Lord Dubs: Sadiq Khan was wrong about Scottish nationalism

Written by Staff reporter on 24 March 2017 in News

EXCLUSIVE: Alf Dubs tells Holyrood London mayor Sadiq Khan was wrong to compare the SNP to right-wing nationalism

Lord Dubs - credit Paul Hartfield/Holyrood

Labour peer Lord Dubs, who has led the fight to house lone children refugees in the UK, has said Scottish nationalism is “a different thing” from right-wing nationalism in other parts of Europe.

In an exclusive interview with Holyrood magazine, Dubs, who fled Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia in 1939 said he did not agree with London mayor Sadiq Khan, who compared Scottish nationalism with Donald Trump and the Brexit campaign.

Speaking to the Scottish Labour conference in February, Khan said there was “no difference” between Scottish nationalism and “those who try to divide us on the basis of our background, race or religion".


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Dubs said he felt “rather sorry” about the comments and that they were “very wrong”.

“I don’t like the sort of right-wing nationalism that we are seeing across some parts of Europe with parties who are using an anti-refugee, anti-immigration, anti-Islam mood to get support,” he said.

“I think that is shocking, but I don’t think that is what the SNP are about at all.”

Dubs added he recognised Scottish nationalism is “a different thing”.

“It is about Scotland having a sense of itself and wanting to create its future independently of Westminster and independently of England. I hope that doesn’t happen, because I value Scotland being part of Britain and I think the Scots have such an awesome contribution to make and I think England would be a much poorer place without Scotland.”

The peers name is attached to an amendment to the last UK Immigration act which pledged to take in 3,000 unaccompanied child refugees from Europe, a scheme which has since been cancelled by the UK Government after providing sanctuary to only 350.

Dubs said the decision to limit the scheme had been fuelled by how immigration and refugees had been conflated in politics.

“I do sometimes despair a bit that we aren’t learning, that awful things that happened decades ago are happening again,” he told Holyrood.

The full interview will be published in Monday edition of Holyrood magazine.

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