Candidates trying to replace Nicola Sturgeon as party leader Scottish National Party Scottish prime ministers attacked each other’s records in a heated televised debate that laid bare tensions within the party.
The hostile tone of the debate on Tuesday night’s STV was a reflection of the political party that the SNP has ruled Scotland since 2007 and was noted for its discipline and unity in pursuing its goal of independence from Scotland under Sturgeon. It suggests that they may struggle to restore unity. England.
In the campaign’s first televised debate, Treasury Secretary Kate Forbes launched a scathing attack on Health Secretary Humza Yousaf’s record. Forbes suggested that if she won, she wouldn’t keep him in her current position.
“When you were Minister of Transport, the trains were never on time. When you were Minister of Justice, the police were strained to the breaking point. And now, as Minister of Health, we are having record wait times,” she told Hamza.
Forbes’ reflection on a rival party’s attack on one of Sturgeon’s longest-serving government ministers will be welcomed by opposition leaders, but risks alienating some SNP supporters. It is possible to injure
of sturgeon announcement of shock Last month, she announced that she would be vacating the position she had held since 2014, sparking the first pro-independence party leadership race in two decades.
The contest focused on the party’s independence strategy after Sturgeon’s “de facto referendum” plan faced opposition within the SNP. Sturgeon, Scotland’s longest-serving Prime Minister, held a firm grip on the party.
Yousuf, who has been in government office since 2012, has sought to follow in Sturgeon’s track record and present himself as a candidate who champions the party’s socially and economically progressive direction.Forbes and Former SNP Community Safety Minister Ash Regan has claimed himself as a candidate for change.
Regan, who resigned from government last year and is seen as an outsider in the leadership race, began pitching the SNP as “lost”.
Forbes, who has been Treasury Secretary since early 2020 and has been on maternity leave since last summer, said in his opening remarks that he was making a fresh start in Scotland. “The same thing is embracing mediocrity, not manifesto,” she said.
Yousuf hit back at Forbes’ attacks, alluding to overstating his bargaining power and ability as Treasury secretary, and said he had allowed the British government to short Scotland by hundreds of millions of pounds in past budget debates.
He also said he was the only candidate to challenge Westminster’s decision to reject a Scottish law aimed at making it easier for trans people to legally change their gender.
Douglas Ross, leader of the opposition Scottish Conservative Party, has seized on Forbes’ proposal not to keep Yousuf as health secretary if he wins the party’s leadership election, which ends March 27.
“They fought like nuts in a bag and the only thing they agreed to was independence and dividing the country again,” Ross tweeted.
Additional reporting by Mure Dickie, Edinburgh
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