Humza Yousaf has accused the UK’s home secretary of “emboldening” far-right protesters to attack police after clashes in London following Armistice Day memorial.
The First Minister said Suella Braverman had “fanned the flames of division” after the Metropolitan Police said they faced “aggression” as demonstrators attempted to reach the cenotaph following the traditional ceremony.
The Home Secretary has been under fire from all sides after branding pro-Palestinian demonstrators “hate marchers” and “Islamists” intending to use Armistice Day to dominate the streets of London.
Her claims that police were biased for letting the march go ahead prompted widespread criticism and calls for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to sack her.
Yousaf was the latest to call for her resignation after the scenes in the centre of the English capital. accusing her of deploying inflammatory language.
“The far right has been emboldened by the Home Secretary. She has spent her week fanning the flames of division. They are now attacking the police on Armistice Day,” he wrote on X, previously known as Twitter.
“The Home Secretary’s position is untenable. She must resign.”
A large crowd of people bearing St George flags was seen walking along Embankment and shouting “England ’til I die” shortly after 10am on Saturday, the PA news agency reported.
Skirmishes broke out as police attempted to stop them from reaching the Cenotaph war memorial but the group pushed through, with some shouting “let’s have them” as officers hit out with batons.
The Met Police posted on X, formerly Twitter: “While the two minutes’ silence was marked respectfully and without incident on Whitehall, officers have faced aggression from counter-protesters who are in the area in significant numbers.”
The force added that it “will use all the powers and tactics available to us to prevent” the counter-protesters from confronting the main march.
Mrs Braverman rowed back her language on the eve of Armistice Day, giving police her “full backing” at a meeting with Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley.
It came after her article in The Times, in which she claimed officers “play favourites” towards pro-Palestinian protesters, was disowned by Downing Street and provoked fury among Tory MPs.
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