Sturgeon condemns anti-English protest at Scottish border
Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish National party leader and first minister, has denounced a small group of nationalists who staged a border protest against English visitors on the A1 at the weekend, some with SNP banners.
The demonstration was condemned by Humza Yousaf, the Scottish justice secretary, and the Scottish parliament’s most senior minority ethnic MSP, as “horrible, reprehensible and vile” after footage emerged of them shouting “stay the fuck out” and “plague carriers” at caravans and camper vans driving north.
Sturgeon was asked whether the SNP, run by her husband, Peter Murrell, would check whether the protesters were party members and investigate. She replied:
I can’t stop people waving SNP banners but I can be very clear that they don’t speak for us and we will be … I’m not going to talk about internal disciplinary arrangements in the SNP [but] we have got well-established disciplinary rules which will be used if necessary.
But I can’t be clearer than I have been: the SNP is an open, welcoming party; Scotland is an open and welcoming country and that protest is not something I condone or endorse in any way, shape or form.
Jackson Carlaw, the Scottish Conservative leader, said on BBC Scotland’s Sunday Politics programme that type of protest would put off visitors, which Scotland’s tourist industry badly needed to attract. “We need people to come safely to Scotland to visit and to stay here on holiday and we should be encouraging that, not putting people off,” he said.
The demonstration, which follows reports of a similar instance on a bridge over the A30 as it entered Cornwall, where an image on social media purported to show three people standing on a bridge over the A30 holding a sign that read: “Turn around and fuck off.”
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