THE LibDems have been accused of misleading voters with a leaflet featuring a “headline” from The National.

The party posted leaflets in Mid Dunbartonshire, one of their key targets at this election, which presented a sentence from an opinion piece like a news headline from this paper.

But the line, reading “Scotland’s NHS is in the grip of its worst crisis in 75 years”, really came from a column by Scottish Socialist Party leader Colin Fox.

Fox’s piece criticised the SNP’s management of the NHS but was primarily focused on the “betrayal” of private finances initiatives (PFI) which he argued had privatised Scottish hospitals to the detriment of patients.

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Speaking to The National, the former MSP said the LibDems had “blood on their hands as far as PFI is concerned”.

Fox (below) said: “I’m reminded with all LibDem material: Make it short, make it snappy and make it up. It’s the usual LibDem methodology, isn’t it?

“My feeling would be that the NHS is in the worst crisis it’s been in 75 years. The article was about PFI which, irony of ironies, the LibDems not only supported but implemented in Scotland.

“So they’ve got blood on their hands as far as PFI is concerned. They should attend to their own weaknesses before addressing anybody else’s.”

The leaflet was published to support candidate Susan Murray, who is hoping to win Mid Dunbartonshire for the LibDems.

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The new seat extends the boundaries of the former East Dunbartonshire seat, which was reliable territory for the LibDems.

Their former leader Jo Swinson held the old seat, which encompassed the well-off towns of Bishopbriggs and Bearsden to the north of Glasgow, for 10 years before she was ousted in 2015.

Swinson won it back from the SNP’s John Nicolson in the snap election of 2017 before it again turned yellow with Amy Callaghan in 2019.

The LibDems are frequently criticised for misleading campaign material.

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Earlier this year, they were pulled up by the fact-checking website FullFact for presenting a headline which said it was only “the LibDems who can get the Tories out” as being from The Guardian newspaper. It was in fact the headline of a piece written by party leader Ed Davey for the paper.

The party has frequently been criticised for its campaign leaflets which are designed to look like local newspapers.

At the last election the party were criticised for promoting polling data from a research firm not registered with the British Polling Council to give an inflated sense of the party’s popularity in parts of the country.

A LibDem spokesperson said: “We took a quote from an article in The National and we attributed them accordingly.”