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Scottish Secretary Alister Jack lashed out at SNP MP Pete Wishart during a tense Scottish Affairs Committee meeting. On Thursday, Mr Wishart appeared to “lose it” after claiming that Boris Johnson was trying to bypass the Scottish Parliament with his controversial Internal Market Bill. He suggested that the so-called “power grab” bill was the only way the Conservatives had power over Scotland.
Mr Jack called Mr Wishart “arrogant” for claiming that the Holyrood elections next May were a “foregone conclusion”.
He then brought up the SNP’s prediction that Boris Johnson would be “swept away” at the last general election in 2019.
Mr Wishart, the committee chairman, told the Scottish Secretary: “There’s no chance whatsoever the Scottish Conservatives are going to win at next May’s election.
“So instead of actually going to the bother of winning an election, you’re just going to circumvent and get round the Scottish Parliament by directly investing in areas that you want.
“Is that what’s going on?”
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Responding to the questions, Mr Jack fired back: “No, that’s not what’s going on and I think it’s arrogant of you to think that the next election in Holyrood is a foregone conclusion.”
Mr Wishart then laughed, prompting Mr Jack to chastise him again.
The SNP MP said: “Right, we will see what happens next May.”
Mr Jack rebuked: “I remember the SNP telling me what was going to happen when they supported a general election last year, they said Boris Johnson was going to be swept away, but the opposite happened – he came back with an 80 majority.”
Press Journal reporter Dan O’Donoghue tweeted at the time: “Yikes. Scottish chairman Pete Wishart looks to have lost his cool. Jack bites back.”
Earlier in the committee, Mr Jack accused Nicola Sturgeon of stirring up chaos along the UK border “just for the sake of it”.
The Government minister bashed the Scottish First Minister for trying “to be different for the sake of it” after different coronavirus rules were put in place for Scotland, creating “confusing messages”.
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He also blamed Ms Sturgeon’s “disgraceful” behaviour for leading to the protests this summer along the Scotland-England border.
Mr Jack told the Scottish Affairs Committee on Thursday that Ms Sturgeon had spread “confusion” across the country and “muddled the message” after implementing different rules in Scotland.
He explained: “We have borders that are geographic and not physical, and we need to stop the confusion.
“All the administrations in these weekly meetings we have, should be grown up and not be different for the sake of it to try further whatever agenda they have.”
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