Stephen Flynn accuses Rishi Sunak of comparing almost half of Scotland with Vladimir Putin

It follows comments made by the Prime Minister on Monday.

Stephen Flynn has accused Rishi Sunak of comparing almost half of Scotland with Vladimir Putin.

The SNP Westminster leader called on the Prime Minister to apologise after comments allegedly comparing pro-Scottish independence campaigners to states like North Korea and Russia.

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In a speech on Monday, the Prime Minister said the coming five years are set to be among the “most dangerous”, as he included independence supporters in a list of threats alongside Russia, Iran and North Korea.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak declined to apologise.Prime Minister Rishi Sunak declined to apologise.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak declined to apologise.

Speaking at PMQs, Mr Flynn said: “On Monday, the Prime Minister outlined what he considers to be extremist threats to our society and in doing so, he actively compared North Korea, Iran and Russia with those people in Scotland who believe in independence.

“So can I ask him to rise once to the standards befitting of his office and apologise for those puerile and pathetic remarks?”

Mr Sunak replied: “That’s not what I said, but I would say to the honourable gentleman that his party is indeed a threat to the integrity of the United Kingdom, and I hate to remind him that is literally their entire purpose.

“Because when the people of Scotland accepted the referendum in 2014, it was the SNP who didn’t. They went on creating a Minister for Independence, focused on constitutional wrangling, ignoring the needs of the people.

“Education standards falling, taxes rising, so actually finally he should do the right thing and end the obsession with independence, and put the needs of the Scottish people first.”

Mr Flynn added: “Let’s be clear, what the Prime Minister did was not just equate my colleagues and I to despotic and dangerous despots across the world, he proactively compared almost half of his Scottish population with a war criminal like Vladimir Putin, and he did so as their Prime Minister – as the man who represents them on the world stage, and the man who on these isles, is tasked with defending their liberties and their democracy.”

In the speech on Monday, Mr Sunak said: "The dangers that threaten our country are real. They're increasing in number: an axis of authoritarian states like Russia, Iran, North Korea and China is working together to undermine us and our values.

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"War has returned to Europe with our Nato allies warning that if Putin succeeds in Ukraine they might be next. War rages too in the middle east as Israel defends itself not only against the terrorists of Hamas but against a barrage of missiles fired from the first time directly from Iran.

"Right now, in Africa conflicts are being fought in 18 different countries and Putin's recklessness has taken us closer to a dangerous nuclear escalation than at any point since the Cuban Missile Crisis."

Saying "extremists" are using global conflicts to "set Briton against Briton", he went on: "From gender activists trying to hijack children's sex education to cancel culture, vocal and aggressive fringe groups are trying to impose their views on the rest of us. They're trying to make it morally unacceptable to believe something different and undermine people's confidence and pride in our own history and identity.

"Scottish nationalists are even trying to tear our United Kingdom apart."



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