‘Disgraceful!’ Nicola Sturgeon blamed for ‘whipping up anti-English hatred’ at hustings

The accusations came after a BBC journalist was abused and called a traitor at the party’s leadership hustings in Perth on Tuesday night. According to the news report, James Cook, a BBC journalist covering the event, was heckled.

Ms Sturgeon condemned the abuse of the journalist and “any abusive behaviour” at the event.

The First Minister said she was “not responsible” for the behaviour of pro-independence activists.

However, Sandesh Gulhane, a senior Scottish Tory MSP, claimed Ms Sturgeon’s attempts to “inflame her base” by suggesting Scotland was downtrodden had contributed to the angry scenes.

He told The Telegraph: “Nicola Sturgeon says she wants a respectful debate and then comes out and says Westminster are treating us like something on the sole of their shoe.

“Everything she’s doing is to inflame her base, simply because, let’s be honest, they’re not delivering.

“So they’re whipping up their base, they’re whipping up anger and hatred. And look, it’s racist.

“They hate the English. That is the definition of racism. You’re hating a group of people based upon a characteristic.”

Rachael Hamilton, the Tory MSP for Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire, said it was “disgraceful” that Ms Sturgeon had initially condemned the abuse of a BBC journalist but not of Tory members.

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“It was a genuinely stomach-churning experience.”

She added that “the police should be taking these demonstrations a lot more seriously”.

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