Former Scottish Secretary Jim Murphy was shouted down by hecklers when he visited Fort William yesterday on his 100-day soapbox tour campaigning against independence.
Around 100 people blocked the Lochaber town’s High Street to listen to the Labour MP, but many struggled to hear what he was saying.
Mr Murphy, who addressed the crowd from his trademark orange Irn-Bru crates, said he believes the hecklers are helping him to get the Better Together message across to the public.
After the hour-long event, Mr Murphy said: “As often happens, a noisy majority of nationalists turn up shouting and screaming.
“Undecided shoppers see that and think if they are going to resort to personal insults then they’ve already lost the argument.”
He added that he had noticed a difference in the heckling since the Salmond/Darling TV debate on Scottish Independence.
He said: “I find a lot of people are shouting ‘I’m not a nationalist’ now.
“The SNP used to carry the campaign, but a lot of the Yes voters are now seeing the SNP as a liability and wanting to disassociate themselves from the party.”
Mr Murphy did his best to explain the benefits of Scotland remaining part of the UK and to encourage people to go out and vote, whichever way they voted. He also stressed that it was no less patriotic to vote “no” than to vote “yes.”
This was met with various heated comments suggesting that the MP for East Renfrewshire did not love Scotland and, one member of the crowd shouted at him: “You don’t care about Scotland. You’re only interested in your own job.”
After the event, Yes campaigner John Maclean, of Corpach, Fort William, said he did not think the hecklers were helping their campaign.
He said: “It is important to get your reasonable views over to the opposite side and the general audience.
“I would rather there was no heckling so we could have a proper debate. I felt sorry for Jim Murphy at times. It is not the place for personal attacks.”
Mr Murphy is almost half way through his “Barrhead to Barra” tour during which he is visiting 100 towns in 100 days holding open-air public meetings.