The campaign group “We the People of Shetland” has called a halt to its activities in light of the “increasingly polarising and vitriolic” nature of the debate over MP Alistair Carmichael’s future.
Formed in the aftermath of the MP’s apology and admission of responsibility over a controversial leaked memo, the group called for him to step down and stand in a by-election.
We the People of Shetland has been responsible for two demonstrations in Lerwick town centre and has gathered signatures for a petition supporting its aims.
But the group has decided now is the right time to suspend its activities.
Spokesman Logan Nicolson said: “It has been our aim to provide an open, balanced and approachable campaign for those who want to express their dissatisfaction with our MP. We believe we have been measured and welcoming to all regardless of political persuasion.
“We have encouraged tolerance and respect. This has been the manner in which most people in Orkney and Shetland have conducted themselves. However, the debate has become increasingly polarising and vitriolic. We wholeheartedly condemn any, and all, personal insults and threats levelled at Alistair Carmichael and his family. We also wholeheartedly condemn the abuse those calling for a by-election have been subject to.
“We have reached the decision that with the sad news of Charles Kennedy’s death, and the instigation of three processes of complaint, it is the appropriate time to suspend our campaign.
“Our thanks go to all the people who have supported us by attending the demonstrations and signing the open-letter or the petition. We would also like to thank those people who felt unable to take a public stance, or sign either document, but offered their personal support and encouragement to us.
“Thanks also to those who opposed us but did so respectfully.
“Finally, we would like to offer our sympathy to the family, friends and party of Charles Kennedy.”