Mayor of London Saqid Khan has managed to anger many people with his comments at the Scottish Labour Party conference.
Ahead of the event, the mayor of London shared part of his speech on Twitter where he called for unity instead of separation (ie don’t have another independence referendum to leave the UK, please).
But the part that really got people mad was where he seemed to suggest those who want a separate Scotland are just like “those who try to divide us on the basis of our background, race or religion”, before going on to talk about Trump and Brexit.
Is @SadiqKhan seriously saying those who voted for Brexit, Trump and the @theSNP are racist bigots? Very ill judged and desperate comments https://t.co/mCRVx41eBc— David Jack (@DJack_Journo) February 25, 2017
Sadiq Khan was subject to very real and disgraceful racism during the mayoral election, which makes his comments all the more perplexing.— Liam O'Hare (@Liam_O_Hare) February 25, 2017
Equating racism with nationalism is a huge false equivalence. Racism is structural, systematic - how white supremacy is maintained.— Sister Outrider (@ClaireShrugged) February 25, 2017
Sadiq Khan's comments on Scottish nationalism were too far. There is plenty of difference between civic nationalism and the politics of hate— Alex Jensen (@Endyf) February 25, 2017
When First Minister Nicola Sturgeon got wind of it all, she hit back and hit back hard.
2/3 it is an insult to all those Scots who support independence for reasons of inclusion & social justice - the antithesis of what he says— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) February 25, 2017
3/3 and it is a sign of the sheer desperation and moral bankruptcy that has driven so many from Scottish Labour's ranks. Very disappointing.— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) February 25, 2017
Khan ended up rewriting part of his speech to tone down his message and clarify his comments by adding the line: “Now of course I’m not saying that nationalists are somehow racist or bigoted – but now, more than ever – what we don’t need is more division and separation.”
But the damage had already been done and people have started picking his speech apart and alluding to a few contradictions.
Dangers with all forms of nationalism, of course. But UK nationalism good, Scottish nationalism evil, is an absurd formula from Sadiq Khan— AnotherGreen (@Anothergreen) February 25, 2017
Though it must be said there are some who are kinda in agreement with him.
Sadiq Khan absolutely right to call out nationalism as a divisive. The SNP's reaction perfectly represents that divisiveness.— Andrew Spooner 🥄🥄🥄🥄🥄 (@andrewspoooner) February 25, 2017
The SNP have divided Scotland and their one reason to exist is to divide the UK - even if that's bad news for all.— Moses McNeil (@KentFyne) February 25, 2017