EDINBURGH, Scotland, Sept. 16 (UPI) -- The British domestic intelligence agency MI5 kept its eyes and ears on the Scottish National Party, Scotland on Sunday reported.
Citing documents, the newspaper said the surveillance goes back to the 1950s, when MI5 agents posed as SNP members. They attended meetings and rallies, kept lists of members and documented the statements of party leaders -- such as a suggestion by Robert McIntyre, the party’s first representative in the British Parliament, that Scotland join the United States as a 49th state.
Some members of the party said they believe MI5 is still eavesdropping.
"It does not surprise me in the least to have it confirmed that the (British government) has used dirty tricks against the SNP in the past,” said Alex Neil, deputy convener of the European and External Relations Committee in the SNP government. "I would certainly not discount the idea that the British state is still acting to undermine the SNP, especially given the substantial progress it has made recently.”