HUMZA Yousaf blasted the Tories' latest immigration plans as “morally repugnant” in a scathing response to the Prime Minister’s Rwanda policy.

The First Minister told MSPs that the latest announcements by the UK Government are “economically illiterate” following Rishi Sunak’s emergency press conference on Thursday morning.

Sunak was forced to defend his plans after Tory MP Robert Jenrick announced his resignation as immigration minister, while reports suggested a number of letters of no confidence had been submitted against the Prime Minister by unhappy parliamentarians.

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It comes as Yousaf was forced to defend Scottish education from a joint attack by the Scottish Tories and Scottish Labour during FMQs.

The First Minister was asked by SNP MSP Claire Haughey whether he condemned plans put forward by the UK Tories that would see care workers prevented from bringing their families with them to the UK.

Yousaf said: “It’s a real dark day for the UK, a country that once welcomed many immigrants including my grandfather to the country.

“They begged him to come and others to come to work in their factories, to drive the buses, due to the labour shortages there were at that time.”

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The First Minister’s grandfather came to Scotland from Pakistan in the 1960s to work in a sewing machine factory in Clydebank.

“What successive UK Governments have done, Labour and Conservative, is that they have bit by bit dismantled our immigration and asylum process,” he added.

“On immigration, the latest announcements mean that the UK Government is asking migrants to come here to look after our own family members but doing so by abandoning their own family members back home.

“On asylum, the UK Government has virtually eliminated any practical legal route for those that are fleeing war and persecution. So the policies of the UK Government in this respect, they are not only morally repugnant but they’re economically illiterate.”

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He added that the Scottish Government “values migration” not only to “our social fabric but also to our economy too”.

“Let me say unequivocally that we in Scotland, the SNP, we will always say that we are proud of the benefits that migrants bring to this country and we are proud that they have chosen Scotland to be their home,” Yousaf said.

It comes as the First Minister admitted that Scotland’s results in international education rankings were “not good enough” after it was raised by both Douglas Ross and Anas Sarwar.

Earlier this week, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released its latest Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) rankings for 2022.

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The study reported that Scotland had declined in maths, reading and science since 2008, after looking at the results of 3300 Scottish 15-year-olds.

Yousaf pointed to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic after Ross claimed a “generation of young Scots” are “being failed by the SNP”.

Yousaf replied: “Let me put it on record and let me be absolutely explicit – we do not dismiss, I do not dismiss, nor take lightly the Pisa results that have been released this week.

“We are reflecting on a poor set of results and the Education Secretary will make a statement next week on the issue of literacy and numeracy and what our response is to improving those outcomes.”

But he added: “There is no doubt, as the OECD makes clear in the publication, that Covid has had an impact."

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Yousaf added that commentary around the results was “unfair”, while Ross accused the First Minister of using Covid as an “excuse".

Ross suggested that Scotland’s education system – which he said was once the “envy of the world” – is now a “national disgrace.

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“I don’t accept that,” Yousaf said.

“Douglas Ross, deliberately of course, is not listening to my previous response.

“I am accepting that the Pisa results were not good enough, even considering the impact of the pandemic – and the impact of the pandemic is not something that I’m using as an excuse, the OECD literally described the results as their ‘Covid edition’.”

Elsewhere, Sarwar said the Pisa results demonstrate “16 years of SNP government failure”, and claimed teachers and pupils are being “failed by this pathetic SNP government”.

After being accused of “destroying our once world-leading education system” by Sarwar, the First Minister accused the Scottish Labour leader of “hyperbole”.