In October last year, he opined on Twitter that ‘Blairites are now like your embarrassing incontinent old relative stuck away in a care home who you might go and visit occasionally’.

In his haste to get his attempt at satire online, it seemed he never stopped to consider that SNP supporters had elderly relatives too.

OUTRAGE ensued. Among those appalled by the comment was Edinburgh man Andy Morris. He tweeted the politician saying his late grandfather, who had fought for his country in the war, had suffered from incontinence. ‘The only embarrassing thing is you,’ he told him.

Even those who acknowledged the existence of a ‘Planet Pete’ with different laws of political discourse than their own thought the remark uniquely brainless and attention-seeking. Indeed, in what is thought to be a first, Mr Wishart himself expressed disapproval for his crassness. ‘Sorry for any offence,’ he tweeted as the scale of the revulsion he had caused became clear.

Yet, while Mr Wishart is all about getting up Unionist noses on Twitter, those who know him well insist he is capable of civility in person.

‘In real life, he’s a world away from the persona he creates for himself as a complete monster on Twitter,’ said one parliamentary source. ‘The difference is remarkable, to be honest. He treats it like a game, he knows what he is doing online and he’s doing it deliberately.’

The problem is his online persona and often infantile behaviour in the Commons have come to define him. He has become a figurehead to the most mindless Nationalists on the web and ringleader of the most disruptive SNP element in the chamber – MPs the late Father of the House, Sir Gerald Kaufman, described as ‘goons’.

Witness the rota Mr Wishart organised to ensure Nationalist MPs were always sitting on the front row of the opposition benches and thus deny veteran Labour MPs such as Dennis Skinner their place there.

And witness his vendetta last year against the journalist and Mail writer Stephen Daisley who, at the time, wrote a column for the STV website. In it, he expressed the view the SNP was ‘expert at mining grievance from even the most innocuous act or statement’.

Rising inexorably to the bait, Mr Wishart tweeted the journalist’s employer: ‘Hi @STVnews is this your view or just the view of the “digital” arm of the “STV family”?’ That earned a delicious rejoinder from author JK Rowling, whose Perthshire home is in Mr Wishart’s constituency: ‘Is trying to intimidate journalists you dislike @TheSNP policy or just a vendetta of your own?’

Yet, following online pressure from both Mr Wishart and fellow MP John Nicolson, himself a former TV newsman, the journalist’s column was axed. Had they just used Twitter as a weapon to silence a high-profile critic?

‘If any other journos want to be intimidated just let me know,’ tweeted Mr Wishart, clearly in his element. ‘We’re offering a cheap deal in gagging just now.’

Then there was the time in 2015 when ‘Uncle Pete’ went off-piste on the issue of second jobs for MPs. Getting to his feet in the Commons, he let rip at other parties whose MPs had a second job, directorships or place on a company. And here, to the dismay of senior party figures, he left no room for doubt – not one Nationalist MP had a ‘second master’.

He was speaking in February that year when Nationalist MPs numbered only six. By May they were joined by 50 more, bringing their second jobs, directorships and places on companies with them. The charges of hypocrisy flew.

Things have a nasty habit of going wrong even when Mr Wishart thinks he is on message. Some suggest that in common with other parliamentary colleagues, he struggles to consider issues in the round. Party politics alone determine whether things are good or evil, which makes expounding on them hazardous. Hence, at the height of the Named Person controversy, his declaration that all opponents of the scheme were clearly Tory/Unionist. As if this were purely a question of tribalism rather than personal freedom and parental rights.

And hence the extraordinary strategy adopted by this elected politician and several SNP colleagues of blocking followers on Twitter who post comments disagreeing with them, however politely. Silencing critics, so the reasoning appears to go, gets the job done better than engaging with them. ‘He’s like 90 per cent of the SNP politicians at Westminster,’ said one insider there. ‘He does not understand why people could have voted No in the referendum and valued the Union. He just doesn’t get it.’ Mr Wishart’s political journey, according to his bandmate Donnie Munro at least, began as a card-carrying member of the Labour Party. It was something of a surprise, therefore, for the singer to be accused by him of abandoning his core beliefs. The keyboard player had ‘crossed the political divide only a matter of years ago, wrote Mr Munro. Mr Wishart hit back, claiming ‘it was New Labour’s adoption of Conservative policies, and Donnie’s subsequent adoption of them’ that had scuppered the singer’s bid to become an elected politician. The pair bickered through newspaper columns and letters pages for years until, in 2001, Mr Wishart achieved for the SNP what Mr Munro had failed to do for Labour. He got himself elected as MP for Tayside North. Married to primary teacher Caroline Lindsay, with a young son Brodie, the newcomer MP took some time to find his mojo.

AS SNP spokesman for sport, one of his early hobby horses was the introduction of a requirement for Scottish referees to declare publicly which team they supported. Once this was known, they should not be allowed to officiate at their team’s matches, Mr Wishart said.

But what if they were Celtic supporters, asked critics. Should they be allowed to referee Rangers matches? Or Aberdeen or Hibernian ones if they were catching Celtic in the league. Wasn’t it better, they asked, just to expect referees to be impartial? Mr Wishart went back to the drawing board.

But, with the advent of Twitter, his confidence grew. Now divorced, and sitting up late in his London bolthole, he threw himself into the medium as the independence debate gathered pace and grew nastier.

The ultimate badge of honour came in March 2015 when he was named parliamentary tweeter of the year at the Political Twitter Awards. ‘So chuffed,’ he tweeted. ‘Twitter allows us to have conversations with our constituents, promote the issues that are important to us and it is also just great fun.’

Could it be that the ‘fun’ has distracted Mr Wishart from the job in hand – that of representing the people of Perth and North Perthshire?

Perhaps Commons Speaker John Bercow sums the position up best. Last year, following a particularly witless heckle from the former musician, he declared: ‘Order. Pete Wishart is an aspiring statesman. His aspiration may be a little way from fulfilment.’

First minister in Perth to back Pete Wishart to keep his seat in general  election - Daily Record