Scots Woman Denies Provoking Politcian Accused Of Attack

12 July 2016, 16:58 | Updated: 12 July 2016, 17:01

A Scottish independence campaigner who claims she was kicked by a Labour politician outside a polling station has told a court she did nothing to provoke the alleged assault.

Marie Rimmer, 69, who is now a Labour MP, is standing trial accused of assaulting Patricia McLeish, who was handing out leaflets on the day of the independence referendum on September 18, 2014.

She denies the charge.

Giving evidence at Glasgow Sheriff Court, Ms McLeish, a member of the socialist party Solidarity, denied "aggressively shouting 'get rid of the Tories, get rid of the red Tories" in Rimmer's presence outside Shettleston Community Centre in Glasgow.

The witness said: "That's not true. I had swollen glands that day. I did not raise my voice.''

She added: "I can assure you, I wasn't winding anybody up. I certainly didn't shout.''

Ms McLeish, 52, was cross-examined by the MP's solicitor after giving evidence before Sheriff Kenneth Hogg back in April.

The trial had been adjourned then until Tuesday.

Ms McLeish said Rimmer spoke to her aggressively before later kicking her on the left shin.

She told the court she had been discussing Liverpool councils in the 1980s with the politician's colleague when Rimmer interrupted and said "they bankrupted the city''.

Liam Ewing, acting for the St Helens South and Whiston MP who was elected in 2015, said: "You came across your nemesis - someone who had been involved in Merseyside politics when all this was going on. It was like a red rag to a bull.''

The witness said: "I don't have that temperament for a start, and I had a cold that morning.

"It certainly wasn't a red rag to a bull.''

When it was suggested that she had lost her temper, Ms McLeish said "that could not be further from the truth''.

The court heard she reported the incident to the person in charge at the polling station and the police were called.

The trial continues.