The SNP‘s Westminster leader has been accused of disrespecting Britain’s war dead after refusing to sing the national anthem at Remembrance Sunday commemorations.
Nationalist MP Stephen Flynn stayed silent as the UK’s other political party leaders and former prime ministers sang God Save The King at the Cenotaph in London yesterday.
Meghan Gallacher, deputy leader of the Scottish Tories, said: ‘Stephen Flynn is entitled to his republican views, but as Westminster leader of the SNP he has a duty to show respect to our head of state and to all nations and anthems.
‘By refusing to join in with the national anthem, especially at a service to honour those who gave their lives for this country, he has fallen shamefully short of this.’
Flanked by Sir Ed Davey and Sir Keir Starmer, the Aberdeen South MP stayed tight-lipped during the anthem, which came after he laid his wreath.
After the service Mr Flynn posted online: ‘A humbling experience to be present at the Cenotaph today for Remembrance Sunday, and to lay a wreath on behalf of SNP and Plaid Cymru.
‘As ever, I was thinking of my late Grandad and the sacrifices his generation made during WW2 to protect our freedoms.’
However, the MP faced a barrage of criticism on social media. One person accused him of showing ‘no respect for fallen Scottish soldiers’.
Another said: ‘Once again the SNP embarrassed Scotland.’ A third labelled Mr Flynn a ‘disgrace’. They said: ‘[He was] representing Scotland at the Cenotaph and could not sing the national anthem.
Makes me sick to see people like him represent my country. If he feels like that he should not be there.’
The Mail also received calls and emails yesterday from readers angered by Mr Flynn’s silence.
But an SNP spokesman said the MP was ‘honoured’ to represent the party at the service, which was ‘about remembering the sacrifice of all those that have defended our freedoms, including members of Mr Flynn’s family’.
Meanwhile, First Minister Humza Yousaf was among dignitaries who laid wreaths and held a two-minute silence at Edinburgh City Chambers to commemorate Remembrance Sunday.