Tory leader Douglas Ross has been condemned by critics of the arms trade for a “two-bit tank rider” stunt with a French arms firm in Glasgow which deals with Saudi Arabia and Russia.
Ross recently visited the Thales Optronics factory in Glasgow as part of the Tories’ election campaign. He was pictured standing masked on top of a Hawkei armoured vehicle, reminiscent of former Tory leaders Ruth Davidson and Maggie Thatcher who once sat on a tank, to show support for the military.
Thales – the 14th largest arms firm in the world – employs over 700 people across two main sites in Glasgow and Rosyth. A spokesman for Ross said his visit to the Glasgow site was to support apprentices working for Thales.
Investigative reporter Billy Briggs has reported on the Ferret investigative website that opponents of the arms trade condemned Ross’s visit.
It was “inappropriate” as Thales sells weaponry to Saudi Arabia. Its air force has been accused of war crimes in Yemen, where thousands of children have been killed in bombings.
As reported by The Ferret, schools and hospitals have been bombed by the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) prompting widespread criticism and calls for an investigation by the International Criminal Court.
Read The Ferret for the full report.