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This Man Spent £1,600 On One Of Alex Salmond's Ties

"My mum thought I was absolutely bloody mad," Russell Wardrop told BuzzFeed News.

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A businessman who voted Yes in Scotland's independence referendum has spent £1,600 on one of Alex Salmond's ties.

Russell Wardrop, the chief executive of communications company Kissing With Confidence, told BuzzFeed News he was prepared to spend as much as £10,000 on the former first minister's tie, so he is delighted with his bargain.

"Middle-aged guys always get shit ties for Christmas, so I've bought myself a good one," said Wardrop. "Although, to be fair, it's probably a little bit more than you'd pay in Marks & Spencer's."

The tie garnished Alex Salmond's neck on almost every important occasion during the referendum campaign, including his meetings with the Queen and David Cameron, so Wardrop believes he's got his hands on a unique piece of history.

"I have a real interest in political oratory," said communications expert Wardrop. "It's something I've always been interested in, and that's why I bought the tie. It's a unique historical artifact with real provenance, an absolute one-off, so I thought it was cheap as chips."

Wardrop voted Yes in the independence referendum, but said he's never voted for the SNP. "I'm not a nationalist, I've not got the See You Jimmy wig, I've just always been a Salmond fan," he said.

His mum thought he was "absolutely bloody mad" when she heard that he had spent £1,600 on the tie, although his wife was more supportive: "She was there when I got it, my London-born wife, so I got the go-ahead from her."

Wardrop, who said he's "watched a lot of Bargain Hunt", had never been to an auction before he bought the tie, although he does own one other piece of memorabilia: a copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone signed by JK Rowling.

"It's funny because [Rowling] was on the No side and caused quite the furore, so I've got something for both sides now," he said. "But I know which one I prefer."

Although he "quite likes the look of the tie", he said he will never wear it. Instead, he will put it in a presentation case on his mantelpiece and pass it on to his son when he dies. "It's going in the will, absolutely," he said. "I'll never give this away until I'm planted."

The SNP is now looking forward to May's general election, but Salmond will have to face the electorate without the help of his lucky tie. Will Wardrop feel guilty if, in taking Salmond's tie, he has jinxed Salmond's campaign to become an MP?

"Alex will get what he deserves from the elections," said Wardrop, "and if he doesn't get enough votes, then I doubt it will be because of me having his lucky tie.

"There will be no guilt on my part, and I'm sure he won't blame it either."

Jamie Ross is a Scotland reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Edinburgh.

Contact Jamie Ross at jamie.ross@buzzfeed.com.

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