Salmond accuses the Home Office of ‘sabotage’

Alex Salmond has accused the Home Office of 'sabotage' after it refused visas for two Chinese teachers looking to visit Scotland under a Scottish government-funded scheme to teach pupils north of the border Mandarin.

Scotland’s First Minister has accused the Home Office of ‘sabotage’ after it refused visas for two Chinese teachers looking to visit Scotland under a Scottish government-funded scheme to teach pupils north of the border Mandarin.

A five strong team of teachers from China had been due to visit Scotland under the programme, run by the Confucius Institute in partnership with Strathclyde University and the Scottish government. However, two of the teachers have had their visa applications rejected.

Having written to the home secretary to outline the Scottish government’s concerns about the impact it could have on Scotland’s relationships with China, the Home Office has confirmed that it is reviewing the case.

Speaking to the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland programme from China where he is on a visit, however, Alex Salmond attacked the UK government, declaring:

“It is an absolutely extraordinary situation you couldn’t make it up. It is deeply offensive to the Chinese and it is a decision that needs to be reversed as soon as possible.

“This amounts to sabotage of a programme that everyone thinks absolutely fantastic and doing great work in Scotland.

“The importance of this is quite fundamental. Our argument is to have a successful economic relationship with China you must have it underpinned by a successful cultural relationship, that is the view of the Chinese, that is the view of the Scottish government.

“If you undermine one you undermine the other.”

2 Responses to “Salmond accuses the Home Office of ‘sabotage’”

  1. Chrisso

    Yet Osborne and Cameron are supposed to be encouraging Chinese visitors? Another lack of joined-up thinking I guess rather than an attack on Scottish sovereignty.

  2. uglyfatbloke

    In the dim and distant the Home office was always happy to undermine the Scottish office., regardless of which party was in power; it was a tradition based on resentment of different laws etc. in Scotland. The Wilson government faced a lot of obstruction from HO mandarins about devolution in the 70s , so it sounds like nothing much has changed.

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