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Wednesday, 01 October 2014

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Cumbrian MP's mass independence protest scaled back

A bid to get 100,000 people holding hands across the England-Scotland border in a protest against Scottish independence appears to have collapsed.

Rory Stewart photo
Rory Stewart

Penrith and the Border MP Rory Stewart had planned to hold the mass action along the line of the border on July 19, in what he hoped would be a show of support for maintaining the union.

He had given the event the title Hands Across the Border.

However, The Cumberland News understands that it has been hit by organisational problems and will have to be scaled back. But Mr Stewart insists there will still be an event in some form and expects to release details within days.

He said: “I have had an enthusiastic response and I am still trying to iron out some logistical problems.”

The Conservative did not give any details about these issues or on how many people had signed up.

He added: “I am determined that Hands Across the Border will go ahead in some form or other.”

Mr Stewart, who is half-English and half-Scottish, had hoped to see 100,000 people linking arms from coast to coast.

The symbolic gesture – backed by Prime Minster David Cameron – was intended to take place ahead of the Scottish independence referendum in September.

It was ridiculed by the pro-independence movement in Scotland.

Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond mocked the idea in April when he made a visit to Carlisle on St George’s Day to rally support for independence, joking of Mr Stewart’s effort: “I think he’s going to be 99,999 short the way things are going.”

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