Andrew Neil spoke on the BBC‘s Politics Live and reflected on possible lessons British politicians could learn from the US election. Mr Neil indicated that the gap between poor children and others was widening in some parts of Scotland. He warned that the SNP would need to appeal to more people out of the cities for their upcoming Holyrood election in 2021.
Mr Smith took offence to Mr Neil’s claims and made a sly dig at the broadcaster.
Mr Neil said: “The overall lesson I would take from the United States which is true for western Europe, UK and America is politicians need to decide where elections are going to be won or lost.
“In Britain, they are not won or lost in the cities, they are Labour no matter where the cities are.
“They are not won or lost in the posh counties as they are Conservative.
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“They are won or lost in the provincial towns and rural areas, areas that feel left behind.
“If you want to win an election now, you better have a candidate that will appeal to these people, not just the base.”
Mr Smith began his reply by making a dig at Andrew Neil.
He said: “Andrew really has had a long shift over there in the US and he really could do with a well-deserved lie-down.
“We have got an election coming up in May where we are putting our candidates together just now.
“We are putting our manifesto together and it will be for the people of Scotland to decide how best we are to govern and how best our constitutional futures are represented.
“The problems Scotland has, we don’t shy away from but we need all the tools to solve them.”
Mr Neil replied: “There is not a single tool that you need to solve in the east end of Glasgow that you don’t already have.
“You are entirely in charge of the education system, you control the education system in Scotland and yet the attainment gap between rich and poor kids has gotten wider.”