FMQs: Huge row erupts at ‘English not welcome in Scotland’ attack – Sturgeon furious

Sturgeon given 'security blanket' with Green deal says expert

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Nicola Sturgeon erupted at a comment made by another member of parliament calling her “anti-English” today during a discussion about discrimination in the Scottish Parliament. Tess White, Scottish Conservative MSP for the North East region, has now apologised for the comments after admitting they were “over the line”. Reacting to the heckle, Ms Sturgeon said: “I have just heard a comment made to me from a sedentary position, I would not normally do this but I am offended. I do want after the session to take up with you so that, with your permission, the member may be asked to reflect on that and withdraw the comment. That would have been unacceptable in any context, but in the context of what we are discussing right now I am deeply aggrieved that any member thought that was an appropriate thing to say.”

Apologising shortly after, Ms White said: “My comments during First Minister’s Questions were over the line and I would like to withdraw them and apologise to both the chamber and the First Minister.”

Meanwhile, a crowd of angry women’s rights protesters have amassed outside the Scottish Parliament. The protesters are furious that gender self-identification has been introduced on the Scottish census – a move they say will disproportionately harm women.

Ms Sturgeon has set out her plan for the SNP-Green deal which includes a dozen environmental promises on the condition of an independence referendum.

The SNP had been locked in negotiations with the Scottish Green party since the SNP fell short of an overall majority in Holyrood by only one seat in the last election May 6.

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KEY EVENTS

  • Sturgeon erupts at ‘deeply offensive’ attack ‘I’m taking it up with you after!’13:13
  • Protesters amass outside Scottish Parliament12:28
  • Scot reveals he received ‘anti-English racism’

    A man revealed he’s been the victim of “anti-English racism” in Scotland due to his accent, despite being Scottish.

    Comments made during FMQ has sparked a debate online over whether Scotland has a problem with anti-English bigotry. 

    Call to move COP26 from Glasgow over soaring Covid rates

    Boris Johnson has been urged to move the UN’s COP26 climate conference from Glasgow due to its coronavirus case rate. 

    Twitter user James Sinclair commented: “I think the best thing Boris could do is to move the #COP26 away from Glasgow. 

    Then again leaving it in Glasgow will show case what a shambles the SNP council is, delegates will wonder why the SNP government is not helping, and be concerned about going anywhere due to the mishandling of the pandemic by Sturgeon.”

    Nicola Sturgeon met Sadiq Khan today to discuss climate change

    Nicola Sturgeon met London mayor Sadiq Khan today to discuss climate change, ahead of the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow later this year which Boris Johnson is hosting. 

    Mr Khan tweeted: As we get closer to the vitally important COP26 summit later this year, it was great to speak to the First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon today to discuss our shared ambition of tackling the climate emergency and the importance of our net-zero targets.”

    Writer claims there is “genuine venom” between Sturgeon and Ross

    There is “genuine venom” between Nicola Sturgeon and Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross, according to writer Alan Cochrane. 

    The two leaders clashed on Thursday over the SNP’s vaccine passport plans, at FMQ. 

    Writing for the Daily Telegraph Mr Cochrane said: “Although there have been plenty of decent scraps over the years between this First Minister and previous Tory leaders, there is genuine venom in the relationship between Ms Sturgeon and Mr Ross.

    “Their loathing for each other is manifest in their exchanges.”

    Sturgeon warns of Christmas shortages – blames Brexit

    Nicola Sturgeon has warned there could be shortages of children’s toys over Christmas due to transport disruption caused by Brexit. 

    A lack of lorry drivers, as many EU nationals have returned home, has been blamed on shortages of some goods. 

    Ms Sturgeon said: “We, right now not just in Scotland but across the UK are in the quite incredible situation, unlike other countries across the European Union – so this is not about Covid – of seeing shortages in our supermarkets, of having shortages of other supplies, of having children told there might not be toys at Christmas because of the disruption to supply chains.

    “I really do think Conservatives should take some responsibility because it is entirely inflicted by their obsession with Brexit. 

    “Scotland did not vote for Brexit and it was utterly reckless of the Conservatives to plough ahead with Brexit in the middle of a global pandemic.”

    Tory councillor tweets support for Tess White in ‘anti-English’ row – then deletes

    Conservative councillor Kyle Thornton, who represents Newlands/Auldburn in Glasgow, tweeted support for Tess White MSP’s heckle of Nicola Sturgeon. He later deleted the message. 

    Councillor Thornton had commented: “Well done Tess White – Nicola stands by while her party and their hanger-ons stoke up anglophobia with winks, nudges and sheer ineptitude all in the name of trying to boost independence.”

    After deleting his origional tweet, the councillor added: “Hi all – while I do believe we have a serious issue with anglophobia from the governing party in Scotland, I was unaware of the question this comment was made on and as such have deleted my earlier tweet.”

    Scotland records highest coronavirus deaths since March

    Scotland recorded its highest coronavirus death toll for six months on Thursday. 

    Scottish government data revealed another 17 people have died from the disease, the highest figure since March 1 when 20 passed away. 

    Another 6,400 Covid cases were reported across Scotland. 

    Sturgeon accused of ‘losing her grip’ on Covid

    Nicola Sturgeon has been accused of “losing her grip” on the coronavirus crisis by Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross. 

    After first minister’s questions he tweeted: Nicola Sturgeon is losing her grip on Covid and the NHS is in crisis.

    “The SNP’s flimsy recovery pamphlet isn’t good enough.

    “Our health service needs a real plan to get back on track.”

    According to journalist Andrew Neil “almost half” of Europe’s top 20 coronavirus hotspots are currently in Scotland. 

    Online support for Tory MSP over Sturgeon ‘anti-English’ comment

    Conservative MSP Tess White who hecked Nicola Sturgeon, claiming Scotland under the SNP is welcoming “except if you’re English”, has apologised for her remark. 

    The First Minister said she was “deeply offended” by the remark. 

    However Ms White’s views found support on social media, with unionists posting photos of Scottish nationalists holding an “England Get Out of Scotland” banner. 

    One said: “The Tory MSP is right though. So many Nationalists are Anglophobic. All the ‘London’ and ‘Westminster’ jibes are just synonyms for England and the English. Everyone in Scottish politics knows this. Sturgeon’s ‘anger’ is wholly synthetic. Everyone knows this too.”

    Another asked: “Has Sturgeon ever called out anti-English bigotry when it rears its head?”

    Tory MSP apologises for ‘anti-English’ heckle

    A Scottish Conservative MSP has apologised after heckling Nicola Sturgeon to suggest English people were not welcome to make Scotland their home.

    Tess White said: “My comments during First Minister’s Questions were over the line and I would like to withdraw them and apologise to both the chamber and the First Minister.”

    Presiding Officer Alison Johnstone replied: “I’m grateful that Miss White has reflected on her behaviour and that you have apologised to the chamber for these remarks.

    “You will be in no doubt at all, Ms White, that great offence was caused.

    “I would just like to say further that the fact that, on this occasion, no further action will be taken does not in any way detract from the seriousness with which I view this incident.

    “Members must be in no doubt at all that I expect that their conduct at all times will be worthy of a member of the Scottish Parliament.”

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    Video of the anti-English comment made to the first minister

    The ‘deeply offensive’ comment was made during a conversation about prejudice in Scotland. 

    Nicola Sturgeon replied to a question about a spike in anti-Irish sentiment by saying everyone was welcome in Scotland. 

    This response was interrupted by an unidentified member of parliament accusing Ms Sturgeon of being “anti-English”. 

    The first minister said: “I am deeply aggrieved that any member thought that was an appropriate thing to say.”

    Labour leader slams NHS recovery plan

    Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar has slammed Nicola Sturgeon’s inadequate NHS recovery plan which pledges to pump £1billion into the health service.

    Mr Sarwar said: “Doctors, nurses and patients agree that the NHS is in crisis.

    “And we need more than a the thin recovery plan produced by this Government to rebuild the NHS.” 

    Mr Sarwar then went on to detail that under the current plan, Scotland’s health system will not meet the 62 day cancer standard for another five years – on top of the fact it has already not been met for the last nine years. 

    This means people will be diagnosed later which reduces the chance of recovery.

    Ms Sturgeon replied by saying they would pledge £1billion and add 15,000 additional staff to treatment centres.

    Sturgeon erupts at ‘deeply offensive’ attack ‘I’m taking it up with you after!’

    Nicola Sturgeon erupted at an inaudible comment made by another member of parliament during a discussion of anti-Irish racism in the Scottish Parliament.

    The comment was made after Ms Sturgeon said that everyone was welcome in Scotland which the first minister was instantly appalled by.

    In response, Ms Sturgeon said: “I have just heard a comment made to me from a sedentary position, I would not normally do this but I am offended. 

    “I do want after the session to take up with you so that, with your permission, the member may be asked to reflect on that and withdraw the comment. 

    “That would have been unacceptable in any context, but in the context of what we are discussing right now I am deeply aggrieved that any member thought that was an appropriate thing to say.”

    Scottish Labour slams longest A&E waiting times since records began

    Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar has slammed the SNP for the longest A&E waiting times since records began. 

    The first minister responded by attributing the long wait times to the global pandemic which has put significant pressure on the NHS.

    Protesters amass outside Scottish Parliament

    A large crowd of women’s rights protesters have amassed outside Scottish Parliament today while Nicola Sturgeon answers First Minister’s Questions. 

    The protest was organised by a group called For Women Scotland who claim to be working to protect and strengthen women and children’s rights.

    Nicola Sturgeon received a chorus of boos when she was quoted as saying “I would never do anything to harm women”. 

    The protest comes after the National Records of Scotland (NRS) revealed that people can answer the male or female question in Scotland’s 2022 census based on how they identify themselves rather than according to legal status. 

    The protesters argue gender self-identification harms women. 

    Marion Millar, who is the main organiser of the protest, was seen standing on stage delivering a speech about the vulnerability of women in Scottish prisons as well as at home. 

    In her speech, Ms Millar used the convicted murderer Paris Green, who was born as Peter Laing and was sent to a women’s prison, as an example to criticise the decision to use self-ID. 

    She said: “Green had a male physic and fully intact male genitalia but was sent to a female estate on the basis of gender identity.”

    Could vaccine passports be permanent?

    Scottish Conservative Party leader Douglas Ross has demanded SNP’s Nicola Sturgeon to outline the details of the COVID-19 support and whether vaccine passports could be permanent. 

    Mr Ross quoted the deputy first minister, John Swinney, as saying vaccine passports could be permanent before asking Ms Sturgeon whether this is true.

    Mr Ross added: “Will Nicola Sturgeon tell us exactly what infrastructure will be in place, who will administer it and what financial support will be available?”

    Ms Sturgeon replied: “In the face of a global pandemic the public should be very wary of politicians who suggest that any government should take a dogmatic, unchanging position because that is not how you keep the public safe.” 

    The first minister declined to give further details before the issue is debated in Parliament next week.

    Ross grills Sturgeon on vaccine passports

    Scottish Conservative party leader Douglas Ross has questioned whether the new Green members of parliament support the idea of vaccine passports. 

    SNP’s Nicola Sturgeon replies that it will be up to the Scottish parliament to decide whether that meaure is introduced. 

    Ms Sturgeon said: “This is a question of how we best continue to control COVID-19 and to do that in the least restrictive, most proportionate way.

    “I think vaccine passports have a roll to play in doing that.”

    Mr Ross snapped back that the SNP-Green “coalition of chaos” was leaving people in the dark about how exactly these vaccine passports will work.

    “Perhaps Douglas Ross should first and foremost concentrate on his own view on vaccine certification – whether he supports or opposes it – or whether he is going to continue simply to engage in the infantile opposition that characterises so much of the Conservative response to COVID-19,” Ms Sturgeon replied.

    UK plans ‘to move nuclear subs from Scotland’ if SNP secures independence

    Top secret plans are being drawn up to move Britain’s nuclear weapons to America or France if Scotland leaves the Union, according to reports.

    The UK’s nuclear arsenal is currently located at HMNB Clyde, Faslane, on the Gare Loch. 

    The SNP has pledged to ban all nuclear weapons from the country if Scotland becomes independent.

    Speaking to the Financial Times senior officials said Trident may have to be based outside the UK if Scotland leaves the union.

    Suggested new bases are Kings Bay, Georgia, where the US keeps its nuclear fleet, or Île Longue in Brittany, France.

    Any move outside the UK would likely be highly controversial, and raise questions about the independence of Britain’s nuclear deterrent.

    Sturgeon has a ‘big green security blanket’ for Scottish independence

    Nicola Sturgeon now has a “big green security blanket” for Scottish independence, according to BBC Political correspondent Kirsten Campbell. 

    Ms Campbell said on The Nine: “The deal does include a firm commitment for another independence referendum within the next five years of the Scottish Parliament.

    “The First Minister has said it will create a greener, fairer, independent Scotland so that is the aim.

    “Whether that will satisfy for example the campaigners, who were protesting outside Hollywood this lunchtime, demanding a referendum now remains to be seen because there’s no timescale on it.” 

    What environmental promises has Sturgeon made?

    First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has made a string of key environmental policy announcements in her speech to Holyrood confirming the SNP coalition with the Scottish Greens.

    Ms Sturgeon said: “We will dedicate at least 10% of the Scottish government’s overall travel budget to active travel – cycling, walking and wheeling.

    “We will significantly increase investment in public transport.

    “We will work to cut the emissions from it, and make it more accessible – with a commitment to free bus travel for young people, for example – and we will bring ScotRail into public ownership.

    “All of these measures will help us reduce car kilometres by 20 percent by 2030.

    “We will also support the essential transformation in how we heat our homes and buildings.

    “This term of Parliament will see investment of at least £1.8 billion in energy efficiency and renewable heating.”

    Ms Sturgeon also vowed to do more to protect the natural environment including designating a new national park, planting more trees, and protecting the ocean.

    ‘This is not a deal that works for Scotland,’ says Scot Conservative leader

    Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross has slammed Nicola Sturgeon’s deal with the Green Party, accusing her of prioritising her dream of Scottish independence over the wellbeing of Scottish people.

    Mr Ross said: “This is not a deal that works for Scotland, this is a deal that works for Nicola Sturgeon.

    “[The deal is a] nationalist coalition with one overriding goal: to separate Scotland from the United Kingdom”. 

    Mr Ross then accused the two parties of putting “a divisive referendum first” above the more urgent social issues Scotland has” and betraying business and car owners. 

    Scottish – Green deal a ‘leap of faith’ says Sturgeon

    SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has called the landmark deal between the SNP and Scottish Green party a “leap of faith” for all involved. 

    She said the pact could represent “a new and better way of doing politics”.

    Holyrood’s other parties hit out at the deal, saying it was more about pursuing independence than the environment.

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