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Sunak should apologise for ‘foolish’ comments on Scottish nationalism – Swinney

15 May 2024 3 minute read
John Swinney. Photo Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

John Swinney has urged Rishi Sunak to apologise for his “foolish” comments labelling Scottish nationalism as a danger to the UK.

In a speech on Monday, the Prime Minister said the coming five years are set to be among the “most dangerous”, as he included independence supporters in a list of threats alongside Russia, Iran and North Korea.

The comments were previously condemned by SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn.

First Minister Mr Swinney has now demanded the Prime Minister apologises and withdraws the remarks, which he said were “disrespectful”.

He said comparisons with “extremists” are “very poorly judged” and heighten negative debate.

Poorly judged

Speaking during a visit to Alloa Academy on Wednesday, Mr Swinney told LBC: “I think the Prime Minister’s reference was poorly judged, very poorly judged.

“I don’t think it helps to assist civilised, reasonable debate in our society. There’s absolutely no relationship between all of these classifications that he linked Scottish nationalists to.

“I want to make sure we have respectful debate. I think the Prime Minister’s contribution slotted in directly to disrespectful debate.

“I think he should apologise, I think he should withdraw his remarks. I think they’re foolish remarks.”

Threats

In his speech, Mr Sunak listed a number of growing threats, including war, terror and authoritarianism promoted by countries like Russia and Iran.

He also said “extremists” are exploiting the global conflicts to divide the country.

The Prime Minister said: “From gender activists hijacking children’s sex education to cancel culture, vocal and aggressive fringe groups are trying to impose their views on the rest of us.

“They’re trying to make it morally unacceptable to believe something different and undermine people’s confidence and pride in our own history and identity.

“Scottish nationalists are even trying to tear our United Kingdom apart.”

Speaking on BBC radio’s Good Morning Scotland programme, Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross defended the Prime Minister’s remarks.

He said: “What Rishi Sunak was discussing in his speech on Monday was threats to the United Kingdom. This was a wide-ranging speech on a number of threats.

“I don’t think anyone would believe that a party that wants to tear up the United Kingdom, end the United Kingdom by removing Scotland from it, is anything but a threat to the United Kingdom.”

Asked if he thought it was offensive to group independence supporters in with “extremists”, he said: “He was going through a range of threats to the United Kingdom.

“The future of the UK is under threat from a party that wants to destroy it.

“The SNP get up every morning to tear Scotland out of the UK.”


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Richard 1
Richard 1
9 days ago

Hasn’t Sunak heard about Plaid Cymru?

Jeff
Jeff
9 days ago

Continuing the attack on the people of the UK.

This party really is disgusting. Today they show they are in the pockets of religious fundamentalists with their bans on sex ed and attacks on sections on society clearly they aim it at. And today they attack cyclists, they attack unemployed (Mel Stride trying to to a Tebbit), the system for checks of fresh produce into the UK crashed, and Windermere seems a dumping ground for all Conservatives policies.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
9 days ago

Top School Top Boy Top Millionaire PM; a know nothing, clueless, amoral stranger in a strange land…

Those who foisted him on the country should be in stocks on ‘Westminster Bridge’…

Annibendod
Annibendod
9 days ago

Which country Rishi? Cymru, Alba or Angleland? Think you’ll find Scottish and Welsh patriots are trying to dissolve the imperial, BRITISH NATIONALIST Tory STATE. Nobody’s trying to tear apart your country. You’re just very confused about what country you’re in.

Riki
Riki
9 days ago
Reply to  Annibendod

It’s not bloody British! The UK was created and led by the Anglo, who ARE NOT BRITISH!!!! And never will be!

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
9 days ago

Tory turnip Rishy Sunak is an absolute clown. How on earth can he can equate Scottish Nationalism & independence with Putin’s Russia breathtakingly ignorant?! Scotland, and Wales which he arrogantly omits, have the same wishes and wants as Ukraine. We are reserve the right to sovereignty, freedom, and not be intimidated by larger aggressor who imposes it’s will. Sounds familiar doesn’t it Rishy. The irony is. Rishy Sunak argues Ukraine has the right to freedom & independence in turn denies the very same to both Scotland & Wales. England & Russia are two peas in the same political pod. He… Read more »

Riki
Riki
9 days ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

Welsh nationalism IS British nationalism. The British people are the people they call WELSH! British comes from Britain which in turn was Greek and later latin translation of the British name for themselves. These Britons in English are ……Welsh.

Riki
Riki
9 days ago

And what did I say? I knew they would be claiming the Cymric and Scot’s are a danger, and can be seen as extremists. A “Union” must always be a choice! If not, it’s a dictatorship. The fall of the UK cannot come quick enough.

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