Yes campaigners attacked by mob outside Tynecastle

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Scottish independence campaigners have been attacked by a mob outside Tynecastle.

It is understood that at least three people were injured in the attack on Saturday afternoon.

Yes activist Stewart Dredge was injured in the attack. Picture: contributed

Yes activist Stewart Dredge was injured in the attack. Picture: contributed

Campaigners say that punches were thrown and their leaflet table was kicked over by an angry mob intent on driving them away.

The claims come days after Labour MP Jim Murphy suspended his Scotland-wide tour, citing “co-ordinated abuse” from “Yes” voters.

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Stewart Dredge, a 59-year-old grandfather from Currie, was left with a cut above his eye amid claims he was punched and headbutted by a stranger.

Mr Dredge, secretary of Edinburgh Pentlands SNP, said Hearts Supporters for Independence had been campaigning peacefully outside the stadium during the Falkirk game when they were targeted.

He said: “It was fairly traumatic, a really serious incident. Some of the other people were upset. One lad from East Calder was punched in the face for trying to film it on his phone. His mouth was swollen, and he was very tearful and upset.”

Mr Dredge claimed he and a bystander were both attacked and injured when they tried to intervene.

He said: “One of them was in my face shouting and screaming, and I received a headbutt.”

Yes campaigners estimated that there were about 20 people in the group but that “only five or six were swinging punches”.

They said it followed several earlier incidents in which they had been verbally abused by a gang bearing the Union Flag and singing Rule, Britannia!

Several Yes campaigners said they believed the later attack was “coordinated”, and calculated to intimidate them off the streets of Gorgie.

George Foulkes, former chairman of Hearts and a firm supporter of the No campaign, stressed that there was no evidence the attack had been carried out or orchestrated by No campaigners.

He said: “I deplore any physical violence but I think you have to be very careful about making claims about who is responsible.

“I would deplore it. But I suspect it may be being exaggerated and twisted to create counter balance to the attacks Jim Murphy has had to suffer.”

One man appeared to boast later on Facebook that he had told Yes supporters “they have no place in Gorgie” before adding “gonna go for round two now.”

Police Scotland have confirmed they are investigating an “allegation of assault following an incident in MacLeod Street on Saturday afternoon”.