Rennie challenges Davidson to disown divisive rhetoric

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie MSP today challenged Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson to disown divisive rhetoric from Home Secretary of Theresa May over asylum and immigration.

During a speech at the Conservative conference, Ms May argued for the introduction of new measures that could see individuals who have been granted asylum returned to their country of origin. She also dismissed the concerns of university and business groups over the potentially damaging impact of restrictive immigration controls on the economy.

Mr Rennie has called on Ms Davidson to stand by comments she made on support for refugees and condemn the Home Secretary’s remarks when she addresses the Conservative Conference tomorrow.

Commenting, Mr Rennie said:

“Ruth Davidson must speak out against Theresa May’s outrageous speech or we must assume that she shares her views.  Ruth Davidson was right to call for extra help for refugees fleeing the crisis in Syria earlier this summer but her position is at odds with the borderline xenophobia we heard from the Home Secretary at the conference.

“We need more help to those who need it urgently, not more deportation rules.

“We need to attract more of the brightest and best to come to Britain to help make our country stronger, not put up new barriers and demonise immigrants who are already here.

“The Home Secretary’s comments fly in the face of everything that experts from business and higher education sectors have said on the dangers of pulling up the drawbridge.  

“Ruth Davidson has the opportunity to make her position clear when she speaks on the conference platform tomorrow. She needs to take it.”

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