Crass and insensitive! SNP MP pulls rug out from under Sturgeon after Ukraine remarks

Nicola Sturgeon blasted for endless quest for independence

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This came just a day after Nicola Sturgeon suggested that the invasion had boosted Scotland’s case for a second independence referendum. Joanna Cherry, MP for Edinburgh South West, called on “SNP colleagues and indeed the wider independence movement” to stop “trying to draw parallels between the debate about Scottish independence and the war in Ukraine”. Writing in pro-independence newspaper The National, Ms Cherry added: “It comes over as crass and insensitive and it takes us nowhere.

“Scotland is in a consensual union with England.

“When we last got the chance to say whether we wanted to leave that union, the answer was no.

“Ukraine has been invaded and its people subjected to war crimes.

“In the light of these facts there can be no comparison, meaningful or otherwise.”

This came less than 24 hours after Ms Sturgeon had said: “Putin’s war has also cast new light on the realities of Brexit and the particular challenges posed to Scotland and the rest of the UK by being taken out of the world’s biggest single market.

“Indeed, the events of recent weeks have underlined the importance of independent countries cooperating in supranational organisations such as the EU.

“And the Kremlin’s senseless invasion, a standing threat to the values embodied by liberal democracies everywhere, has also underscored the need for democratic nations to pursue our domestic politics with as much passion and vigour as ever.

“This is a time to stand up for, and demonstrate, the power of vital, robust democracies.”

She added: “[O]ur European partners know, now more than ever, that they can depend on an independent Scotland as a beacon of peace and democracy, as together we face the greatest challenge posed to those principles since 1945.”

Responding to Ms Sturgeon’s article, which appeared in the New Statesman, Scottish Labour’s Deputy Leader Jackie Baillie called for the First Minister to apologise, adding: “This unthinkably crass comparison is an insult to the people of Ukraine.

“We have already seen Boris Johnson likening Ukraine’s struggle for freedom to Brexit, and now Nicola Sturgeon is doing the same thing with Scottish independence.”

The Scottish Tories also called for Ms Sturgeon to apologise, describing her remarks as “unacceptable and tasteless”.

However, a spokesperson for the First Minister claimed it was a “flat out lie” that Ms Sturgeon had attempted to draw a link between Scottish independence and the situation in Ukraine.

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Earlier this week, the SNP’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford was accused of “playing into Putin’s hands”, after he suggested that the war in Ukraine should not cause delays to an independence referendum.

Speaking on BBC Scotland’s Sunday Show, Mr Blackford said: “Is anybody suggesting that Putin should determine the timeline for an independence referendum in Scotland?”

The Scottish Conservative Party called the SNP politician’s remarks “reckless”.

It tweeted: “Even with war raging in Ukraine, Ian Blackford and the SNP want to push ahead with indyref2 next year.

“This reckless move would play right into Putin’s hands by causing division in one of the west’s strongest nations.”

Scottish Conservative MP John Lamont agreed, retweeting the Scottish Conservatives’ statements.

He added: “Unbelievably reckless.” has contacted the SNP for comment. 

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