SCOTTISH Labour politicians have remained silent after Keir Starmer praised Margaret Thatcher in a bid to woo Tory voters.

First Minister Humza Yousaf was quick to slam the UK Labour leader’s comments as an “insult” to Scottish communities following his comment piece in the Sunday Telegraph.

Starmer said the former Tory prime minister “sought to drag Britain out of its stupor by setting loose our natural entrepreneurialism”.

READ MORE: The truth about Margaret Thatcher's disastrous legacy

The comments prompted fury from SNP politicians on social media, but Scottish Labour MPs and MSPs were notably silent on Sunday morning.

SNP Westminster group leader Stephen Flynn challenged Anas Sarwar over whether he supported Starmer’s comments.

Scottish Labour’s press office have also not responded to The National’s request for comment, where we asked if the party agreed with Starmer’s stance.

Starmer has already appeared to distance himself from the comments he made within hours of publication, after a significant backlash.

The National:

Thatcher (above), who died in 2013, presided over a privatisation agenda during her time in Downing Street in the 1980s which saw the decline of industry in Scotland, including coal mining and steel working.

The introduction of the poll tax a year earlier in Scotland than the rest of the UK was also deeply unpopular and impacted Scottish communities.

But, Scottish Labour politicians did not voice any concern over Starmer’s comments following the opinion piece.

Shadow Scottish secretary Ian Murray MP tweeted about Scotland’s Euro draw on Sunday morning. Scottish Labour leader Sarwar’s second last post was also regarding the football tournament, posted the night before.

He later tweeted his condolences regarding the death of former UK Labour minister Glenys Kinnock on Sunday afternoon, but has made no public comment regarding Starmer.

Colin Smyth, MSP for South Scotland region, also tweeted a tribute to Kinnock.

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Michael Shanks, newly elected MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West, posted about the infected blood scandal and an upcoming Commons vote.

Elsewhere, MSP Paul O’Kane said on Sunday morning he was looking forward to a Christmas lights switch on in Neilston.

Pam Duncan-Glancy, Glasgow region, tweeted a photograph of a Christmas tree and her dog, writing: "Tis the season."

Foysul Choudry, Lothian Region, posted about a cross party parliamentary group trip to Bangladesh last month. 

Backbencher Monica Lennon, who ran against Sarwar for the leadership of the party, was the only MSP who took a dig at Starmer's comments on Sunday. 

"Thatcher’s legacy still haunts us, with many problems facing the UK today rooted in political and economic decisions made in the 1980s," she wrote. 

"Whole communities destroyed, turbo-charged inequality and mass unemployment. Lessons still need to be learned."

In a letter to the Scottish Labour leader on Sunday, Flynn asked if Sarwar agreed with his boss that Thatcher brought “meaningful change” and “set loose our natural entrepreneurialism”.

"It really sticks in the throat to read a Labour leader heap praise on an individual that wreaked havoc on our communities leaving parts of Scotland in terminal decline and engrained poverty for decades,” Flynn said.

The National: Stephen Flynn

"For Sir Keir Starmer to describe entire communities decimated for generations as 'meaningful change' is an insult to Scots the length and breadth of the country.

"The question is now whether Labour in Scotland will stand by these despicable comments and stand shoulder to shoulder with Starmer just as they did on Gaza, or will they finally speak up for Scotland.

"Thatcher's legacy is not one to be celebrated and any politician worth their salt should be able to say so."

While current party politicians were reluctant to voice any opinion on the comments, former MPs and MSPs voiced their discontent.

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Former Scottish Labour MSP Neil Findlay (below), who represented Lothian between 2011 and 2021, reacted furiously to the comments. He said: “Starmer is a liar, a fraud, a cheat and an imposter, he is an affront to Labour Party and betrays its historic mission - what is the party under his ‘leadership’ offering working class voters?

“The party is ahead in the polls not because of anything he has done.”

Danielle Rowley, former Scottish Labour MP for Midlothian from 2017 to 2019, said: “Community is essential to our wellbeing and a good society. Margaret Thatcher saw the destruction of community by focusing on individual success and profit, turning neighbours against each other and destroying public services.

“Our lives are worse today because of her legacy.”

The National: Neil Findlay

Liverpool Labour MP Kim Johnson was one party politician who hit out at Starmer.

"Margaret Thatcher did nothing for working class communities in Liverpool and across the country: destroyed industries, attacked trade unionists, privatised our core industries," she said. 

"Campaigned for "managed decline" in our city, attacked Hillsborough fans.  Not someone any  @UKLabour supporter should look up to.  Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it."