LABOUR leadership candidate Emily Thornberry has admitted that she hates the SNP and described the party as "Tories wrapped up in nationalist clothing".

Speaking at the Open Labour Winter Conference and Leadership Hustings today at Nottingham Trent University city campus, the shadow foreign secretary's outburst was caught on camera. 

It followed a question which asked: "Do you agree that the SNP's record in government is bad and this attitude amongst members is both wrong and damaging to Labour's chances in Scotland?"

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Thornberry started her rant with a sigh, saying: "I hate the SNP. I hate the SNP."

The audience laughed and clapped. She continued: "I think they're Tories wrapped up in nationalist clothing.

"I think they pretend to be on the left and they're not on the left."

SNP MP Tommy Sheppard said: “The Labour party has taken Scotland for granted for far too long. If prospective Labour leaders focussed even half as much energy on holding the right-wing Tory Government to account as they did on hating the SNP, they might actually gain some respect.
“The SNP has delivered a fairer and more progressive tax system for people in Scotland, made record investment in our public services and mitigated some of the worst Tory policies since the Thatcher years. 

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“It’s no wonder we are seen to be the real opposition to the Tories in Westminster – and the irony that Labour’s manifesto at the election was a copy and paste job for the SNP’s record in Government is not lost.
“Labour’s legacy in Scotland is toxic PFI contracts in our schools and hospitals, a dismal record on house-building and a party that would rather see the Tories in charge than allow Scotland a choice over its own future.
“Labour turned its back on Scotland long ago – so it’s no wonder that Scotland has turned its back on Labour.”