PEOPLE in Scotland will be appalled to hear that Keir Starmer said Margaret Thatcher was “right”, the SNP’s depute leader at Westminster has said.

It comes after the Labour leader approvingly quoted the former Tory prime minister in a speech at Port Vale FC in Burslem.

Unveiling Labour’s “mission to halve serious violent crime and raise confidence in the police and criminal justice system”, Starmer said that Thatcher was “right” about the rule of law.

He said: “We’re here today [for] the launch of Labour’s second national mission – to make our streets safe, and stop criminals getting away without punishment.

“Now, if you think that sounds basic, something which should be guaranteed in a country like ours, then let me tell you: You’re right.

“Nothing is more important, more fundamental, to a democracy like ours. The rule of law is the foundation for everything.

“Margaret Thatcher called it the ‘first duty of government’ – and she was right.”

Mhairi Black, the SNP’s depute leader at Westminster, said Starmer’s quoting of the late Tory baroness showed his Labour party was lurching to the right.

The National:

Black said: "People in Scotland will be appalled that Keir Starmer is taking his lead from Margaret Thatcher, who left lasting scars on our communities.

"Under Starmer, the pro-Brexit Labour Party has lurched to the right, and is now little more than a pound-shop Tory tribute act – copying Tory policies and quoting Tory prime ministers.

"Whether it's denying Scotland's democracy, ruling out any return to the EU, backing Tory cuts to public sector pay and benefits, attacking migration, or signalling greater privatisation of the NHS – the Labour Party has become a pale imitation of the Tories.

"With no change on offer at Westminster, it's clear independence is the only way to deliver real change and build the strong, fair and prosperous future Scotland deserves."