Ex-forces chief in shot at ‘north Britain’

THE former commander of Britain’s armed forces, General Sir Mike Jackson, has caused controversy after he referred to Scotland as “north Britain” in a speech in London.

THE former commander of Britain’s armed forces, General Sir Mike Jackson, has caused controversy after he referred to Scotland as “north Britain” in a speech in London.

Sir Mike was the lead speaker at the Freedom Dinner organised by the tobacco industry to oppose attempts to bring in plain packaging.

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In an aside on the diplomatic benefits of whisky, the general referred to it as the drink which comes from “as I insist on calling it north Britain. Eat your heart out Alex Salmond”.

Sir Mike is best remembered in Scotland for trying to scrap the Scottish regiments in the last army reorganisation in 2005 including the Black Watch.

In the end, he succeeded in getting rid of just one battalion but still maintains that he should have scrapped two when he created the Royal Regiment of Scotland because of poor recruitment north of the Border which is masked by Fijian recruits.

A noted Unionist, he has raised questions about Scottish defence policy if it were to separate from the UK.

Yesterday, the SNP said that his comments undermined his criticism on defence because it was clear he is partisan.

SNP Westminster leader Angus Robertson MP said: “Sir Mike’s comments put his previous pronouncements on Scotland’s defence prospects into context.

“Describing Scotland as north Britain went out of fashion a long time ago, even for Unionists. I doubt that the anti-independence campaign will be pleased by their latest supporter and his derogatory intervention.”