NICOLA Sturgeon has issued a damning condemnation of the UK Government and its immigration policy after protesters in Glasgow forced the Home Office to release men detained in dawn raids in Scotland’s largest city.

Police Scotland were called in the morning of May 13 to protect a Home Office van from protesters after officers detained men in Kenmure Street in the Pollokshields area of Glasgow.

After around eight hours, the decision was taken to release the detainees and ask the protesters to disperse. 

The First Minister demanded that the UK Government “never again” allows a similar situation to come to pass and said that the one Tory minister she managed to speak to showed “no empathy” for those involved.

READ MORE: WATCH: Scots stage street protest to stop Home Office dawn raid eviction

Taking to Twitter to pan the “unacceptable” behaviour of Priti Patel’s Home Office, the SNP leader accused her immigration officers of putting Police Scotland in an “invidious position”.

Sturgeon wrote: “Today’s events were entirely down to @ukhomeoffice actions. @policescotland were in an invidious position - they do not assist in the removal of asylum seekers but do have a duty to protect public safety. They act independently of ministers, but I support this decision.”

She was referring to Chief Superintendent Mark Sutherland’s decision to have the detained men released “in order to protect the safety, public health and wellbeing of all people involved in the detention and subsequent protest”.

A Home Office source reportedly told the BBC's Lewis Goodall that it was "completely unacceptable for a mob to stop the lawful removal of people living in our country illegally".

They added: "We 100% back the frontline in removing those with no right to be here."

READ MORE: Scots protests force police to release men detained by Home Office in dawn raid

In a twitter thread posted in response to that police statement, Sturgeon went on: “I disagree fundamentally with @ukhomeoffice immigration policy but even putting that aside, this action was unacceptable.

“To act in this way, in the heart of a Muslim community as they celebrated Eid, and in an area experiencing a Covid outbreak was a health and safety risk.”

The Home Office recently ran a consultation on a planned change to its immigration policy.

However, this was run concurrently with the Scottish elections, meaning the Edinburgh Government was essentially gagged by strict pre-election rules.

The Welsh Government has asked for this consultation to be extended to allow them a voice, while their Scottish counterpart expressed “extreme disappointment” at the timing of the consultation.

The Scottish Government called for “meaningful engagement and collaboration … in relation to any reform of the UK asylum and immigration systems”.

READ MORE: Home Office asked to reopen asylum consultation that ‘silenced’ devolved nations

Nicola Sturgeon called on the UK Government to ensure that a situation like the one in Glasgow today will “never again” be created by their actions.

She tweeted: “Both as MSP and as FM, I will be demanding assurances from the UK Government that they will never again create, through their actions, such a dangerous situation.

“No assurances were given - and frankly no empathy shown - when I managed to speak to a junior minister earlier.”

She finished: “Lastly, I am proud to represent a constituency and lead a country that welcomes and shows support to asylum seekers and refugees. The day when immigration policy is the responsibility of @ScotParl can’t come soon enough.”

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf also released a statement on Twitter in which he said he was "angry and disgusted" at the actions of the Home Office.

He accused the Tory minister he spoke to when trying to deescalate the situation of being belligerent, adding: "To say he was unhelpful would be an understatement."

A Home Office spokesperson said: "The UK Government is tackling illegal immigration and the harm it causes, often to the most vulnerable people by removing those with no right to be in the UK.

“The operation in Glasgow was conducted in relation to suspected immigration offences and the two Indian nationals complied with officers at all times

“The UK Government continues to tackle illegal migration in all its forms and our New Plan for Immigration will speed up the removal of those who have entered the UK illegally.”