Ross Thomson criticised by dead soldier's mother for Iraq pictures

Written by Matt Foster on 19 April 2018 in News

Criticism after Aberdeen South MP Ross Thomson posts pictures of himself smiling on former Iraqi dictator's throne on Facebook

One of Saddam Hussein's thrones - Creative commons

A Conservative MP been slammed by the mother of a dead soldier after posting a smiling picture of himself on the throne of Iraq’s brutal former dictator Saddam Hussein.

Ross Thomson, the MP for Aberdeen South, shared the picture during a trip to the Middle East, writing: "Another terrific day in Iraq. I was able to channel my inner dictator with a visit to Sadam's [sic] military parade ground The Swords of Qadisiyah (Victory Arch) and then sitting on Saddam's throne at the British embassy."

The pictures - obtained by the Herald - were posted on a private Facebook group, and have come in for heavy criticism from Diane Douglas, whose son Lance Corporal Allan Douglas was killed in Iraq in 2006.

She told the paper: “So many lives were lost over there so he could be a free man. I'm a bit speechless, to think - especially a member of parliament - could do such a thing.

“I don't think he should be posting anything, I think he should be sacked.”

The SNP’s Gillian Martin meanwhile accused the Tory MP of “appearing to glorify or trivialise the heinous atrocities committed by Saddam Hussein” and said Mr Thomson “should be ashamed” of his actions.

"Ross Thomson may try and pass this off as a piece of ill-judged buffoonery - but his behaviour is a disgrace,” she added.

But Thomson hit back at the SNP, and insisted there was "absolutely no intention whatsoever to cause offence" with his posts.

He said: "Britain and our allies liberated Iraqis from the prison that was life under Saddam. It was the right thing to do.

"I find it astonishing that Gillian Martin and the SNP, who refused to back UK action in the face of a heinous chemical weapon attack in Syria this week, want to make an issue of this.

"I would urge Ms Martin to visit the region herself and perhaps learn something about the Middle East."

A spokesperson for the Scottish Conservatives said: "Ross has already made clear he did not intend to cause any offence and apologises to anyone who has been upset.

"He has nothing but the highest regard for those who lost their life in the Iraq war.”

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