Keir Starmer squirms as Brian Cox launches scathing rebuke of Labour in favour of the SNP

Brian Cox says ‘Scotland has always been sidelined’ by Labour

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Scottish actor Mr Cox was invited onto the Andrew Marr Show alongside Sir Keir – and the Labour leader listened to why Mr Cox abandoned his party. Mr Cox, who began supporting the SNP in 2015 and has provided voiceovers for their campaign videos, explained he was furious at Scotland being “sidelined” by the main political parties and grew angry at Tony Blair for his role in the Iraq War. Sir Keir responded, saying he and the party had a lot of hard work to do if they wanted to win back people like Mr Cox.

Speaking on the Andrew Marr Show, Mr Cox was asked about his political history, having been a “great Labour supporter” in his past.

Mr Cox now supports the SNP and explained to host Marr and Sir Keir Starmer the reason for his choice.

He told the programme: “It comes really down to what I thought was a failure of social democracy, particularly around about 2012 and 2010.

“Also, the Iraq war, that affected me, Blair’s hubris affected me.

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“And I saw the party going in a certain direction and I was really very concerned because I am a socialist and I’m very driven about the party and I totally agree with Keir on so many things.

“But [Scotland] was traduced for long enough, time and time again… we voted 62 percent to stay in Europe and we were ignored – and if you think about the Thatcher years, we were ignored.

“So Scotland has always been sidelined.”

Mr Cox added he had to support the country he came from and the only way he could see that was to back the SNP.

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Sir Keir was then invited to respond to the scathing assessment of Labour and said a lot of “hard work” was needed to win over people like Mr Cox in Scotland.

The Labour leader explained there was a good basis for building conversations and relations with each other if they could find common ground. He welcomed how Mr Cox does see eye-to-eye with him.

Sir Keir added: “I think what Brian has said is really the most important thing, which is actually respecting and listening to Scotland has to be an essential part of this, not an afterthought, not a secondary consideration. I think there’s space for that discussion.

“And I actually do think there’s a lot that we would agree on and that is a good basis for building the future. But have we got a lot of work to do? Yes, we have.”

Mr Cox switched to the SNP in 2015 having been a staunch Labour supporter for most of his life.

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The actor also spoke with the Sunday Times about his political life and his long-standing support for Scottish independence.

He said: “The United Kingdom is not United.

“We have been at the tap end of the bath long enough. We deserve to have our back against the smooth surface for a while.

“It’s been tough and it is tough, and I think Nicola (Sturgeon) does an incredible job and it’s a tough job.

“How do you balance the economy with what is happening with the climate.”

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