'The SNP wilfully distorted my Catalonia Scotland comments', said Lisa Nandy

29 January 2020, 13:54 | Updated: 29 January 2020, 13:56

Labour leadership candidate Lisa Nandy told James O'Brien the SNP "wilfully distorted" her comments on Scotland and Catalonia and those who believed she'd endorsed violence were being "conned."

Gary from North Lanarkshire challenged Lisa Nandy over the comments she made that the UK should "look to Catalonia" in order to quell "divisive nationalism."

The caller said said he found the comparison offensive as Spanish authorities used force to prevent the Catalonian independence referendum in 2017, especially as the Catalonian leaders are now in exile.

"Why did you feel that that was an appropriate statement to make?" he asked.

Lisa Nandy said she condemned the actions of the Spanish right-wing government and her comments were "wilfully distorted by the Scottish National Party".

"What I actually said was...in Scotland we have not understood how to deal with populist nationalism and that is a very particular issue that has arisen in Scotland that UK Labour in particular has struggled to understand and deal with," she said.

SNP First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said people would be "mortified" by the comments
SNP First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said people would be "mortified" by the comments. Picture: PA

"When I referenced Catalonia I referenced the peaceful struggle that socialists had waged in Catalonia in order to advance the cause of social justice and to resist the idea of nationalism as the answer to the problems that people face there," said Ms Nandy, "of course I wasn't talking about using violence."

"It is absolutely ridiculous to suggest that a Labour MP would do that and one of the things that happened very quickly is the Scottish National Party decided to seize on this in order to wilfully distort those comments," she said, "it's something we've seen them do over and over again, to exploit the politics of grievance in order to maintain the focus on the independence question."

Lisa Nandy said the SNP are trying to find anyway to prevent the country pulling together and moving forwards.

James asked Lisa Nandy if she was implying that the caller Gary is being "conned by the SNP" to which she said "absolutely."

James repeatedly asked the caller Gary where he got the idea that Lisa Nandy was endorsing violence and he refused to give a straight answer.

Ms Nandy explained again why she made the comments she did and said she was "absolutely clear" in the interview.