AN SNP MSP has apologised for being “insensitive” after linking Ukraine’s struggle for survival after a Russian invasion to Scotland seeking independence from the UK.
Michelle Thomson tweeted that Ukraine’s application for EU membership today “just goes to show what political will can achieve”, adding: “Remember this Scotland!”
She also said, bizarrely, that she was “delighted for Ukraine”.
It was accompanied by a picture of Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who is an assassinaton target, wearing combat colours next to some sandbags as his country was shelled by Russia.
Ms Thomson was the MP for Edinburgh for Edinburgh West from 2015 to 2017, and since 2021 has been the MSP for Falkirk East.
President Zelenskyy today asked the European Union to allow Ukraine to join the bloc under a fast-track procedure.
The leaders of Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia all backed the request for “immediate EU accession”.
At just before 4pm, the official Twitter account of the Ukrainian’s legislature posted a picture of President Zelenskyy signing the application, saying it was an “historic moment”.
Around an hour later, Ms Thomson then retweeted it and added the message: “Delighted for Ukraine. It’s [sic] just goes to show what political will can achieve. Remember this Scotland!”
She later deleted the tweet and apologised around 8pm tonight.
“I noted and then tweeted something earlier that was insensitive regarding Ukraine. Like everyone, my first thoughts are sympathy for the people there. Apologies if I offended anyone,” she wrote, adding a small image of a Ukrainian flag.
West Lothian Labour councillor Kirsteen Sullivan replied on Twitter: “I don’t think the Ukrainian people are ‘delighted’ as they try to survive, hour by hour, not knowing if they will see loved ones again.
“What a crass thing to tweet to try make a cheap political point, there’s no ‘if’ about it.”
I noted and then tweeted something earlier that was insensitive regarding Ukraine. Like everyone, my first thoughts are sympathy for the people there. Apologies if I offended anyone. 🇺🇦
— Michelle Thomson (@MichelleThomson) February 28, 2022
Tory MSP Stephen Kerr said Ms Thomson “modelling a breakup of the UK on Putin’s invasion of Ukraine” was “not normal behaviour for a political party”.