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The National (Scotland)
The National (Scotland)
Craig Meighan

No I don't detest the Tories, Ian Blackford says following Nicola Sturgeon comment

IAN Blackford has said he "does not detest the Tories" after being asked whether he agreed with Nicola Sturgeon on her comments about the party.

The SNP Westminster leader said he "tries to take the people and the personality out of it".

Blackford said it was the party's impact on people around the UK that he detested.

Clarifying her statement, the First Minister later said she was talking about the party's policies and not individuals Tories or people who vote for the party.

Asked by Emily Maitlis on The News Agents podcast if he detested the Tories, Blackford said: "No, I don't. I detest the impact that they're having on real people's lives.

"But I try and take the personality of the person out of it, because at the end of the day, it is the impact of the policies which is important."

When asked if Sturgeon "went too far" the MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber said: "I can understand why the First Minister spoke the way she did in the context of today."

Blackford pointed to the economic turmoil following Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng's budget.

He said he was "in no doubt" that surging interest rates would see people losing their homes.

Sturgeon's comments saw fury from Conservative politicians, with Douglas Ross claiming in the House of Commons that the First Minister had insulted “hundreds and thousands of Scottish Conservative voters”.

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack agreed with him, linking the FM's words to the murder of Tory MP David Amess.

Jack said: “Of course I agree with [Douglas Ross].

“Language is terribly important in politics, we saw the desperate death of David Amess and others before him, and you cannot incite people using words like detest, which as you’ll see in the dictionary – the other word is hate – and the irony is the Scottish Government bring forward a hate Bill and yet we have language like detest, you’re absolutely right to call it out.”

Sturgeon later doubled down on her words, saying that she was speaking about the impact of the party's policies on the UK.

Asked if she regretted using the word "detest" she said "no".

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