Ultimo's Michelle Mone on Scottish independence: Alex Salmond is “encouraging hate” and “splitting this country”

Josh Martin
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Ultimo boss Michelle Mone is a fervent Better Together campaigner
Lingerie queen and fervent Better Together campaigner Michelle Mone said speaking out against independence had led to threats against her which were “off the scale and getting worse”.

She told City A.M.: “People are threatening me, saying all sorts of things about coming to my house, physical violence and just really nasty stuff.”

Mone, raised in Glasgow’s east end, said the vitriol meant she was worried about her safety and that the “nastiness” was encouraged by Alex Salmond’s Yes campaign.

“Threats of physical abuse are not acceptable, but he is encouraging hate. That's disgusting. He is splitting this country,” Mone said.

Her warnings came as Labour leader Ed Miliband was forced to abandon a tour of a shopping centre yesterday, after being jostled and sworn at by campaigners.

The businesswoman said other executives and entrepreneurs were “scared” to come out and voice their personal views because of her experience.

“It’s clear other business leaders are worried for themselves and their profits.”

Her lingerie business, Ultimo, has customers around the world and has not faced a backlash from consumers in Scotland or the rest of the UK, she said.

Mone, 42, had approached the argument for independence as a “business case where you need to do due diligence”, but even an impersonal analysis has not spared her from online trolls. The prime target on Mone’s back is her promise to personally relocate south if a Yes vote succeeds tomorrow.

Mone said the hypothetical move to London would be “to make life easier” given her hectic travel and business appointments. Tax policy would also be a factor, she said.

The referendum vote had already pushed Westminster to relinquish more control to Scotland, Mone said, but she feared an independent Scotland would immediately dip back into recession. Dependence on food banks would only get worse, she said, and cited Asda, Waitrose and other retailers who had indicated prices would rise for Scots following independence.

“The business case does not stack up. Alex Salmond has still refused to give answers on the serious economic questions,” Mone said Despite the attacks, Mone added she would continue to speak her mind. “If I give up, they win,” she said.

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