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Tam Laird joined Dan Wootton’s panel on GB News to discuss the toxicity in Scottish politics. During his appearance, the leader of the Scottish Libertarian Party tore into the SNP over the toxicity shown towards Westminster.
However, Mr Laird caveated his position by clarifying this was not the reason behind his decision to leave the Scottish National Party.
Speaking to GB News during ‘The Clash’, the ex-soldier said: “The main reason that I left was because the SNP no longer believes in independence, it hasn’t believed in independence since 1988.
“In fact, they’ve opposed independence, they opposed the UK leaving Europe, for example.
“And it was certainly taking a massive swing to the left.
“We talk of nationalism, I don’t know any nationalists in the SNP anymore.
“They are socialists of the worst order.”
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Mr Laird added: “This toxicity, there certainly is a toxic attitude towards Westminster as if Westminster is the source of all evil in the UK.
“Well trust me, I live in Edinburgh and there is plenty of evil oozing out of Holyrood.
“We don’t need any help from Westminster on that front.”
The discussion came after BBC journalist Sarah Smith spoke of her “relief” to move overseas as the UK broadcaster’s North America editor after opening up about the “bile, hatred and misogyny” she received from nationalists when reporting on politics in Scotland.
Following Ms Smith’s comments, James Dornan, an SNP MSP, suggested the problems she had faced were “imaginary woes”.
Mr Dornan has since apologised for his remark.
He said: “Language is important in this so I apologise for my earlier comments that made it seem as though I believed the abuse Sarah Smith has suffered was imaginary.”
But Mr Laird, no supporter of the BBC, went on to say he was not necessarily in disagreement with some of the abuse hurled at Ms Smith, including allegations of lying.
The Scottish Libertarian Party, which takes a pro-Brexit and pro-independence position, received less than 5,000 votes on the regional list in last year’s Holyrood elections.
The party finished in 14th place, behind Richard Tice’s Eurosceptic Reform UK outfit and the pro-Union Abolish the Scottish Parliament Party.
Mr Laird was accompanied by former SNP councillor Austin Sheridan and Tory MSP Russell Findlay.
Mr Findlay, an ex-journalist at the Scottish Sun who entered Holyrood last May, told GB News: “I don’t know if it is entirely due to Nicola Sturgeon or whether it is more to do with the broader nationalist movement.”
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He then pointed to examples in the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, when voters opted decisively to stay in the UK, which he said showed some of this toxicity before Sturgeon became First Minister.
GB News’ SNP-supporting guest was then invited to join the discussion.
Mr Sheridan said: “I don’t think this is the fault of any elected politician in Scotland if I’m being honest with you.
“I think that anyone would condemn abuse, regardless of political party.”
However, much to the dismay of Mr Findlay and Mr Laird, the ex-councillor decided to lay much of the blame at the feet of Boris Johnson.
In what was described by the Tory MSP as “whataboutery”, he said: “He’s the guy that tries to subvert Scottish democracy, he’s the guy that’s made arguably racist remarks and homophobic remarks, and he’s the guy that doesn’t take his political responsibility seriously.”
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