BY Peter Diamond | November 8 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Nicola Sturgeon condemns anti-Catholicism in historic first following Neil Lennon attack

In July, following an SCO story on the attack on Canon Tom White, Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf became the first Scottish Government minister to use the phrase.

First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon has for the first time called out ‘anti-Catholic bigotry’ as she condemned last week’s attack on Neil Lennon.
“I unequivocally condemn anti-Catholic bigotry, anti-Irish racism, I condemn sectarianism in any shape or form and this government will continue to take the action we need to take to ensure that Scotland is a country that demonstrates zero tolerance of any of that kind of bigotry,” Sturgeon said during First Minister’s Questions today, Thursday November 8.
Mrs Sturgeon made the comments in response to a question from Labour MSP James Kelly, who highlighted the recent attack on Hibernian FC manager Neil Lennon during a match against Hearts.
Fresh Campaign
The Catholic Church in Scotland has repeatedly called on authorities to use the phrase ‘anti-Catholicism’ rather than ‘sectarianism.’
In July, following an SCO story on the attack on Canon Tom White, Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf became the first Scottish Government minister to use the phrase.
A new pressure group, Call it Out, was formed this month to campaign for recognition of anti-Catholic bigotry and anti-Irish racism in Scotland, and had appealed for MSPs to question the First Minister on the issue.
Modern Scotland
During First Minister’s Questions, Ms Sturgeon condemned the attack on Lennon and said that Scotland must be united in stamping out all forms of bigotry.
She said: “I saw some of Neil Lennon’s press conference and thought he conducted himself with great dignity.
“Nobody should have to suffer the abuse and the attacks that he has had to suffer.
“Whatever your footballing loyalties, or whether you don’t have any footballing loyalties, that kind of conduct has no place in modern Scotland and all of us must unite to make that absolutely crystal clear.”
Police investigations are ongoing into the incident.
Scottish Labour MSP James Kelly, who raised the question, said: “Such treatment is wholly unacceptable in a modern, progressive country.”

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