Outrage as Scottish Tory MSP accuses Nicola Sturgeon of being 'anti-English'

A Scottish Conservative MSP sparked furore online tonight when he branded First Minister Nicola Sturgeon anti-English.

West of Scotland MSP Maurice Golden was responding to an official video tweet from the Scottish Government in which the First Minister said EU citizens are 'welcome' and should consider Scotland their home.

Ms Sturgeon said: “Whether you have lived here for months or many years, Scotland is your home, you are welcome here, and we want you to stay.”

Mr Golden, who is the Tory chief whip, hit back saying: "As long as you are not English or a Scottish Torie or disagree with the SNP!"

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Nicola Sturgeon: EU citizens will always be welcome in Scotland

The remark sparked an immediate backlash.

'Perpetuating that lie'

Greenock and Clyde SNP MSP Stuart McMillan replied first branding Mr Golden 'pathetic'. He said: "How dare you say that about people who are English!!! You are pathetic perpetuating that lie. I was born in England and have NEVER felt unwelcome."

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Conservative Maurice Golden MSP sparked outrage when he branded First Minister Nicola Sturgeon anti-English online.

After more and more Twitter users joined the row, the First Minister herself got involved.

Ms Sturgeon wrote: "I hope in his heart Maurice Golden MSP knows this comment was deeply ill judged and beneath him. Now more than ever, decent politicians should be united in welcoming people who choose to make Scotland their home - whether they come from England, like my late grandmother, or elsewhere."

'Abhorent tweet'

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Mr Golden posted the tweet shortly after 5pm.

Pailsey and Renfrewshire North SNP MP Gavin Newlands tweeted: "You know Maurice, I'd love to say you were better than this, but with this abhorrent tweet, you've proven that not to be the case. You should be ashamed of yourself. Delete & apologise. *Everyone*, even Maurice Golden, is welcome in Scotland. Your desire to be here is your ticket."

And SNP MP Neil Gray added: "Stay classy Maurice Golden. My wife is from England & we have never experienced anti-English sentiment in the SNP.

"Such a lazy, divisive, baseless, load of nonsense trope. See once the Tories have dealt with your Islamaphobia, come back & talk to us about an issue that doesn't exist."

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The Scottish Conservatives have been approached for a comment.