Jack Straw criticises the SNP on Sky News
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Michelle Thomson, who has been the MSP for Falkirk East since last year, was forced to apologise after making the comparison. She tweeted Ukraine’s application for European Union membership on Monday and wrote “just goes to show what political will can achieve”, before adding: “Remember this Scotland!” The minister also said she was “delighted for Ukraine”.
This was accompanied by a picture of Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky wearing combat colours next to some sandbags as his country was coming under attack from Russia.
But Ms Thomson quickly came under attack from her political rivals for seemingly comparing Ukraine’s horrific problems for the campaign for Scottish independence.
Stephen Kerr, the Chief Whip for the Scottish Conservatives in Holyrood and MSP for Central Scotland, tweeted: “We’ve got the SNP’s Alyn Smith pretending he’s Henry Kissinger and Michelle Thomson modelling a breakup of the UK on Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
“This is not normal behaviour for a political party.”
On Monday, Ukrainian President Mr Zelensky asked the EU to allow his country to join the bloc under a fast-track procedure.
This request for “immediate EU accession” was backed by the leaders of Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia.
Shortly before 4pm on the same day, Ukraine’s legislature posted a picture of President Zelensky signing the application.
This was accompanied by the message: “President @ZelenskyyUa has signed the application for membership for the Ukraine in the European Union.
“This is a historic moment!”
Around an hour later, Ms Thomson then retweeted it and added the message: “Delighted for Ukraine.
“It’s [sic] just goes to show what political will can achieve. Remember this Scotland!”
But around four hours later at 8pm on Monday evening, she deleted the tweet and issued an apology.
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The MSP wrote: “I noted and then tweeted something earlier that was insensitive regarding Ukraine.
“Like everyone, my first thoughts are sympathy for the people there.
“Apologies if I offended anyone.”
West Lothian Labour councillor Kirsteen Sullivan also launched a furious attack against Ms Thomson, fuming it was a “crass thing to tweet to try make a cheap political point”.
She tweeted: “I don’t think the Ukrainian people are ‘delighted’ as they try to survive, hour by hour, not knowing if they will see loved ones again.
“What a crass thing to tweet to try make a cheap political point, there’s no ‘if’ about it.”
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