SIR Sean Connery will not appear in Scotland to back the Yes campaign because of his tax exile status, the star’s brother has revealed.
Speculation has been mounting about whether Connery, a passionate supporter of Scottish independence, would make a last-minute intervention.
But his younger brother, Neil, speaking at his home in Edinburgh, appeared to dash any hopes among Yes supporters of the former Bond legend jetting in from the Bahamas.
Neil, 76, did reject persistent suggestions that the no-show was down to Connery’s health, claiming the star was in “better health” than him.
Connery has previously travelled to Scotland to give his backing to the SNP. But he has been criticised for urging Scots to risk their future while living abroad in luxury.
Neil Connery, himself a retired actor, answered the door to his smart Corstorphine bungalow on Monday afternoon and confirmed: “I really don’t believe he will be making an appearance this week in Scotland.”
Asked about the whereabouts of his brother so close to the vote, he replied: “There’s only a certain amount of days Sean can be in the country for tax reasons, so I know that he intends to use them wisely.”
He was then asked if his brother’s health was part of the reason for his absence from the campaign trail.
Neil laughed and replied: “No he’s just fine.
“Last I heard from him he was in New York.
“He’s probably in better health than me!”
He added: “He’s got a lot on his plate at the moment.”
The Yes campaign flatly refused to comment on Neil Connery’s comments.
But an insider suggested the 84-year-old star’s non-appearance was nothing to do with his tax status.
“It is our understanding that it is to do with ill health and he’s an old man.
On Twitter yesterday, dismayed Yes supporters continued to ask when, if ever, Connery would be appearing.
James Mceleny tweeted: “My one disappointment of the Yes campaign – where’s Sir Sean Connery? Your people need to take direction from the greatest living Scot.”
Others continued to taunt Connery over his Bahamas residency.
Zahid Ul-Hassan, from Glasgow, tweeted: “Will Sean Connery live in an independent Scotland? Oh wait, that would involve paying taxes.”
Makrina, from Aberdeen, tweeted: “Sean Connery supporting independence. Well if you love Scotland so much why don’t you live and pay your taxes here?”
And Asa Joseph tweeted: “I’d love if Scotland gains independence, and then chases Sean Connery for millions in back-taxes.”
Scottish film star Alan Cumming bought a flat in Edinburgh in an apparent bid to be able to vote Yes.
Cumming, who flew in from the US last week to support the Yes campaign, was told by the electoral authorities that his £82,000 purchase would not get him a vote tomorrow.
Connery, widely referred to as the “Greatest Living Scot”, is famed for starring in a total of seven James Bond films.
In 1989 he was voted “Sexiest Man Alive” by People magazine.