Former defence secretary Ben Wallace has branded the SNP and Greens “wee pretendy foreign secretaries” after Israeli military planes were blocked from landing at Prestwick.

The publicly owned airport has often been used for refuelling military aircraft, and last November, an Israeli Air Force carrier landed while flying from a US airbase in Dover, Delaware to Beersheba.

The Scottish Greens had urged ministers to act, with Ross Greer saying at the time that there were “serious questions” to answer.

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Earlier this week, a Scottish Government spokesman told The National that Prestwick had “taken the independent decision not to conduct further business with the Israeli air force.”

Speaking to Times Radio on Tuesday, Mr Wallace, an MP and former MSP, who served as UK defence secretary between 2019 and 2023, said: “Haven’t the SNP and the Scottish Greens got other things to do than behave like wee pretendy foreign secretaries?”


The airport is a commercial enterprise owned by the Scottish Government but operated independently.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “Glasgow Prestwick airport is required to operate on a commercial basis and at arm’s length from the Scottish government. Ministers do not intervene in commercial decisions at the airport.”

Mr Greer said: “It was utterly wrong for Prestwick Airport to be used in the first place. Given the US airbase it came from, it is extremely likely that the Israeli aircraft which landed there was loaded with more of the weapons being used to bomb Palestinian schools, hospitals and homes.

“I’m glad that, following pressure from the Scottish Greens and other ceasefire campaigners, Israel can no longer use Scotland’s publicly owned airport. But powers over all airports and airspace lie with the UK government. They must follow Prestwick’s lead in taking action.”