THE founder of Labour for Independence claims his group has been subject to a "dirty tricks" campaign by the party and the wider Better Together campaign.

Allan Grogan has emphatically denied that LfI is an "SNP front organisation" and claims this accusation is based on photographs which have been deliberately misrepresented.

The attacks by Better Together are based on photographs posted on the internet by either Yes Scotland or LfI, starting with one clearly captioned: "Labour4indy in Killie today campaigning alongside Yes East Ayrshire."

Publicised without this context, it was claimed that prominent SNP figures in Ayrshire were masquerading as LfI members.

Photographs taken at a Yes Scotland event in Midlothian were the next justification for claims LfI were a Nationalist front when SNP councillors were pictured behind the LfI banner.

Herald reader David Purdie writes of the Loanhead event: "The SNP councillors who were photographed holding up a Labour for Independence banner in my home town are personal friends of mine and I know that in this case the camera does lie."

Labour for Independence has only around 80 members, fewer than half carrying a Labour card, but no member of any other party is allowed to join and its executive comprises solely Labour card carriers. Mr Grogan said: "Initially Labour's plan appears to have been to ignore us. That wasn't working and it has become clear that we were showing links to the wider Labour movement."

He said this was the point where "dirty tricks" and the "witch hunt" to discredit him and his organisation kicked in.

"There is obvious concern about where Labour is heading, with no vision in party policy at the moment but a moving away from where the party should be. The vision of Labour for Independence is of a chance under independence for Labour to get back to its roots, and that has rattled the party."

Liz Gray as SNP branch convener was the organiser of the event which took place on March 9, five months before it became an issue. She said the photo with SNP councillors behind the LfI banner was taken in a light-hearted manner as the event broke up.

The photo with the SNP councillors cheerfully holding the LfI banner was taken by Celia Fitzgerald, treasurer of LfI and Lothians organiser. Her spell as an SNP member before returning to Labour has been another angle used in the accusation that the organisation is an SNP front.

A spokesman for Better Together said: "It is laughable that this sham outfit are crying dirty tricks now that they have been caught out trying to deceive people. SNP politicians pretending to be part of a Labour campaign stinks."