SNP leadership contender Humza Yousaf has been pulled up for saying Nicola Sturgeon “will be immortalised in our history books” during the first party hustings.
The Health Secretary is widely seen as the “continuity” candidate who will stick to the failed policies put forward by the outgoing First Minister as part of her disastrous coalition deal with the hard-left Scottish Greens.
In his opening address to the party faithful at Cumbernauld Theatre on Wednesday, he began: “I wanted to start by paying tribute to Nicola Sturgeon. She will be immortalised in our history books. The service that she has given to our country, to our movement and to our party and I just wanted to start by saying thank you to Nicola for all that she has done.”
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He paused for applause from the audience, although his rivals in the egg and spoon race for Bute House Kate Forbes and Ash Regan both appeared to offer only a desultory clap for the current occupant.
Yousaf was not finished, however. He went on: “But as exceptional as Nicola is, and she is exceptional, I want to chart a new course, I will be my own person but I also want to build on the amazing legacy that she has brought forward.”
He was followed by Forbes and then Regan. Incredibly, neither of them even mentioned Sturgeon or her supposed legacy in their opening remarks (although the live stream audio dropped for a few seconds at the start of the Finance Secretary’s address).