Nicola Sturgeon slaps down SNP President Mike Russell after he was accused of an ‘utterly crass’ attempt to ‘draw parallels’ between the push for Scottish independence and Ukraine’s battle for survival against Russia
- SNP’s Mike Russell wrote a blog about what Ukraine invasion means for Scotland
- President of the SNP said all people have right to choose how they are governed
- He appeared to make a direct link between invasion and Scottish independence
- Nicola Sturgeon today rebuked Mr Russell as she said there is ‘no connection’
Nicola Sturgeon today slapped down the SNP President after he was accused of an ‘utterly crass’ attempt to compare the push for Scottish independence to Ukraine’s battle for survival against Russia.
Mike Russell wrote in a blog on the SNP website that all people have the right to ‘choose how they are governed’ and this must be ‘universally applied’.
He argued that right cannot be ‘circumscribed by history’ and ‘just because something was, doesn’t mean it will always continue to be so whether that be rule from Moscow, or the result of an eight-year-old referendum’.
The Scottish Liberal Democrats accused Mr Russell of an ‘astounding’ attempt to ‘draw parallels’ between Ukraine and Scotland.
Meanwhile, SNP MSP Michelle Thomson yesterday apologised after tweeting about Ukraine’s application to join the European Union accompanied by the message: ‘Just goes to show what political will can achieve. Remember this Scotland!’
Ms Sturgeon today insisted there is ‘no connection’ between the war in Ukraine and the campaign for Scottish independence.
Nicolas Sturgeon today slapped down the SNP President after he was accused of an ‘utterly crass’ attempt to compare the push for Scottish independence to Ukraine’s battle for survival against Russia
Mike Russell wrote in a blog on the SNP website that all people have the right to ‘choose how they are governed’ and this must be ‘universally applied’
Mr Russell published a blog on the SNP website on February 28, entitled ‘three things Scotland must consider in its response to the Ukraine invasion’.
He wrote: ‘The right of people to choose how they are governed and by whom is an absolute and must be universally applied, respecting each and every democratic mandate.
‘Nor can that right be circumscribed by history – just because something was, doesn’t mean it will always continue to be so whether that be rule from Moscow, or the result of an eight-year-old referendum.’
Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP Willie Rennie blasted Mr Russell over the comments.
He told The Herald: ‘There’s enough hot air coming off Mike Russell to end dependence on Russian oil and gas.
‘Likening the longevity of the 2014 referendum result in any way to rule from Moscow is one of the stupider things I have heard from a senior SNP figure.
‘It is utterly crass to draw any parallels between what is going on in Ukraine to Scotland’s situation, when people in Ukraine are fighting and dying to avoid falling under the yolk of the Kremlin.’
Mr Rennie said he was ‘astounded’ by the comments and called on the SNP and Mr Russell to apologise.
Asked about the remarks this morning, Ms Sturgeon said it would be ‘overstating things’ to suggest that a comparison had been made.
But she added: ‘There is no connection between a war in Ukraine and the support and campaign for independence in Scotland.
‘What I think should unite all of us right now are some fundamental values, the values that underpin I think much of our democracy in Scotland – and certainly underpin my party and the independence movement – the commitment to democracy, freedom, the rule of international law and the value of the world coming together in solidarity.
‘These are the values that we hold dear and these are the values that people bravely in Ukraine are standing up for in the toughest imaginable circumstances.
The SNP’s Michelle Thomson drew a link between Kyiv’s emergency attempt to join the European Union and her party’s hopes of rejoining the bloc if Scotland splits from the UK
Later, Ms Thomson deleted her tweet and wrote: ‘I noted and then tweeted something earlier that was insensitive regarding Ukraine. Like everyone, my first thoughts are sympathy for the people there. Apologies if I offended anyone.’
‘But we should all remember right now this is about Ukraine fighting for these values and our responsibility is to do everything we can to support them.’
The 2014 referendum on Scottish independence saw people vote by 55 per cent to 45 per cent against splitting from the UK.
Ms Sturgeon has said she wants to hold a re-run of the vote by the end of next year.
But Boris Johnson has long insisted the 2014 result should be respected and has so far refused to grant permission for another vote.