DOOR handles of a pro-independence shop in a Midlothian town have been smeared in excrement in what has been branded a “disgusting act of vandalism”.
The Yes outlet in Penicuik was targeted on Wednesday night with the mess being discovered by volunteers on Thursday morning.
It comes just days after it was opened by prominent Yes campaigner Jim Sillars, widower of the late Margo MacDonald MSP, who officially cut the ribbon on the store during a campaign tour on Saturday.
But Yes campaigners were outraged when they heard the news after volunteers came across the “door handles covered in excrement” while trying to open the shop for the day.
Student Andrew MacLeod, 26, was one of the Yes volunteers who discovered the faeces-covered handles.
He said: “Luckily we don’t have to use the handles to open the shop but we had to get tissue and water to clean it off which is not a nice way to start the morning.
“It was stinking and really horrible. Whoever did it tried to do it sneakily so it was behind the handles.”
Volunteers had already decided to remove all pro-independence posters from the windows of the shop before closing each night amid fears they could provoke vandalism.
Mr MacLeod said: “We didn’t want that sort of behaviour to happen but it was not a surprise to us and it’s a shame that we have to think like that.”
Christine Grahame, MSP for Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale condemned the vandalism as “entirely unacceptable”.
“Yes signs and people’s property have been vandalised and stolen throughout the Scottish Borders and now we have this disgusting act of vandalism in my constituency in Penicuik,” she said. “This is not the first act of vandalism to Yes property but I sincerely hope this will be the last.”
She added: “Everyone is entitled to their opinion but there is no need to damage property and this type of behaviour is entirely unacceptable. There are far more positive ways to campaign and it is incumbent on all involved to act in a responsible manner.”
Mr Sillars said the vandalism was the work of “hooligans” but was sure the Better Together campaign was blameless. “You do get angry people and I just hope that this does not happen again,” he said.
A spokesman for Police Scotland said they had not had any official reports of vandalism at the shop.