It’s been a ‘Crisis Pr’ career crisis for Lewis based journalist Iain ‘X’ Maciver – leading him to fake an apology on national television.
Last week Mr Maciver was announced as media spokesman for former MSP Bill Walker, recently convicted on 23 accounts of domestic abuse.
Yet within days the partnership sunk as Maciver – who has undertaken ‘Crisis Pr’ services for several years – issued a statement including vicious comments about abuse victim Diana Walker, which Mr Walker refuted.
And well-known locally for his controversial blog, Mr Maciver has come under public flak for his handling of the situation.
“I’ve always taken issue with individuals if I believe that they are picking on people unduly. I don’t sit by and just accept it, I criticise them directly,” said Mr Maciver.
“Which is why I’m not complaining about the criticism of me, it’s very difficult, but I’m not complaining about it. It’s perfectly understandable.”
Talking to the ‘Gazette’ about the recent events, Mr Maciver stated that he was not paid for his services or expenses, and had offered his assistance to help ease pressure from the former politician’s present wife June Walker.
“I wasn’t bothered about Bill Walker, he was convicted. I made it quite clear to him that I was doing it for her,” he said.
“When people get themselves into situations and they are having, to me, obvious problems dealing with the media, I contact them and offer my services.
“It’s important to me. I’ve usually got enough time to do it, and it means they can pass on what they want to pass onto the media without too much being made of it. They can control then what goes out, ” Mr Maciver continued. “It can be really overwhelming to them, their partners and families, dealing with the media, so I offer to take the pressure off.”
Mr Maciver said that he had written a second, ‘appropriate’, statement which Mr Walker ‘wasn’t interested in’; and that he was ‘intimidated’ into sending the offensive version.
“I wanted to say ‘that’s inappropriate because of this, this and this, I have an alternative one, why do we send this’,” said Mr Maciver.
“He wasn’t interested. His ex-wife [Diana Walker] had been on TV the previous day, criticising him and saying she was happy that he had finally quit. He got very angry about that, he was enraged.
“I said to him it was inappropriate to have a go at her [Diana Walker]; she was the victim, he was convicted of assault, but he wasn’t interested, he wasn’t listening to me.”
He went on: “I wasn’t threatened with violence, but I was intimidated and he made me send an email I didn’t want to send. At the very last minute he demanded I take his name off, because there was supposed to be a quote from him, and said put in Bill Walker declined to comment.
“It wasn’t time for a stand up row and more importantly I wanted to get out of that office. I was intimidated and all my belongings were in the boot of his car and I need to escape. He had begun to act unreasonably.”
The public issuing of the offensive statement led to Mr Maciver appearing on national television to apologise – yet although saying at that time it was his fault and his words, Mr Maciver claims that he lied, and that the statement had been approved by Mr Walker.
As proof the PR-man points to details of a leaked conversation, published in a Sunday newspaper in which Mr Walker is heard to say: “I did see what you sent out before it went out and, you know, the facts were correct. It was done in your style. The facts were correct.”
Mr Maciver continued: “Absolutely I lied. That was part of my plan.
“It’s the most horrible thing I’ve ever had to do, but I defy anyone to say that if I’d said anything else in that position anyone would believe me.
“That really would have appeared to be trying to wriggle out of the situation by blaming him; because there were no witnesses in the office, I could never prove anything until it came from his lips.”
Mr Walker declined to comment on the claims made by Mr Maciver.
Mr Walker was today (Friday, September 20th) sentenced to one year imprisonment for the 23 domestic abuse charges.