Categories: Press


Published date : 07 Jan 2020

The SNP has released a list of would-be Tory leader Jackson Carlaw’s offensive statements, bad taste ‘jokes’ and backing for hard-line right-wing policies.

Nominations to replace Ruth Davidson as Tory leader opened this week – with Jackson Carlaw first off the mark to officially announce his candidacy.

The list shines a light on the trail of controversies that has followed Jackson Carlaw throughout his political career, including:

· In 2005, Jackson Carlaw was widely condemned for making overtly racist jokes about Chinese tourists and Robert Mugabe at the launch of the Tories’ election manifesto.

· In 2010, Carlaw was urged to stand down as an MSP after a sick online joke about Gordon Brown committing suicide just months after losing the UK general election.

· In 2011, Carlaw claimed that the creation of Universal Credit would “transform the lives of millions for the better”.

· In 2013, Carlaw claimed that the UK constitution is “perfect” and “enduring” during a Newsnight Scotland interview.

· In 2018, the Tory Deputy Leader came under fire for a crass and offensive comment regarding the Second World War.

· In 2019, Carlaw described the Tories hugely controversial Rape Clause as “awkward”.

· In 2019, it was reported that Carlaw was facing questions over ‘dark money’ donations – where he was asked if he would return money from the SUAT that was fined for offences by the Electoral Commission.

· In 2019, Carlaw was criticised after defending Tory austerity that has pushed millions across the UK into poverty by suggesting it had helped people get into work.

Commenting, SNP MSP Jenny Gilruth said:

“This record exposes the truth about Jackson Carlaw, and reveals his history of blunders, gaffes and downright offensive statements.

“We all know that Boris Johnson is no stranger to scandal, but Jackson Carlaw’s backing for hard-line right-wing Tory policies and his ill-judged rhetoric shows he is little different from his Downing Street boss.

“Jackson Carlaw has simply acted as an apologist for the worst excesses of Tory policy when it comes to issues like austerity and Universal Credit, while his party have still to properly explain the precise sources of the murky, dark money donations they have accepted.

“The Scottish Tories’ would be-leader is happy to see the party pulled even further to the right – it’s time for Scotland to choose a different path and take our future into our own hands with independence.”


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