Sadiq Khan: I'm not saying the SNP are racist

Written by Tom Freeman on 25 February 2017 in News

London mayor Sadiq Khan backtracks on comments comparing SNP with right wing racists

Sadiq Khan - PA

London mayor Sadiq Khan altered his speech to Scottish Labour conference after an earlier version provoked an angry reaction from Scottish independence campaigners.

Khan had tweeted a version of his speech this morning which London mayor compared Scottish nationalism with Donald Trump and the Brexit campaign.

"There's no difference between those who try to divide us on the basis of whether we're English or Scottish and those who try to divide us on the basis of our background, race or religion," he said.


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Although he still delivered the line, in his speech to conference this afternoon he inserted an additional paragraph not present in the earlier version.

"Now of course I'm not saying that nationalists are somehow racist or bigoted," he said. "But now, more than ever what we don't need is more division and separation."

Earlier SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon had called the speech spectacularly ill-judged, provoking several prominent Labour figures to defend Khan. Glasgow MSP Anas Sarwar tweeted: "All forms of nationalism rely on creating an "us" vs "them". Let's drop the Scottish exceptionalism & call it out for what it is."

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