Scottish Election 2021 results: Nazi-style salutes at Glasgow count condemned by Humza Yousaf

A candidate in Glasgow Southside, wearing a home-made yellow Star of David badge, gave a Nazi-style salute on the counting hall floor of the Emirates Arena after subjecting Humza Yousaf to a series of racially-charged questions.

Derek “Deek” Jackson, standing for the Liberal Party, was forced to walk away after representatives from across the political spectrum physically and vocally stood by the Justice Secretary in support.

Mr Jackson, and three colleagues, dressed in Men In Black style suits with white shirts, black ties and dark glasses, had pinned to their lapels handmade yellow Star of David badges with the word “unvax” written on them, as a protest against Covid vaccinations, he said.

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Mr Jackson denied the star was related to the yellow star Jewish people were forced to wear by Nazis during the Second World War, or that the gesture they made was a Nazi salute, claiming that as he had a heart painted on his hand, it was a “love salute”.

Glasgow Southside candidate Derek Jackson. Picture: Gina Davidson

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The four men were spoken to by police before entering the counting hall, but inside made a beeline for Mr Yousaf, who is standing for re-election in the Glasgow Pollok seat, where they tried to question him about child rapes in Pakistan.

Mr Yousaf said: “Anybody witnessing that exchange would know they were directing questions to me about Pakistan obviously because of the colour of my skin.

"I’m not from Pakistan, I’m from Scotland. I was delighted to be joined by people from other parties standing in unity with me to say that there’s no room for that hatred whatsoever.

"They decided to ask me all sorts of questions about child rape victims in Pakistan, they wouldn’t do that to anyone who wasn’t Asian. They got a very robust response from me and people from all other political parties.

“I asked them to explain why they think I should have to explain anything about Pakistan – no white candidate would get that – and they started to mutter, then asked about hate crime laws and being able to say things in their own home, and I said you can say anything you want in their own home, just don’t be a homophobe, transphobe, Islamaphobe, anti-semite or a racist and they didn’t have much to say."

Asked if he had experienced more abuse as a result of his controversial Hate Crime Bill passed by the Scottish Parliament earlier this year, Mr Yousaf said: “I don’t think the Hate Crime Bill has generated more abuse, even though I’ve had a candidate standing against me on the sole issue of the Bill, though from sampling I don’t think his vote will get into three figures.

“Having been in politics for over a decade and faced abuse often aimed at my race or religion, what I’m always struck by is voices of good outweigh voices of hatred.”

The showdown between the two men came a day after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was involved in a tense confrontation with a far-right candidate as she visited a polling station in the south of Glasgow.

The SNP leader was praised on social media for how she handled an approach from a former deputy leader of Britain First, Jayda Fransen, who was standing as an independent.

She accused Ms Sturgeon of "flooding" the country with immigrants, but the First Minister told her: "You are a fascist, you are a racist and the southside of Glasgow will reject you."

Mr Jackson has previously received criticism after refusing to apologise for using an image of Auschwitz in his election campaign in 2017 when he stood in Fife.

He is also standing against Ms Sturgeon. When challenged by reporters at the count about his badge, salute and confrontation with Mr Yousaf, Mr Jackson denied he was either racist or fascist.

“We’re just here to love everybody, you’ve all got to love us as well,” he said.

"You’ve got to give up your freedom and liberty to love people you’ve never met before.

"I hope none of you are stupid enough to think we’re promoting fascism when obviously we are here to satire and parody the fascist SNP hate laws which criminalise you for expressing your thoughts in your own home. You can’t hate anything ever.

"If you were to say ‘I hate racists, let’s go smash their faces in’ that would be a hate crime.”

Earlier in the election campaign Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar also faced similar questions about Pakistan after being confronted outside the Scottish Parliament while preparing for an interview with ITV journalist Peter Smith.

The man, who claimed to want to interview Mr Sarwar, proceeded to ask a series of racially-charged questions and shouted slurs after the pair walked away. In the lengthy encounter, the man made a series of derogatory remarks about the Muslim faith and also the country of Pakistan.

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