Louise Richardson appeared on CNN in the aftermath of the referendum result where she spoke about several key issues.
Speaking to Christiane Amanpour, Richardson refused to comment further about the revelations that Alex Salmond’s office had pressured her into signing a statement praising the Scottish Government.
When asked by Amanpour to ‘walk us through’ that incident, Richardson replied: “No, I think I’d rather not if you don’t mind. I think that was a private conversation between the first minister and I’d like to keep it private”.
Professor Richardson reiterated her comments about the possibility of top scientists leaving St Andrews in the event of a Yes vote as access to UK research funding would be at risk. Furthermore, she said she was ‘concerned’ about the immediate status of English students in an independent Scotland. The principal claimed it was not clear whether they would be deemed an EU student. This would be big implications over their fee status as EU students do not pay tuition fees in Scotland. Currently, English students pay £9,000 a year to attend St Andrews.
In a wide ranging interview, Richardson appeared to criticise President Obama over his strategy of ‘destroying ISIS’. The terrorist group made headlines over summer after making large territorial gains in Iraq and Syria and more recently after they beheaded US and UK journalists.
An expert in terrorism studies, Richardson said: “I don’t think we are going to destroy ISIS. I don’t actually think that should be our goal. I think if we can contain them that would be enough and there is the real possibility we can do that with airstrikes”.
When asked by Amanpour what she meant by “containing” them, Richardson spoke about some ‘critical mistakes’ the group had made after heading east after the fall of Mosul instead of heading straight to Baghdad. She concluded by saying: “I think we should not exaggerate the threat, I think they [ISIS] pose to the US and quite a limited threat to the UK’.
The interview did not cover the news that the R&A Golf Club has voted to allow women members for the first time in their long history. Richardson had previously criticised the club over this policy.
Watch the full video here: