Church leaders in moral spin over pole-dancing on a Scottish island

As if the introduction of Sunday flights were not enough for the staunchly Presbyterian island of Lewis, church leaders are now facing a greater threat to the alleged moral purity of the Scottish community.

Last night, Lewis's inhabitants were treated to a pole-dancing competition, raising fears that the event could "open the door to other forms of eroticism".

The new owners of the Heb nightclub in Stornoway were offering a £100 prize to the best amateur pole dancer, willing to get up and gyrate their bodies in front of a audience. "It's just a bit of fun," said Murray Weir, manager of the Heb. "There's nothing sleazy".

He added: "Clothes will be worn at all times and the winner of the competition, male or female, will be judged by the volume of audience cheers." Mr Weir has taken on extra bar and security staff to serve an unusually large mid-week crowd.

When the first Sunday flights landed at Stornoway in October last year, Iain MacDonald, of the Lord's Day Observance Society, warned it was "the first step in a gradual moral and physical decline".

Yesterday the Rev Iain Campbell, the minister at Back Free Church, admitted that the Heb event had caused him concern. "I don't think this is healthy." he said. "People will be exposed to a temptation that they could easily drift into. The morals of our nation and islands continue to drift further from the absolute standard of God's law."

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