Nicola Sturgeon wades in on Rwanda row and revels in flight getting cancelled

The Scottish First Minister vowed to resist the 'all out assault' coming on the European Court of Human Rights

Published

Scottish First Minister Nicola Stugeon congratulated people on getting the first Rwanda migrant flight grounded.

The first asylum seekers were due to be transported to Rwanda last night as part of a new resettling scheme from the Conservative government.

But the plane due to take several individuals to Rwanda was grounded after last-minute interventions by the European Court of Human Rights.

Ms Sturgeon celebrated the plane being grounded on Twitter and vowed to resist any other attempts at sending asylum seekers to Rwanda.

Nicola Sturgeon
Nicola Sturgeon

She wrote: "Gratitude and respect to those who worked tirelessly to ground this inhumane deportation attempt tonight.

"The stress those on the flight have been subjected to though is unforgivable.

"Now we must get ready to resist the all out Tory assault on the ECHR that is surely coming."

Nicola Sturgeon has said the campaign for Scottish independence will remain “broad church”, as she dismissed a question over whether she would share a platform with Alex Salmond.

The First Minister said the issue of her predecessor was “one of the least important questions of the entire independence debate”.

On Tuesday, she and Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie released the first in a series of papers which will form the Scottish Government’s updated prospectus for independence.

Police officers near the Boeing 767 aircraft at MoD Boscombe Down, near Salisbury
Police officers near the Boeing 767 aircraft at MoD Boscombe Down, near Salisbury

Taking questions from journalists, the First Minister was asked if she would like to see a “broad church” Yes campaign as there was in the 2014 independence referendum and if she would share a platform with Alex Salmond.

Addressing the point about Mr Salmond, she said: “That latter one probably qualifies as one of the least important questions of the entire independence debate.

“It’s not about me, it’s not about Alex Salmond, with the greatest of respect it’s not even about Patrick Harvie.

“It’s about the future of Scotland and I’m going to continue to focus on the issues that matter to people across Scotland.”

The SNP leader continued: “The campaign for independence is broad church and will be broad church.

“Actually, that is one of its great strengths, because independence fundamentally is about democracy.

“And in any democracy you have a difference of opinion and people decide what path they want to take.

“So that’s a strength and not in any way a weakness.”

Mr Salmond now leads the Alba Party, which has two Scottish MPs who were originally elected under SNP banners.

However, Alba has failed to win any MSPs or councillors in elections so far.