The Conservative candidate in Perth and Kinross by-election says: 'Vote for anyone except the SNP'
Thursday 18 May 1995
Opposition candidates gleefully accused Mr Godfrey of "throwing in the towel" after he was filmed by a BBC television crew telling a disgruntled voter: "I don't mind which way you vote as long as you don't vote SNP."
Mr Godfrey, set to lose the seat to the Scottish nationalists by up to 7,000 votes, denied that his comments amounted to an admission of defeat. The by-election was a "head to head race" between Unionist parties and SNP "separatists" and defending the Union was his main concern, he said.
"There are people I have met who want to register a protest vote to make their view clear to the Government. That's fine. That's democracy. What I am saying is, register your protest but do not give support for smashing up the UK."
Opposition parties ridiculed his comments. Roseanna Cunningham, the SNP candidate, accused the Tories of panicking. "I cannot understand how any politician could go on to a doorstep with that line. Mr Godfrey has exposed the anti-Scottish nature of the Tories' campaign," she said.
For Labour, Douglas Alexander, who is in second place in opinion polls, said: "This is desperate stuff - a crude attempt to make this by-election a constitutional showdown."
Veronica Linklater, the Liberal Democrats' candidate, said she felt sorry for Mr Godfrey. "He has acknowledged he is out of it. Ah, pat him on his little head," she said. Archy Kirkwood, her campaign manager, added: "I'm not sure whether an endorsement from John Godfrey is a blessing or a curse. This is the first time in 20 years that I have known a by- election candidate approve other parties."
Photograph: David Rose
- 1 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 2 Drugs Live cannabis trial: Hash is less harmful than any other drug, expert claims
- 3 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 4 African jawbone discovery pushes birth of humanity back by 400,000 years
- 5 The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
Out-of-touch MPs ‘don’t get it’, says ex-Civil Service chief
George Clooney and Amal fail to get special treatment at New York restaurant
'A girl is more responsible for rape than a boy': The statement that shocked the world... except India
African jawbone discovery pushes birth of humanity back by 400,000 years
The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Outspoken Putin critic who had expressed fears for his life is killed near the Kremlin
£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company has become known a...
£35000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of refrig...
£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales / Account Manager is re...
Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Software Application Developer (C# & ASP.Net, SQL S...