Scottish Labour leader Iain Gray has been likened to the bigoted TV character Alf Garnett after his slur against Montenegro resulted in a furious Diplomatic letter from the independent nation’s UK Embassy.
SNP Foreign Affairs Spokesman Angus Robertson has called on Mr Gray to apologise to both the people of Montenegro and Scotland “for the embarrassment his gaffe has caused”.
The Labour MSP for East Lothian caused outrage after linking the small peaceful nation’s road to independence with ethnic cleansing and war crimes tribunals.
Speaking after details of the Montenegrin Diplomat’s letter were revealed, Mr Robertson said:
“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.
“It is an elementary lesson of politics that you do not rubbish other nations in an attempt to attack your opponents. It is astonishing that Mr Gray does not seem to have the maturity to understand that. His actions are more akin to those of an adolescent Alf Garnett than those of a man who is supposed to be bidding to be First Minister. It is little wonder his personal approval ratings are so low.
“We are used to Mr Gray not letting the facts get in the way of his rhetoric but he has now managed to let his international ignorance embarrass Scotland. That is not good enough. He 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.”
A Labour party spokesperson has confirmed that Iain Gray will be explaining his comments in a letter to the Montenegrin Embassy.