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Galloway to sue Stirling theatre over cancelled event

Respect MP George Galloway has said he will sue a theatre that has cancelled a speech he was due to make urging people to vote "naw" to Scottish independence.

Stirling's Macrobert theatre has opted not to go ahead with a date on Mr Galloway's "Just Say Naw" speaking tour in May following a review of its "content and structure", according to a Macrobert email circulated by Mr Galloway.

The decision means he will have to pulp 50,000 tour brochures at a cost of "thousands of pounds", according to the Scots-born MP for Bradford West.

He has accused Macrobert of "blatant censorship" and said he will sue for compensation.

Mr Galloway was met by rival protests by the left-wing Radical Independence group and the right-wing Scottish Defence League before his "Just Say Naw" engagement in Edinburgh last night.

The two sides were held apart by police as Radical Independence railed against Mr Galloway's pro-UK stance and taunted the SDL with "Nae Nazis" chants, and the SDL called Mr Galloway "a traitor" for his links with religious minorities.

Commenting on Macrobert's decision, Mr Galloway said: "This is blatant censorship and it's forming a bit of a pattern.

"First off Livingston reneged on a booking, then the Citizens in Glasgow and now the Macrobert heidyins have decided that my anti-independence message is too difficult to take.

"The difference here is that there has been a major financial loss because, without spelling out the specifics of the case, the tour brochures, which includes the Stirling date, will have to be pulped, all 50,000 of them, and new ones printed. We are talking thousands of pounds."

He said Macrobert is a registered charity which is largely funded by taxpayers through Creative Scotland and Stirling University, and challenged the public bodies to speak out against the decision.

"It seems to me blindingly obvious that both of these organisations are totally committed to freedom of speech. What, then do they have to say about Macrobert refusing to allow mine?" he said.

Mr Galloway has circulated an email from Macrobert's events co-ordinator relaying the decision of its chief executive and creative director on the engagement.

It said: "Having reviewed the content and structure of the evening they have opted not go ahead with the booking at this time.

"I do apologise for any inconvenience this may cause but unfortunately the final decision rests with them. I hope the rest of the tour goes well for you."

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