THE SNP’s candidate in Stirling has been criticised by the Scottish Greens for putting out a “fake green leaflet”.

In the missive posted through the doors of voters in the marginal seat, the MEP uses Green Party colours and claims to be the Vice President of the European Greens.

The SNP man is, in fact, the First Vice President of the Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament.

Green MSP Mark Ruskell said that was a big difference: “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but this is a desperate daydream from Alyn Smith. Incredibly, he has outdone Stephen Kerr in the fake news contest. The idea that he is vice chair of the European Greens is completely made up – Alyn has the position in a group of MEPs that sit alongside the Greens.

The National: The "green" leaflet to elect SNP candidate Alyn SmithThe "green" leaflet to elect SNP candidate Alyn Smith

“If he wants to make his fantasy of being a Green a reality, he should send in his membership fees to us, but only after he abandons support for NATO, supports European fisheries protections and starts to take the climate emergency seriously.”

The MSP said Smith should send the leaflets to recycling. “The nonsense on it takes astroturfing to a whole new level,” he added.

Stirling is a super-marginal, with Tory incumbent, Stephen Kerr defending a majority of just 148 votes.

The SNP need a microscopic swing of less than 0.2% to recapture the seat.

It’s also one of the 22 constituencies in Scotland being contested by the Greens, with Bryan Quinn standing for the party.

Smith said the Greens were "trying to fall out over the narcissism of small differences". 

He added: “The clique running the Greens presently never cease to amaze with their sense of priority. The leaflet speaks for itself and is entirely straightforward. I believe in politicians working together, and the SNP has a productive co-operation with the European Greens going back 20 years, of which I am very proud to be a part.

“We compose the same Group, the Green/EFA Group, in the European Parliament and the leaflet is to highlight my green credentials and track record as well as commitment to fighting the climate crisis given it is so important to me and indeed Scotland.

“The very title of the leaflet says Vice President of the European Greens/EFA, which I am. The further line on 'Vote SNP' is pretty clear I’d gently suggest, and can’t see how anyone could misunderstand it unless they were really trying hard.

“If the Scottish greens want to spend their time trying to fall out over the narcissism of small differences that’s their look out, I believe in politicians working together to beat common challenges and am delighted so many green voters in Stirling are lending me a vote. I can’t out-Green the Greens, but I can win.  I’d gently remind them that the Tories and first past the post are the real enemy.”

The National: A close-up of the leafletA close-up of the leaflet

Last month we told how Kerr was forced to pulp a campaign leaflet following a row with a domestic abuse charity.

In a pamphlet posted through the doors of voters in Stirling, Kerr was praised by Asma Hussain of Shakti Women’s Aid for being “honest” and “totally trustworthy and approachable”.

She also praised his “support to help empower women” adding that he had “proven time and time again to be an invaluable asset in our community, making a real difference to survivors of domestic abuse”.

On the Tory leaflet, Hussain then urges voters to support Kerr.

But her employers have demanded the leaflet be withdrawn from circulation, saying that the “information published was done so without Shakti’s knowledge or consent”.