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Scotland ‘united against the fascists’ after far-right candidates rejected

First Minister and leader of the SNP Nicola Sturgeon meets voters as she arrives to cast her vote in the Scottish Parliamentary election at the Annette Street school in Govanhill, Glasgow - Credit: PA

Nicola Sturgeon has said voters showed that racists and fascists are “not welcome anywhere in Scotland” after two far-right candidates picked up less than 200 votes and one was ejected from the count.

Glasgow Southside independent candidate Jayda Fransen confronted the SNP leader and first minister during the campaign on Thursday, accusing her of supporting “mass immigration” and “Marxism”.

But the former deputy leader of Britain First won just 46 votes in the poll for the Scottish Parliament.

Liberal Party candidate Derek Jackson, who arrived at the count with supporters wearing black suits, yellow stars and armbands, picked up 102 votes.

Returning officer Annemarie O’Donnell revoked Jackson’s pass for the election count after being concerned by his behaviour and he and his supporters were escorted from the Emirates Arena by police and security staff.

Scottish National Party’s (SNP) Humza Yousaf delivers his speech on stage after retaining his seat for Glasgow Pollok at the count for the Scottish Parliamentary Elections at the Emirates Arena, Glasgow. Picture date: Friday May 7, 2021. – Credit: PA

Members of the anti-vaccine party had made a “beeline” for Scotland’s justice secretary Humza Yousaf at the Glasgow election count – before members of other political parties joined the SNP to confront them.

Jackson, who is also known as Deek Jackson, stood for the Liberal Party – a small group unconnected to the Liberal Democrats.

After confronting Yousaf he was suspended from the party and will not be allowed to re-join and “his actions in no way whatsoever resonate with any of the party’s values” said party spokesman Kayed Al-Haddad.

Al-Haddad said: “He was vetted by the party via phone call, not face to face due to the pandemic. Everything seemed fine. But basically he has hijacked the party to further his own ends.

“We have come to realise he has actually done similar things in the past. He won’t be allowed back in.”

Speaking after winning her seat, Sturgeon said: “Yesterday, not for the first time, the constituency was targeted by far-right thugs.

“The far-right thug who led that confrontation got 46 votes and I’m proud that once again Glasgow Southside has shown the racists and the fascists that they are not welcome in Glasgow Southside, they are not welcome in Glasgow and they are not welcome anywhere in Scotland and let that be a note of unity.”

Speaking to reporters after the incident, Yousaf said: “What I’m always struck by is voices of good always outweigh the voices of hatred.

“If anyone witnessed that exchange there – when they were directing questions at me about Pakistan, obviously because of my colour of skin, I’m not from Pakistan, my home is in Scotland.

“I was delighted to be joined by colleagues right across the political parties, from Labour and other parties, standing in unity with me.

“So I’m pleased their voices were drowned out.

“You had six muppets here and then you very quickly had 25 people on the other side telling them where to go. That, to me, is the best of Scotland really.”

Yousaf said the Liberal Party made a “beeline” for him and asked him about “child rape victims in Pakistan” as well as the Scottish Government’s Hate Crime Bill.

Jackson and his supporters later said they were wearing yellow stars and armbands to be “love marshals”.

He said: “I hope none of you are stupid enough to believe we are promoting fascism.

“When plainly and obviously we are here to satire and parody the fascist SNP hate laws.”

A Police Scotland spokesman said: “Officers assisted in escorting six people from the Emirates Arena, Glasgow, following complaints about their behaviour.

“Inquiries into this matter are ongoing.”

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar welcomed the reaction and response to the “far-right candidates” from voters in Glasgow Southside.

“Every single time the far-right hate has ever tried to come to Glasgow Southside we as a community have united against them and rejected them,” he said.

“Nicola Sturgeon and I might have many differences and differences of opinion, differences of opinion politically, but when it comes to fighting the far right, when it comes to fighting bigotry and hatred and intolerance in all its forms, we and indeed large parts of Scotland are united against the fascists.”