LEADERSHIP: Whole of Scotland will be terrified if hapless Humza becomes First Minister

By Lucy Ashton

The Scottish Conservatives have said SNP leadership candidate Humza Yousaf should be “sacked, not promoted”.

Party leader Douglas Ross said the health secretary “isn’t up to the job he has now” after highlighting responses to Freedom of Information requests showing that people were waiting more than 60 hours at Accident and Emergency departments.

Douglas Ross savaged SNP leadership candidate Humza Yousaf.

At First Minister’s Questions, the Scottish Conservative leader raised a damning Audit Scotland report on Scotland’s NHS and asked if the “useless health secretary is really the best the SNP have to offer the country?”

Douglas Ross also criticised Humza Yousaf’s record in government as a failed transport minister, justice secretary, and the “worst health secretary since devolution”.

Nicola Sturgeon defended his handling of Scotland’s NHS, despite the Audit Scotland report showing that the health secretary won’t meet his NHS jobs targets, NHS performance declined further in 2022, the number of people experiencing an extremely long wait increased last year, and performance on cancer waiting times is getting worse.

The First Minister claimed that Douglas Ross’s line of questioning suggested he was “sounding pretty scared of Humza Yousaf”.

The Audit Scotland report was scathing about Humza Yousaf’s flimsy NHS Recovery Plan. It said his plan lacks “detailed actions”, he didn’t do “detailed and robust modelling” or “engage fully with NHS boards” before launching it, and information on key patient aims within the report is “missing”.

FOI responses to the Scottish Conservatives reveal that, over the last few months, a patient in the Borders waited 49 hours to be treated at A&E, someone in Lanarkshire waited 54 hours, and a patient in Ayrshire waited more than 60 hours.

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said:“It’s scandalous that people in Scotland are waiting more than 60 hours for emergency treatment.

“Humza Yousaf isn’t up to the job he has now, but it seems that this useless health secretary is the best the SNP have to offer as First Minister.

“The Audit Scotland report is damning for Nicola Sturgeon’s preferred successor. It slams his handling of A&E departments, cancer treatment and NHS jobs targets.

“Humza Yousaf released a Recovery Plan that everyone could see was a flimsy pamphlet. Audit Scotland have now ripped it to shreds.

“The health secretary who failed our NHS shouldn’t now get the chance to fail the whole country.

“Why would anybody risk Scotland’s future by giving a man with Humza Yousaf’s record more power?

“He was the transport minister who drove without a licence, delayed the dualling of the A9 and clapped like a seal behind Nicola Sturgeon when she launched a ferry with painted-on windows.

“He was the justice secretary who did nothing while violent crime rates rose, got duped by a hoax video into calling on the police to investigate Rangers players, and damaged free speech with the Hate Crime Act.

“He is now the worst health secretary since devolution – but it looks like he’s going to fail upwards.

“Humza Yousaf should be sacked, not promoted. Forget being SNP leader, why is he even still in government?

“The First Minister claims I’m scared of Humza Yousaf succeeding her. But I’m not alone – the whole of Scotland will be terrified if hapless Humza becomes First Minister.”

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