SNP's Yousaf under fire for praising centrist rebels plotting Labour breakaway

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf faced tough criticism after he described Labour rebels planning a break from Corbyn's Labour as the party's "talent"

The SNP's Humza Yousaf has been attacked by some in his own party after he said online that he didn't blame the "talent" on Labour's benches for planning a split from the party.

Rumours have circulated around Westminster in recent months suggesting MPs from the Labour right such as Owen Smith were working with anti-Brexit Tory rebels to form a new, centrist party in opposition to Brexit and Jeremy Corbyn’s leftwing platform.

Speaking to The Red Robin, one member from the left of the SNP described Yousaf’s intervention as “embarrassing”.

“The people Humza Yousaf has praised as Labour’s talent are opposed to most of the SNP’s platform.

“On issues like the war in Iraq and tuition fees, the Labour rebels share little with the SNP.

”Labour learned the hard way what Scotland thought of the traditional, private school educated politician who stands for what is popular. The SNP should avoid that,” they said.

Millionaire author JK Rowling is also rumoured to be behind the backroom negotiations, with a private rally supposedly taking place at her agents London offices with an invited guest list.

After Yousaf’s tweet, a host of SNP and independence supporters were critical of the MSP, who is seen as a possible future leader.

One Twitter user, Gary Dunion, responded to the tweet asking if Yousaf  didn’t consider popular Labour left figures such as shadow education secretary Angela Rayner and Laura Pidcock as talented.

An SNP voter tweeted: “You supporting Blairites now, Humza?. We rejected Labour because of the Blairites.”

Jonathon Shafi, co-founder of the Radical Independence Campaign, suggested that the SNP were preparing to scapegoat Corbyn over their own inaction on securing a second independence referendum.

Another SNP voter, Lynne Watson, said: “This kind of rhetoric is putting me off the SNP, remember a lot of us that have given you our support since the independence referendum re pro-left not right.”

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