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Scottish Tory Leader admits he is a Freemason after first denying it

g and compass


McLetchie in masonic disclosure

Wednesday, 6 February, 2002

David McLetchie and Iain Duncan Smith
Mr McLetchie (right) had laughed off the question

Scottish Tory Party Leader David McLetchie has revealed that he was a freemason.

Last week, after four Tory MSPs declared their masonic membership, Mr McLetchie told BBC Scotland that he was not in the organisation.

But in a statement on Wednesday, he said he had not paid any dues or attended any meetings for more than 10 years.

Keith Harding MSP
Keith Harding declared his membership
Keith Harding, the Tory MSP for Mid-Scotland and Fife, last week said he was proud to be a mason, but that it had "no influence whatsoever" on his political life.

Mr Harding registered his membership of the masons after the standards committee cast what he described as "aspersions" on the secret organisation.

Fellow MSPs Phil Gallie, Jamie McGrigor and Brian Monteith then declared themselves as masons but had not registered their memberships with the committee.

The controversy began when Scottish National Party MSP Tricia Marwick challenged fellow MSPs to declare membership of organisatons like the freemasons and the Knights of St Columba.

During a media conference with Tory Leader Iain Duncan Smith on Friday, Mr McLetchie told BBC Scotland that he was not a member and laughed off the inquiry.

He asked if the assembled journalists had been challenged to declare their membership.

Current membership

But on Wednesday he said that he had been a mason and had ended his links with the craft more than a decade ago.

Mr McLetchie said: "My involvement with the masons terminated over 10 years ago.

"Since then, I have not paid any subscriptions or attended any meetings.

"The issue was raised about whether MSPs should register current membership. Members can do this on a voluntary basis.

"I am not a member and have therefore nothing to register."


Freemasons whose dues are not current are still Freemasons.

They are simply Freemasons in dues arrears.

There is a very formal process to quit the Lodge termed 'demitting'.

Any Mason would know this.


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