SCOTLAND’s Health Secretary Humza Yousaf has hit out at Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer for saying the UK is recruiting too many people from overseas into the NHS. 

In an interview on the BBC’s Sunday Show, the Labour leader argued immigration was not the solution to a staffing crisis as he called for more recruitment from within the UK. 

Asked how many people he would be prepared to let into the country under a managed migration plan, Starmer said: “We don’t want open borders. Freedom of movement has gone and it’s not coming back. 

“So that means fair rules, firm rules, a points-based system. 

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“What I would like to see is the numbers go down in some areas. I think we’re recruiting too many people from overseas into, for example, the health service. 

“But on the other hand, if we need high-skilled people in innovation int etc to set up factories etc, then I would encourage that.”

The Labour leader said he has daily conversations with his wife Victoria, who works in the NHS about the health service’s struggles. 

Asked what she says is the problem with the NHS, Keir replied by saying “we haven’t got enough people”. 

Yousaf hit back at Starmer’s comments on social media. He said: “Those coming from overseas play a huge role as part of our NHS family. 

“In Scotland we have also been increasing nursing & medical student intake over years. 

“A multi-pronged strategy is required. Labour’s anti-immigration rhetoric increasingly concerning as well as short-sighted.”

Starmer was slammed for the interview in which he was also quizzed on the issue of a second independence referendum

SNP MP Stewart McDonald echoed Yousaf’s thoughts. Writing on social media, he said: “Remember we stood on our doorsteps & clapped for NHS staff during the pandemic? 

“We did so for everyone – all nationalities – who put their shoulder to the wheel in our time of need. This grubby dog-whistling for votes is an affront to that spirit of thanks.”

Airdrie and Shotts MP Anum Qaisar re-tweeted the story with the caption: “I despair”.