POLITICS: Sturgeon branded ‘hypocrite’ over election demand

Tory Russell Findlay (right) has branded First Minister Nicola Sturgeon ‘a hypocrite’.

By Lucy Ashton

Nicola Sturgeon has been branded a “hypocrite” for claiming Rishi Sunak must call a General Election to be Prime Minister, when she herself governed without calling an election for 18 months.

The SNP leader claimed yesterday (Monday) it was “preposterous democratically” for Rishi Sunak to govern without calling a General Election.

However, Ms Sturgeon became First Minister following Alex Salmond’s resignation in 2014 and declined to call an election.

She continued in post until the 2016 Scottish Parliament election without ever attempting to seek a personal mandate.

Scottish Conservative MSP Russell Findlay said: “Nicola Sturgeon clearly has a very short memory. She governed as First Minister for years without ever attempting to call an election.

“She has proven herself to be a shameful hypocrite by demanding Rishi Sunak calls an election, given she never tried to do that herself when she was installed as leader by the SNP.

“Nicola Sturgeon must have realised this grubby political attack would backfire instantly. It seems like this is just another attempt by the SNP to provoke grievance with the UK government.

“Rishi Sunak will restore economic stability and unite the country – unlike the SNP leader who wants to create fiscal chaos and divide people all over again with her unwanted push to hold another independence referendum in less than a year.”

Meanwhile, one of Sturgeon’s own MSPs has turned on her.

Michelle Thomson, who is no stranger to controversy, today said that she was “completely surprised” by the lack of detail contained in the financial plans for the Scottish Government’s proposed takeover of social care services.

The financial memorandum, which covers the cost of local care homes including Crosslet and Castleview in Dumbarton,   outlining the total costs of the Bill says that over the five-year period 2022-23 to 2026-27, costs are estimated at between £644 million and £1,261 million.

However, at this morning’s finance committee, Ms Thomson asked:  “How do we end up in the position where a financial memorandum does not even begin to cover the fundamentals and for us as a committee, speaking personally I can have no confidence whatsoever, based on my experience mostly in business that the FM (memorandum) represents any level of accuracy and therefore value for money whatsoever.”

She went on to claim that lack of scrutiny over the planned expenditure amounted to the Scottish Government signing a “blank cheque for the public purse” and added: “If it was your money you wouldn’t be risking it.

Responding to Michelle Thomson’s comments, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader and health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton said:  “Michelle Thomson and I agree on virtually nothing, but she is absolutely right to call out the lack of clarity over the costs of this bureaucratic ministerial take-over of social care.

“These proposals not only remove local accountability, but they amount to a blank cheque from taxpayers.

“I hope that we will see more SNP members challenge a set of proposals which will see the same ministers, whose disastrous decisions saw thousands of untested Covid-positive patients discharged into care homes, given permanent control over social and community care.

“Staff and social care users need change now. That’s why Scottish Liberal Democrats want to set national standards and entitlements for users and secure changes in pay and conditions for staff, while leaving local control of services intact. Instead the SNP are focused on building a billion-pound bureaucracy.”

ENDS

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