Scottish leader pulls out of media event featuring Steve Bannon

/ 06:33 PM October 21, 2018
Nicola Sturgeon

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon listens after addressing a United Nations conference, Wednesday, April 5, 2017 at the UN headquarters. (Photo by BEBETO MATTHEWS / AP)

LONDON — Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has pulled out of an Edinburgh conference because former White House strategist Steve Bannon is scheduled to speak at the event.

In a tweet Saturday, Sturgeon said she believes “passionately in free speech” but declares she “would not be part of any process that risks legitimizing or normalizing far-right, racist views.”


Bannon is to be interviewed by a BBC journalist and answer questions at News Xchange, a media conference in Edinburgh on Nov. 14-15. BBC News is a host partner.

“The email the BBC sent to my office justifying Bannon’s inclusion described him as a ‘powerful and influential figure … promoting an anti-elite movement.’ This kind of language to describe views that many would describe as fascist does seem to me to run the risk of normalization,” Sturgeon said.


In a statement defending its decision to invite Bannon, seen Sunday on its website, Edinburgh conference organizers said Bannon is “a key influencer in the rise of populism — one of the dominant political trends of our times.”

Bannon, who played a central role in the 2016 campaign of U.S. President Donald Trump, has been making the rounds in Europe as part of his plans for a foundation, called The Movement, to boost far-right parties in Europe.

He appeared at a rally in Rome in September organized by a small far-right Italian opposition party, Brothers of Italy, where he heaped praise on Italy’s populist government. He was also in Rome for the March 4 election that brought the populists to power.

Bannon spent seven months working in Trump’s administration, leaving in August 2017. /atm

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: News Xchange, Nicola Sturgeon, Steve Bannon
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

© Copyright 1997-2020 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.