The communications boss of Scottish Labour has been criticised after saying his party will “cremate” the SNP at the next election.
Oliver Milne made the statement in a tweet on Thursday afternoon, in an apparent reference to a heated debate at First Minister’s Questions.
Anas Sarwar accused the SNP of “launching their campaign for another Tory government” amid a dispute over whether the SNP would form a deal with the Labour Party if it fell short of a majority in the House of Commons.
Meanwhile, Humza Yousaf accused Labour of U-turning on key policies and choosing to back the Tories.
The First Minister said: “Here is the real proof of the fact that Keir Starmer’s Labour Party has lurched to the right again.
“The very first major speaking event that I went to as First Minister was at the Scottish Trades Union Congress. Anas Sarwar was there. One person who was not invited was Keir Starmer.
“Dundee Trades Union Council brought forward a motion that condemned Keir Starmer’s actions and behaviours.
“Labour members might well be led by someone who is named after the founder of the Labour Party, but if Keir Hardie could see the state that the Labour Party is in now, he would be birling in his grave.”
After that, Milne tweeted: “Keir Hardie was cremated. Which is what we’re going to do to the SNP at the next election.”
Sarwar previously pledged to put an end to Scotland’s “old, divisive politics” when he launched his campaign for the Scottish leader leadership.
He said Scotland’s political leadership needs to bring people together.
But a comment by the head of media and digital at Scottish Labour saw criticism that the comment was inappropriate and “tasteless”.
SNP MSP Clare Haughey tagged the Labour Party and asked: “Do you condone this language?”
David Linden, the SNP MP for Glasgow East, said: “These tasteless comments show the pro-Brexit Labour Party still as arrogant as ever – and it’s taking voters in Scotland for granted, while it lurches further to the right and becomes increasingly indistinguishable from the Tories.”
On Thursday, Sarwar rebuked accusations from Yousaf that his party was sliding to the right, saying: “There’s only one party that looks like the Tories, and it’s not us, it’s the SNP”.
He accused the First Minister of being “out of touch” and suggested he had misled the Scottish public on Labour’s policy platform.
STV News has contacted Scottish Labour for comment.
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