'So-called unionist PM' Boris Johnson criticised for England football flag picture - do you agree?

High-profile human rights lawyer Aamer Anwar has blasted what he sees as Boris Johnson’s lack of sporting support for Scotland – and other parts of the UK – after the Prime Minister tweeted footage of himself with a giant St George’s flag.

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The UK leader posted a video of himself with the white and red English flag, saying he was “very proud” to have signed it, “supporting England and supporting all the values that our country represents, particularly ensuring that we have respect for diversity across our country”.

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Mr Johnson also pointed out that his signature was joining those of football legends such as Gareth Southgate, Geoff Hurst, and Peter Shilton, adding: “come on England in the match today”. The team plays Ukraine tonight with the game kicking off at 8pm.

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The premier wrote alongside the tweeted video: “Great to sign a huge @England flag in support of the @FA Respect campaign. Discrimination has no place in football and we want to ensure a fun and inclusive environment for everyone. Good luck to the team today, we’re right behind you!”

However, Mr Anwar – one of Scotland’s most prominent legal names, who studied at the University of Glasgow – in response tweeted: “So @BorisJohnson releases this picture, but sitting just now in my hometown of Liverpool I’ve no problem with his support for @England, just that us Scots, the Welsh & Irish wonder why a so called unionist PM would never do the same for them?”

The lawyer, who has worked on high-profile cases such as that of Catalonian nationalist Professor Clara Ponsati, earlier this year labelled the Home Office’s approach to immigration as “barbarism” as he called on the UK government to devolve immigration policy to Scotland. He was speaking after negotiating the release of two men from a Border Agency van during protests in Pollokshields over their detention.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson poses for a photograph outside 10 Downing Street with a giant St George's flag ahead of the England Quarter Final game against Ukraine. Picture by Simon Dawson / No 10 Downing Street

Mr Anwar’s LinkedIn page highlights the “best” description of him being given by ex-Guantanamo prisoner Moazzam Begg, who is quoted as saying: “In times of fear, hatred and violence it is often very difficult to find people with the courage and fortitude to fight for the rights of the demonised, down-trodden and marginalised....but Aamer Anwar is one of those people, an avid defender of others’ rights.”

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The human rights lawyer says he has no problem with the PM's support for England, 'just that us Scots, the Welsh & Irish wonder why a so called unionist PM would never do the same for them'. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images.
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