UK
06/09/2013 11:47 BST | Updated 06/09/2013 11:52 BST

James McMillan, Elderly Scottish Man, Attacked 'For Singing Pro-Independence Song' In Edinburgh

An elderly man was attacked by a "monstrous woman," after he started singing a Scottish independence-inspired song on the streets of Edinburgh.

James McMillan, 80, was left with a broken wrist, severe bruising and a cut to his head after the woman wrestled a banner supporting a Yes vote from him.

He had been wearing a kilt and singing his adapted version of the hymn The Cross of St Andrew while carrying a placard which read: “Time to get rid of the scourge of the Normans. Sign up to the Yes side."

scottish flag

The pensioner said the attack proved unionists were losing the independence debate

The pensioner told The Edinburgh Evening News the incident underlines the uglier side of the independence debate.

“I’ve been waving my placard and singing my songs around the city for the past few months and have never had a confrontation like this. I think it goes to show that the unionists are fearful of us because we have them on the run," he said.

However, the pensioner told the paper he would be returning to the spot to show he was “still fighting” following the attack.

“Even if I’m in a wheelchair I’ll continue to head out and campaign,” he said. “This has only served to make me more determined," he said.

Labour Party activist Duncan Hothersall tweeted his disgust at the incident.

“Shocked at #indyref assault. No place for violence in this debate. Hope this woman is caught and charged," he wrote.

Police Scotland have confirmed they are seeking witnesses and are examining CCTV footage in the area.

The news comes as the new head of the CBI business lobbying group warned Scottish independence risks creating "economic dislocation" for British business.

In his first speech as the business body's president, BT chairman Sir Roger Carr said the group remained "unconvinced" about the advantages of Scotland becoming independent.