THE First Minister has described Keir Starmer's praise of Margaret Thatcher as an "insult" to the Scottish communities harmed by her policies. 

Writing in The Telegraph, Starmer claimed that Thatcher brought "meaningful change" to Britain. 

He also applauded the former Conservative prime minister for "setting loose our natural entrepreneurialism”.

Starmer then pitched himself as the successor to Thatcher and former Labour prime minister Tony Blair.

Sharing his reaction to Starmer's comments on X/Twitter, Yousaf said: "What Thatcher did to mining and industrial communities was not 'entrepreneurialism', it was vandalism. 

READ MORE: Claims Scottish Government bonds plan will not be success ‘nonsense’

"Starmer praising Thatcher is an insult to those communities in Scotland, and across the UK, who still bear the scars of her disastrous policies."

The Labour leader also makes an explicit appeal to Tory voters, emphasising that under his control the party had "changed dramatically" and undergone "shock therapy". 

He said: "The course of shock therapy we gave our party had one purpose: to ensure that we were once again rooted in the priorities, the concerns and the dreams of ordinary British people. To put country before party.

"Across Britain, there are people who feel disillusioned, frustrated, angry, worried,” he added.

“Many of them have always voted Conservative but feel that their party has left them. I understand that.

“I saw that with my own party and acted to fix it. But I also understand that many will still be uncertain about Labour. I ask them to take a look at us again.”

Social Justice Secretary and Dunfermline MSP Shirley-Anne Somerville (below) added: "A complete insult to the mining and industrial communities across Fife + Scotland, which were left utterly devastated by Thatcher’s disastrous policies."

Scottish Government Minister for Equalities, Migration and Refugees, Emma Roddick, said she felt sympathy for left-wing voters in England. 

The National: First Minster’s Questions

"Once again seeking Tory votes at the expense of even gesturing towards being a Labour Party," she said. 

"Feel for Labour voters down south - there's not an option on the ballot for them next year now that Starmer is occupying the same ideological space the Tories were when they took power." 

SNP MP John Nicolson added: "Thatcher destroyed Scotland’s key industries, sold off our public housing stock, gave away our national utilities in an orgy of price hiking privatisations, and siphoned off our oil riches.

"Norway grew wealthy as Scotland was despoiled. This is who Sir Keir lauds?  No!"

Kirsty Blackman, SNP MP for Aberdeen North, said it showed Labour and the Tories were "two cheeks of the same a***".