‘What about UK in Iraq?’ Boris Johnson blasted for saying Scottish devolution was a ‘disaster’ & Tony Blair’s ‘biggest mistake’
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is facing backlash from across the political spectrum after reportedly commenting that devolution had been a “disaster” for Scotland and former PM Tony Blair’s “biggest mistake.”
Johnson allegedly blasted the furthering of Scotland’s autonomy in the 1990s during a Monday virtual meeting of Conservative MPs. Downing Street has not denied that he made the comment, with housing secretary Robert Jenrick only clarifying that the PM was apparently speaking about the issue of “separatism and nationalism” in the form of the Scottish National Party (SNP).
Both comments understandably provoked some harsh response from northern politicians. Scotland’s First Minister and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon tweeted that Tories were “a threat to the powers of the Scottish Parliament” and again called for the nation’s independence from the UK.
Worth bookmarking these PM comments for the next time Tories say they’re not a threat to the powers of the Scottish Parliament - or, even more incredibly, that they support devolving more powers. The only way to protect & strengthen @ScotParl is with independence. https://t.co/Hk7DqoFeuY— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) November 16, 2020
Glasgow Labour MP Anas Sarwar also took to Twitter with a retort to the PM, saying, “Boris Johnson has been a disaster, not devolution.” Sarwar accused the Tory leader of sowing division in the UK “in the midst of a pandemic, when people’s lives & livelihoods are at risk.”
Boris Johnson has been a disaster, not devolution. The truth is he is biggest threat to the United Kingdom. In the midst of a pandemic, when people’s lives & livelihoods are at risk,both our Govs should be focusing on bringing people together & getting us through this crisis. https://t.co/71jbueEH3G— Anas Sarwar (@AnasSarwar) November 16, 2020
Johnson’s supposedly anti-separatist comment was deemed to be separatist itself, leaving “no alternative to Scottish independence,” Labour peer Andrew Adonis tweeted. SNP MP Philippa Whitford said that removing “middle way” devolution would force Scots to choose between control by Westminster and full independence. “Increasingly, Scots are choosing the latter,” she wrote.
Johnson doesn’t seem to realise that if devolution is a ‘disaster’ then there is no alternative to Scottish independence. No way are the Scots going to be persuaded to have their internal affairs run by him and his Tory gang!— Andrew Adonis (@Andrew_Adonis) November 17, 2020
Bizarre move by Tories! Removing ‘middle way’ of devolution from people in Scotland just forces them to choose - accept return to Westminster control or take control of our own future. Increasingly, Scots are choosing the latter! #Indyref2https://t.co/WsQJaQ7bbt— Dr Philippa Whitford (@Dr_PhilippaW) November 16, 2020
Others zeroed in on the odd notion that devolution – voted-for by 74 percent of Scots in 1997 – was Blair’s “biggest mistake,” conveniently omitting the 2003 invasion of Iraq from the list of his greatest misdeeds.
“Apparently, Boris Johnson thinks devolution was Tony Blair's biggest mistake,” tweeted author Jon Courtenay Grimwood, adding, “There's a heavily destabilised area of the Middle East that might disagree”.
Respin if you want @BorisJohnson but Tony Blair’s biggest mistake was an illegal war that killed 1 million innocent Iraqis, whilst devolution was voted for by 74% of Scots in 1997 referendum🏴 pic.twitter.com/SuGnv0thQd— Aamer Anwar🎗✊🏽#BlackLivesMatter (@AamerAnwar) November 17, 2020
Apparently, Boris Johnson thinks devolution was Tony Blair's biggest mistake. There's a heavily destabilised area of the Middle East that might disagree... pic.twitter.com/IbwJNnQNVD— J Courtenay Grimwood (@JonCG) November 16, 2020
i know this isn’t exactly the headline from Boris Johnson’s tone-deaf comments about devolution ... but Tony Blair’s “biggest mistake”?i think even the most bashless Blairite would find it pretty easy to think of a bigger one ...— Kevin Hague (@kevverage) November 17, 2020
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