A UK Government minister has caused outrage after suggesting the Scottish parliament had no more significance than an English county council.
Conservative MP Caroline Nokes was appearing in front of the Scottish Affairs Committee when she was asked whether powers over immigration might be better devolved to Scotland.
Responding to Committee Chair Pete Wishart, Nokes said: “I wouldn’t grant any powers to the Scottish Government that I wouldn’t grant to Lincolnshire county council.”
The comment from the UK Minister of State for Immigration caused outrage on social media. One comment on twitter read: “Arrogant, condescending, ignorant, and typical. They treat us as a colony that has resources to exploit but no say in how we manage our own resources. Until enough people waken up this is what we face. It disgusts me.”
Scottish Government Brexit Minister, Michael Russell, tweeted: “Without doubt this is how
@GovUK now sees devolution – the “granting” of powers by junior ministers at their whim to distant and very limited local institutions. So much for the rhetoric of #indyref – remember a “partnership of equals”?”
Others contrasted what they described as an arrogant dismissal of Scotland’s parliament and people, with comments made by Theresa May in 2012 when the Prime Minister spoke of: “A future in which Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England continue to flourish side-by-side as equal partners.”
The episode is not the first time Conservative MPs have caused outrage after insulting Scotland and its people. In 2015 a Conservative MP was forced to apologise after suggesting Scots should be sold into slavery.
Tory MP for South East Cambridgeshire, Lucy Frazer, laughed about how Oliver Cromwell had sent Scots as “slaves to the colonies”.
She said: “It is the home of Oliver Cromwell who defeated the Scots at Dunbar, incorporated Scotland into his Protectorate and transported the Scots as slaves to the colonies.”
The comment prompted laughing and sneering from party colleagues. A smiling Frazer then added: “Now there is an answer to the West Lothian question – but not one that of course I would recommend.”
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