A BBC Scotland presenter has come in for criticism after appearing to suggest Scottish Nationalists are parochial and xenophobic.
Sunday Politics Scotland host Gordon Brewer was interviewing Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard.
Pressing Leonard on his own party’s stance on immigration that resulted in criticisms from the SNP, Brewer said: “Surely from a Labour party point of view, the idea that a party with your internationalist traditions can be criticised for parochialism and xenophobia by Scottish Nationalists, I mean things have come to a pretty pass haven’t they?”
The suggestion from the BBC presenter, that Labour was an ‘internationalist’ party and somehow being accused of xenophobia by ‘Scottish Nationalists’ was ironic, was met by a mix of bemusement and anger on social media.
One user of twitter said: “Must be the only parochial & xenophobic movement to actually welcome migrants and anyone else wanting to live in Scotland in peace?”
Another said: “Gordon Brewer merely demonstrates that it is he who is the parochial bigot with a Labour script straight out of the ’70s”
The BBC Scotland presenter is not the first high-profile presenter from the broadcaster to imply Scottish Nationalism is based on xenophobia. In 2013 Andrew Marr caused anger after claiming anti-English sentiment was “entrenched” in the SNP.
Speaking at the Edinburgh Book Festival, the TV presenter said of Scotland: “There is a very strong anti-English feeling, everybody knows it, there always has been,” he said.
“If you go back to the origins of the SNP, the origins of home rule, Anglophobia was as well-entrenched then as it is now.”
In December 2012, BBC Scotland presenter Kaye Adams falsely accused the SNP of presiding over “a rise of anti-English sentiment in Scotland”.
Adams made the claim following the publication of statistics that showed attacks against “white British” had increased over the previous twelve month period. However, despite a phone in programme dedicated to the apparent rise, official figures published days later showed that anti-English attacks had in fact fallen by seventeen per cent.
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