Line Of Duty star Martin Compston is at the centre of a Twitter storm today after encouraging Scots to back Nicola Sturgeon in the election.
The actor urged Scots not to leave the outcome of Thursday’s election to chance, calling on them to back the SNP in the ballot.
But he became embroiled in a spat with Tory MPs and voters who accused the Greenock-born star of ‘hypocrisy’ because he now lives in Las Vegas with his American wife.
Scottish Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser tweeted: ‘Another ‘celeb’ who doesn’t live here telling us how to vote.’
Compston clapped back, sharing a picture of a Tory campaign flyer sent to his home in Greenock, and hitting back at critics who accused him of being a ‘hypocrite’ and ‘telling them how to vote.’
The actor relocated Stateside in 2019 with his American wife Tianna Flynn, their baby boy, and their pet pitbull King, where they snapped up a sprawling four-bed mansion in Nevada – which boasts a spa, and even a solar-heated swimming pool – for £300,000.
But the 36-year-old said he pays ‘top rate tax in Scotland and always has,’ adding: ‘I see Scottish tory twitter and their bots enraged an actor would express an opinion.
‘Apparently it isn’t valid either as they claim I don’t live here. In that case could you do me, the postman and the environment a favour and stop sending me literature asking for my vote.’
The Scottish actor, who stars as Steve Arnott in the hit BBC drama, made the plea in an online rally, which aired shortly before last night’s Line Of Duty finale.
Compston was joined by other high-profile SNP supporters, including actors Alan Cumming and Brian Cox, crime writer Val McDermid and Mogwai musician Stuart Braithwaite.
The star became embroiled in a spat with Tory MPs and voters who accused the Greenock-born star of ‘hypocrisy’ because he now lives in Las Vegas with his American wife. Pictured, the actor at his home in the US
Compston clapped back, sharing a picture of a Tory campaign flyer sent to his home in Greenock, adding: ‘I see Scottish tory twitter and their bots enraged an actor would express an opinion’
The actor urged Scots not to leave the outcome of Thursday’s election to chance, calling on them to back Nicola Sturgeon in the election
Today he hit back at critics who accused him of being a ‘hypocrite’ and telling them how to vote
Billion-pound plan to save the union
Billions more pounds will be spent on Scotland by the UK Government in an attempt to further dampen support for independence.
A blueprint to save the union will see huge investment in road and rail links with England and patients waiting for treatment could be seen in NHS hospitals south of the border.
The plans are set to be revealed soon after Thursday’s Scottish Parliament elections to see off demands for a fresh independence referendum.
But polls published at the weekend suggest the SNP is unlikely to win a large majority, denting its mandate for a referendum.
One by BMG suggested the SNP would take 68 seats with Alex Salmond’s Alba Party getting two and the Greens nine – a total of 79 pro-independence MSPs out of 129.
Panelbase for the Sunday Times indicated the SNP may get 65 seats – a majority of one – with the Tories on 28 and Labour on 18.
With the next Scottish Parliament election taking place in just a few days, the actor told voters: ‘Scotland’s future is in your hands. Don’t leave it to chance.
‘The only way to make sure we re-elect Nicola Sturgeon as First Minister is to make it #BothVotesSNP.
‘Make sure you and all your pals get out to vote.’
The star also told the Scottish Conservatives to ‘do him, the postman and the environment a favour by not sending leaflets to his address.’
Compston, who lives in Las Vegas but also owns a home in Greenock, shared an image of the flyer showing his name and part of his Scots address.
The flyer was signed by Scottish Conservative Party leaders Ruth Davidson and Douglas Ross, urging Compston to vote for them.
Compston bought a flat in Greenock earlier this year so he could be closer to his parents.
But he spends much of his time in America, where he says, ‘you get more for your money.’
With the election taking place during the coronavirus pandemic, Compston told the online rally: ‘I think even people who don’t like Nicola Sturgeon, for whatever reason, have had to admit that she has been by far the most competent leader on these islands dealing with this crisis.
‘And she’s the one I think is best placed to take us forward getting out of it.
‘So, I do really think that we are in a situation now where we need the best people, the most competent people, in charge of Scotland.
‘To make sure that we come out of this a better place than we went in.’
Compston, who lives in the US with his American wife, continued: ‘Everyone is allowed an opinion.
‘Whether that be politicians down south or some lovely incredible entertainers who have moved abroad for whatever reason.
‘Myself, I’ve lived across the world. That’s the beauty of free speech. Everyone is allowed an opinion. But what matters is votes.’
The Scottish actor stars as Steve Arnott in the hit BBC drama Line of Duty (pictured with co star Vicky McClure)
SNP MP Mhairi Black, who interviewed the actor for the online event, said the May 6 election was ‘the most important in Scotland’s history’ as she stressed ‘every vote will count’.
Ms Black said: ‘Only by casting both votes for the SNP can we guarantee Nicola Sturgeon is re-elected as First Minister to keep Scotland safe through Covid, build a strong, fair and green recovery, and put Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands.
‘I want to thank Martin and all of the actors, writers, musicians and cultural figures who have given their support to the SNP at this crucial election.
‘The last year has changed our world. This year we have the opportunity to build a better and fairer future for Scotland by voting SNP.’
Every poll has the SNP returning as the largest party in Holyrood after Thursday, but the parliamentary arithmetic may still have it running a minority administration, as was the case in the last term.
But Ms Sturgeon has been pushing for a majority in this election, which would not only strengthen her government’s hand on domestic issues at Holyrood, but also bolster the case for another independence referendum, which she and other SNP politicians have repeatedly asserted would only take place after the pandemic has passed.