Line Of Duty’s Martin Compston ‘walking on air’ at thought of independent Scotland

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The Scottish actor plays Detective Sergeant Steve Arnott in Line Of Duty, which airs its second episode tonight. Prior to his role in the BBC crime drama, he had leading roles in Monarch Of The Glen, The Nest and Wee Man. But the 36-year-old has also hit the headlines for being a vocal supporter of Scottish Independence in recent years.

Compston described the atmosphere surrounding Scotland’s vote to become a republic as “amazing”.

He wished he could have “bottled the feeling” of that 2014 referendum, which saw 55 percent of the nation vote to remain part of the UK.

The results concluded with 1.6million voting to become an independent country, around 45 percent, and more than two million people against it.

Compston admitted he had “supported independence from a very young age” and hoped there would be a second referendum in the future.

In a 2018 interview with The National, he recalled: “Walking down to the polling station in Greenock I felt like I was walking on air.”

Inverclyde, where Greenock is located, narrowly voted to remain part of the UK attracting 50.08 percent of all ballots cast.

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Compston said the referendum was “such an incredible time for Scotland”.

He admitted: “When the vote was coming I almost didn’t want the campaign to end.

“People who had never thought about politics before were getting involved and having their say.”

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Compston said the result was “very disheartening” after Brexit was voted for by 52 percent of the UK. 

Scotland overwhelmingly voted Remain in the 2016 EU referendum, gaining 62 percent of the vote.

Compston felt more compelled to “stand up” to the UK in the wake of the decision to leave the European Union.

He said: “If we don’t stand up now when are we ever going to stand up?”

Last year, Compston told The Financial Times that he had been “politically active” his “whole life” but felt differently in recent years.

He continued: “I was very vocal – particularly about Scottish independence.” 

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After the Scottish referendum, the actor felt he could take more of a backseat role. 

He said: “We were on the periphery of Scottish politics but now we’re at a point that it’s in our daily conversation, so I feel I can step back.”

In March, the actor spoke against the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party for calling First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to resign.

Following the calls for Ms Sturgeon to step down, Compston took to Twitter to brand the Scottish Conservatives “an utter disgrace”.

His tweet was liked more than 30,000 times, received 4,700 retweets and around 1,700 responses.

Ms Sturgeon echoed that thought and claimed the Scottish Conservatives were playing “political games”, which showed their “true colours”.

Martin Compston stars in Line Of Duty, which airs its second episode at 9pm tonight on BBC One. 

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