Thursday, May 30

Angry Tory MPs attack Scottish government about UK flag stories fake news



Angry Tory MPs attacked the Scottish government tonight for telling its officials to fly the Union Flag just once a year.

The historic emblem was replaced by the blue-and-white Scottish Saltire for several Royal birthdays, including the Queen’s, in new guidance issued by Holyrood.

The guidance recommends the Union flag flies over government buildings only on Remembrance Sunday, down from 15 occasions a year.

Tory ex-minister Iain Duncan Smith claimed the guidance was outrageous and tawdry while backbencher Jacob Rees Mogg complained it smacks of small-mindedness.

Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser accused First Minister Nicola Sturgeon of trying to eradicate the Union Flag and appealing to extreme elements of the nationalist movement.

Under 2017 guidance, on Royal birthdays the Union flag was meant to be flown from government buildings with the Saltire if appropriate.

Under the new guidance issued on January 10, the Royal Banner featuring a red lion on a yellow background is recommended instead.

But a Scottish government spokeswoman insisted the number of days the Union flag was flown would not reduce because previous guidance had not been followed anyway.

The spokeswoman said: The Royal Banner (Lion Rampant) has been flown on Royal occasions since 2010.

The policy has not been changed under the current First Minister the public guidance has simply been updated by officials in response to queries to match longstanding practice.