Home U.K. Nicola Sturgeon outrage: SNP leader criticised for 'stealing' lines from Margaret Thatcher

Nicola Sturgeon outrage: SNP leader criticised for ‘stealing’ lines from Margaret Thatcher

Yesterday, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon attacked the UK Government’s “shambolic” plans to exempt a swathe of countries from quarantine travel restrictions, as she insisted Scotland will not be “dragged” into making changes. On Friday morning, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps finally paved the way for summer holidays to go ahead by releasing a 60-strong list of countries which will no longer be subject to 14 day self-isolation rules. However, Downing Street was unable to secure the agreement of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland for the plans, which means they will only apply to England when they come into force on July 10.

Despite Mr Shapps demanding Ms Sturgeon to accept the proposed way forward, the SNP leader responded with fury as she accused the Transport Secretary of overseeing a “shambolic decision making process”.

Ms Sturgeon’s comments come as support for Scottish independence is growing, with at least two polls this year indicating a Yes majority.

The most recent survey, which was commissioned by ScotGoesPop, was taken in the wake of the Dominic Cummings scandal, and asked pollers: “Should Scotland be an independent country?”

It suggested that 20 percent of No voters from the last referendum in 2014 would now swap their votes and poll in favour of independence.

Nicola Sturgeon criticised for ‘stealing’ lines from Margaret Thatcher in SNP campaign (Image: GETTY)

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Transport Secretary Grant Shapps (Image: GETTY)

As uncertainty over the Union continues, unearthed reports reveal how the SNP leader found herself in the middle of controversy in 2016.

According to a throwback report by The Telegraph, four years ago, Ms Sturgeon’s party launched a series of new adverts, featuring a picture of Ms Sturgeon alongside the slogan “Don’t just hope for a better Scotland. Vote for one.”

In the 1979 election campaign, the Conservatives, then led by former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, put up similar posters with their leader telling voters: “Don’t just hope for a better life. Vote for one.”

Former Scottish Labour deputy leader and campaign director Alex Rowley said at the time: “We knew the SNP under Nicola Sturgeon had ditched the left-wing rhetoric, but we didn’t expect them to start stealing Thatcher’s lines.

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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon (Image: GETTY)

Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (Image: GETTY)

“Maybe Alex Salmond’s view that Scots ‘didn’t mind’ Margaret Thatcher’s economic policy is alive and well in the SNP.

“I’m sure Nicola Sturgeon will cringe at the idea of being compared to Margaret Thatcher – someone in SNP HQ will be getting the hairdryer treatment.”

Mr Rowley added: “In May, rather than voting for hundreds of millions of pounds of cuts to schools and services, Scots can vote for a Labour Scottish Government that can stop the cuts.”

Ms Sturgeon dismissed the comparison between her billboard and the Tory one from 37 years ago.

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Former Scottish Labour deputy leader and campaign director Alex Rowley (Image: GETTY)

She said: “If Labour are saying that it just shows beyond any doubt how desperate Labour are.

“We’re fighting a positive campaign, full of hope and optimism about the future of Scotland.

“As we go into the final 10 days of this campaign I’m taking nothing for granted.

“But I’m thoroughly enjoying this campaign and I’m looking forward to the remainder of it.”

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