Angus MacDonald calls on Falkirk East's Labour MSP to distance herself from "internationally ignorant" Labour leader
Friday, 07 January 2011 15:30
Councillor Angus MacDonald, SNP candidate for Falkirk East has called on the current MSP for Falkirk East, Cathy Peattie (Labour) to distance herself from the "internationally ignorant" comments made by Labour Leader Iain Gray during the last session of First Ministers Questions when he claimed that Montenegro had only achieved independence after “two world wars, the Balkan conflict, ethnic cleansing, a war crimes tribunal and a United Nations peace-keeping mission”.
His remarks caused outrage and resulted in a furious Montenegrin diplomat sending letters to Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond and Labour’s UK leader Ed Miliband as well as to Mr Gray himself. The letter stated: “I cannot help but feel deep regret about the way you chose to depict [us] in your public statement.
“Your statement that Montenegro was involved in ‘ethnic cleansing’, including your references to a ‘war crimes tribunal’ and a ‘peacekeeping mission’, is simply incorrect.”
Central Scotland SNP MSP Christina McKelvie has today lodged a motion in the Scottish Parliament calling on the Scottish Parliament to distance itself from the Labour leader's comments. The motion reads:
S3M-07664 Christina McKelvie (Central Scotland) (Scottish National Party): Montenegro— That the Parliament distances itself from comments made by Iain Gray MSP in the chamber on 23 December 2010 that Montenegro regained its independence in “40 days, two world wars, the Balkan conflict, ethnic cleansing, a war crimes tribunal and a United Nations peace-keeping mission”; apologises to the Montenegrin people for this being said in the Parliament, and calls on the Member concerned to make a personal statement, with the permission of the Presiding Officer in line with Rule 13.1, correcting his previous assertion and apologising to Montenegro.
Councillor Angus MacDonald, the SNP's candidate for Falkirk East has called on the current Falkirk East MSP to distance herself from her Leader's comments, and has written to her to ask if she will be supporting Christina McKelvie's motion.
Cllr MacDonald said;
"It is clear that Iain Gray must apologise for this slur against the good people of Montenegro, and Cathy Peattie must distance herself from her Labour leader's internationally ignorant comments by backing Christiina McKelvie's motion. Iain Gray and Labour have form for this kind of behaviour. First he insults Ireland, then he displays his ignorance of Norway. Now he is blackening the name of Montenegro. Iain Gray needs to do the decent thing and apologise to the people of Montenegro. And, he also needs to apologise to the people of Scotland for the embarrassment his gaffes have caused."