BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK: Scotland  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Tuesday, 3 September, 2002, 16:11 GMT 17:11 UK
Connery invite sparks political clash
Sir Sean Connery
Sir Sean Connery supports a film industry
Political opponents have clashed over calls to invite Sir Sean Connery to speak in the Scottish Parliament.

Tories and the Scottish National Party want the James Bond star to give evidence during an inquiry into the setting up of a film industry north of the border.

However, their Labour colleagues on a cross-party committee warned that such an appearance could be hijacked by the Nationalists for political purposes.


Unless someone like Sir Sean Connery, who after all was a great supporter of this parliament, is brought in it will be put to the bottom of the pile

Brian Monteith
Tory MSP
The Edinburgh-born actor is one of the signatories on a petition which is being considered by the education, culture and sport committee.

He has joined Canada-based planning engineer Howard Campbell in calling on the parliament to do all it can to support a Scottish film industry.

Tory MSP Brian Monteith said that some "zeal" needed to be brought into the campaign.

"I wonder if the committee could invite Sir Sean to appear before us," he asked.

"That would certainly attract attention to the issue and put it on the agenda.

Film campaign

"Some people might think I'm being flippant, but unless someone like Sir Sean Connery, who after all was a great supporter of this parliament, is brought in it will be put to the bottom of the pile."

SNP education spokesman Mike Russell agreed that the actor's presence at the parliament would be a massive boost to the film campaign.

However, Labour MSP Jackie Baillie said the committee was too busy to invite Sir Sean - and raised fears about his appearance being used for political gain.


Perhaps we should have actors who are working and are resident in Scotland rather than an actor who lives in Los Angeles

Karen Gillon
Committee convener
Sir Sean is a long-standing supporter of the SNP and its calls for an independent Scotland.

She said: "I have less sympathy with bringing Sir Sean Connery to the committee because I suspect it would be used for other purposes - and not the purposes of this petition.

"The committee has a huge amount of work to do before the parliament is dissolved next year and therefore I think we should leave it to a future committee."

Committee convener Karen Gillon, who is also a Labour MSP, agreed with Ms Baillie.

She said: "Perhaps we should have actors who are working and are resident in Scotland rather than an actor who lives in Los Angeles."

'Interesting development'

The committee decided to look at the matter again later in the year once its workload has eased.

Sir Sean's involvement was welcomed by Steve McIntyre, the chief executive of Scottish Screen.

He said: "If the parliament wanted to garner his views it would be an interesting development.

"Sean Connery is an interesting and serious person and if there's a particular development which he is actively pursuing then on the face of it we would take it seriously."

See also:

06 Jun 01 | Scotland
21 Dec 99 | Entertainment
29 Jan 01 | Entertainment
05 Jul 00 | Scotland
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Scotland stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Scotland stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes