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Scottish News: SNP economist suspended after Priti Patel attack | United Kingdom | News UK News

Dr Tim Rideout responded to a social media post about Ms Patel’s remarks, citing concerns about a potential ‘backdoor’ route for Ukrainian refugees entering the UK from Ireland. Irish Taoiseach Michael Martin confirmed last week that the Home Secretary had told Dublin that she was concerned the country’s welcoming policy towards Ukrainian refugees would allow them to easily reach the UK.

Reacting to the news on Twitter, Dr Rideout, a Lothians member of the SNP Policy Development Committee, wrote: “So how can we get this person back to Uganda? Saint Helena refugee center could avoid inflicting it on anyone. Can compare notes with the ghost of Napoleon.

Dr Rideout has been suspended from the SNP and is believed to be awaiting investigation.

An SNP spokesperson said: “This tweet is offensive and disgusting.

“The National Secretary has been made aware and is looking into the matter.”

His comments were also condemned by opposition politicians. Conservative MSP Donald Cameron called his attack on Ms Patel ‘completely beyond pale’.

He said: ‘To make such a racist remark like this is completely unacceptable – it has no place in civilized debate.’

Speaking before the suspension was announced, he added: ‘As well as issuing an unqualified apology to the Home Secretary, Tim Rideout should reflect on his own position.

“Similarly, Nicola Sturgeon must immediately reassess her role and influence within her party, or risk turning a blind eye to this kind of behavior.

“The Prime Minister must send a clear message that appalling remarks like this have no place in our political discourse.”

Labour’s Scottish shadow secretary Ian Murray, MP, also condemned the comments as “purely racist”.

He said: ‘These are truly horrific and downright racist remarks from a key adviser to Nicola Sturgeon.

“Although I am not a Priti Patel supporter, no one should be subjected to this kind of outright racism. He has no place in Scotland.

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Reports of Ms Patel’s concerns about Ukrainian refugees reaching the UK through the ‘back door’ from Ireland sparked outrage when they emerged earlier this week.

An anonymous briefing from a British government source suggested on Tuesday that Ukrainian criminals could take advantage of the common Anglo-Irish travel area to gain access to mainland Britain.

The claim was called “shameful” and “absolutely terrible” by the Irish government on Wednesday.

Addressing the Irish Parliament, Taoiseach M Martin said Justice Minister Helen McEntee had pointed out to the Home Secretary that Ireland was part of the whole EU response, which has scrapped visas for Ukrainians fleeing Vladimir Putin’s deadly assault on their homeland.

He said: “That continues to be our position in terms of prioritizing humanitarian response, above and beyond anything else.”

Ms Patel suffered another racist attack in 2021 when two men admitted to sharing a racist Snapchat video that targeted her following a Covid briefing.

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This notice was published: 2022-03-17 15:17:29

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