Theresa May Appalling that Scottish Government put pressure on MS

“And I think it is frankly appalling that the Scottish government did not want to see the Union Flag and the word British on produce.”It’s not only appalling, it fails to reflect the vote that took place in Scotland, which showed that people in Scotland want to stay part of the United Kingdom.”It emerged last week that in a briefing to Fergus Ewing, the Scottish Rural Affairs Minister, a civil servant said that M&S had promised to “urgently investigate” the categorisation of Scotch and reported back that there had been an error. Although the company confirmed that the website had been changed, officials then suggested that it issue a public message to “clarify” that the mistake had been rectified. They also promised that Mr Ewing “would respond positively” if M&S did so. whisky A whisky ‘nosing’Credit:Getty Theresa May has condemned the Scottish Government’s “appalling” behaviour after MPs were told it did not want the Union flag and the word British on food and drink labelling.SNP ministers were accused of leaning on Marks and Spencer after documents showed that officials telephoned the high street giant “to seek clarity on the situation” after Scotch whisky was listed on its website as being from the UK. Murdo Fraser, the Scottish Tory MSP, said at the time there was “not a person in the world who doesn’t know whisky is Scottish”.A separate briefing on Tesco strawberries recommended that “no formal action is taken at Cabinet Secretary level at present”, but asked whether Mr Ewing wanted a meeting “in the near future” with the supermarket.Both cases prompted a series of SNP supporters to write to Scottish ministers, with one questioning whether it was “an attempt by Westminster at a spot of brainwashing or is there something more sinister going on.”The Scottish Government said the documents showed it had raised public concerns “in a constructive manner”. M&S was contacted about its signage for ScotchCredit:Getty Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. M&S A separate briefing marked “urgent” was sent to Nicola Sturgeon over Tesco’s decision to change the branding on Scottish strawberries from the Saltire to a Union Flag.Luke Graham, the Scottish Tory MP, and a former M&S employee, asked Mrs May at Prime Minister’s Questions if she would stand with him “against this petty bullying and support companies that are proud of Scottish and British produce”.The Prime Minister said she “absolutely agreed”, adding: “We should all be proud of Scottish and British produce, of produce from any part of our United Kingdom. read more