SNP politician faces backlash after claiming Tories have ‘British imperialist’ attitudes

BBC: Neale Hanvey discusses Scottish viewers

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John Mason made the remarks as Boris Johnson faced fierce criticism from senior Tories and defended the final pull-out of British troops as the international military mission in Afghanistan came to an end during a House of Commons debate today. As a result, the Western-backed Afghanistan Government fell to the Taliban on Sunday causing thousands of Afghani people to flee.

The Glasgow Shettleston MSP, said during a speech today on Twitter: “Britain has been too quick to interfere in other countries.

“There is still thinking in London that this is an imperial country and with an empire, and that is no longer the case, and we have no right, and probably no duty most of the time to interfere in other countries.

“The West has been interfering in Afghanistan for 20 years and it has done precious little good.

“So my hope is that Britain will learn a lesson from this and be less ready to interfere in future.”

But Sir Edward Mountain, also a veteran, said the MP’s comments were “wholly inappropriate language.”

The Scottish Conservative MSP for Highlands and Islands added: “At a time when we are seeing a humanitarian crisis rapidly unfold in Afghanistan, this is wholly inappropriate language for an elected representative to be using.

“John Mason has a history of Twitter gaffes so perhaps it should come as little surprise.

“All our focus should be helping those fleeing the desperate situation in Afghanistan and ensuring they arrive in the UK as quickly and as safely as possible.

“Instead, he has used it to have a pop against his pre-conceived ideas of politicians south of the border, in an all too typical display of grievance.”

Jamie Stone MP, Scottish Liberal Democrat MP and defence spokesperson added: “The SNP have picked the worst time to push their usual agenda.

“We are witnessing a humanitarian crisis on a huge scale, which will only worsen under this shambolic Tory Government.

“Rather than pushing nationalism, the SNP should be fighting for safe and legal routes and support for those Afghan refugees who need our aid.”

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Elsewhere, Alba MP Neale Hanvey was forced to delete a tweet after being branded “disgusting” after linking a debate around trans rights in Scotland to the Afghanistan crisis.

The Kirkcaldy MP posted on Twitter: “Not to diminish the extant horrors in Afghanistan for women, girls and LGBT people in any way, but Ian Blackford opining on protecting women and girls is a tough listen given the deaf ears to such concerns at home.”

But Maggie Chapman MSP, Scottish Greens equalities spokesperson, said: “This is a disgusting tweet.

“What Hanvey can’t seem to understand is that feminism is about solidarity.

“Solidarity with our trans siblings, but also solidarity with the women and LGBT people around the world who face violence and oppression.”

A spokesperson for Mr Hanvey declined to comment when approached.

But Mr Hanvey later posted: “Many women in Scotland feel their rights are under attack.

“Only last week the Scottish Government published new guidance to allow children as young as four to change their gender without parental knowledge or consent.

“However important this debate is to the rights of women, girls and many in the LGBT community across Scotland, it is right today to focus on the Afghanistan debate.”

The SNP did not respond to a request for comment.

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