Rennie challenges Salmond's foreign affairs record

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has said that the SNP’s appointment of Alex Salmond as foreign affairs spokesman is like putting Mr Bean in charge of the World Bank.

Alex Salmond’s previous forays in foreign affairs as First Minister saw him snub a meeting with the Dalai Lama, speak of his admiration for President Putin despite the treatment of gay rights before the Sochi winter Olympics, and describe NATO’s humanitarian intervention in Kosovo as an “unpardonable folly.”

Commenting, Mr Rennie said:

“Alex Salmond’s recent mantle of foreign affairs spokesperson for the SNP is the equivalent of putting Mr Bean in charge of the World Bank.

“But Alex Salmond’s blundering and bullish approach to many international matters warrants serious reflection from the new SNP members of parliament.

“Time and again Alex Salmond has proven himself on the wrong side of human rights groups and civil society.

“He did not speak for all of Scotland when he refused to meet with the Dalai Lama or expressed admiration for President Putin. He should be under no impression that he now speaks for all Scotland as a pseudo foreign secretary.

“The UK needs liberal voices now more than ever. With a Tory in the Foreign Office ever determined to pull Britain further to the right, and an illiberal SNP bloc ever on the wrong side of human rights issues, Scottish Liberal Democrats will continue to stand up for liberal values.”

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