WATCH: Scottish minister accuses Momentum of 'xenophobia' over SNP attack ad

Posted On: 
24th August 2017

Scotland’s transport minister has said a video promoted by pro-Jeremy Corbyn group Momentum condemning the SNP's railways policy borders on "xenophobic”.

The video posted on Twitter by Momentum has angered Scottish transport minister Humza Yousaf.
Credit: 
PA Images

The video, which is partly narrated using a mock Dutch accent, takes a swipe at the fact that Scotrail is run by the Netherlands’ state-owned company Abellio.

It describes the Netherlands as “the home of tulips, canals and windmills, and now owners of Scotrail for some reason".

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The ad, which was made by the TSSA union, coincides with Mr Corbyn’s tour of Scottish seats that Labour hope to win back from the SNP.

Scottish government minister Humza Yousaf suggested “reasonable” Labour supporters distance themselves from the ad.

The Scottish government has previously said that when the franchise to run Scotland’s trains was last up, they were unable to put it forward for public bids, but that they would next time.

Watch the full video below:

A Momentum spokesperson told PoliticsHome: "We shared the TSSA video on our Momentum social media accounts to highlight the absurdity of a state owned company from the Netherlands running ScotRail when it could be under our own public control.

"The film takes a lighthearted look at the issue, parodying SNP party political broadcasts and Dutch tourism videos. A Labour government would take our railways back into public control and we hope the SNP follow that lead and take ScotRail back into public control as soon as possible."

TSSA General Secretary Manuel Cortes told PoliticsHome that Mr Yousaf’s reaction shows the SNP government are staring to “feel the heat” as their call “chimes with Scottish public opinion.

"Our video ridicules rail privatisation in Scotland because, frankly it is ridiculous,” he said.

He added: “If Humza and the SNP are complaining it's because they feel the heat turning on them on this issue as they continue to collaborate with the privateers rather than change the broken rail system."

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon previously branded the rules on public sector bidding “absurd” and told trade unions that she was supportive of putting operators into public hands.

During last year's Holyrood election, she said: “We will continue to have to tender services – it will not be within our gift to change that. But our manifesto will make clear that a re-elected SNP government will use new powers to change the law to ensure that in future a Scottish public sector body will be able to bid to run Scotland’s railways."