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Council / ‘I wasn’t voted as a member to bow to royalty’ – councillor sticks to guns over Prince Philip silence criticism

Councillor Ian Scott. Photo: Chris Cope/Shetland News

A COUNCILLOR who has faced calls on social media to resign after deciding against taking part in a minute’s silence for Prince Philip says he “wasn’t voted as a member to bow to royalty.”

Shetland Central member Ian Scott has faced criticism from some for walking out of the council chamber a week ago today when a minute’s silence was called for the Duke of Edinburgh.

Scott remains steadfast in his view that he wanted to take no part in honouring the life of a “unelected, unelectable” royal family member.

“If people want to show respect as the council did, I’ve got no problem with that,” he said this week. “It’s just that I’m not going to be part of it. I wasn’t voted as a member to bow to royalty.”

Responding to accusations that he did not represent his constituents by walking out, Scott said: “I’ve got no idea what people who voted for me thought.

“All I can do is say that my election manifestos over the years have been fairly straightforward. My views have been fairly well expounded.

“The idea of inherited wealth and inherited notions of superiority that these people seem to adopt have no place in my book. I find them despicable.”

Scott, who was voted into the council at the last election in 2017, claimed he did not intend to disrespect anyone.

“By not showing respect, is not the same as being disrespectful,” he said. “I had no intention to be disrespectful to anybody. I just wasn’t prepared to pay respect.”

Scott added: “The convener and the council are more than welcome to behave in any way they want and acknowledge people, but had it been Boris Johnson that had died, I’d have been out of there in a flash.

“Had it been Tony Blair that had just died, I’d have no hesitation in leaving.”

By leaving the room the elected member was also not present for a warm tribute to late ex-councillor Willie Tait, which was delivered by convener Malcolm Bell straight after the silence.

But he reiterated that he regretted inadvertently missing it. “I was out of the room and I didn’t want to disturb anybody or anything.”

Scottish Parliament election, 6 May 2021