Thursday 9 March 2023
Douglas Ross, Katie Forbes and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
By Harry Bell at Holyrood
Nicola Sturgeon today defended the SNP’s “appalling” record in government after blistering criticism of it from her finance and economy secretary Kate Forbes.
At First Minister’s Questions, Douglas Ross said the “divided and distracted” SNP leadership candidates should focus on the crisis in Scotland’s NHS, not the crisis in their party.
The Scottish Conservative leader said the SNP “civil war” was failing Scotland, adding that “Nicola Sturgeon divided Scotland, now her departure is dividing the SNP”.
He raised comments from Kate Forbes, where she said that “trains never run on time, the police service is stretched to breaking point, there’s record high waiting times in our NHS”.
The current finance secretary added: “More of the same is not a manifesto – it is an acceptance of mediocrity.”
Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said: “The SNP finance secretary gave a very honest assessment of the SNP’s appalling record. It seems she can’t decide if she’s in government or opposition.
“Kate Forbes was Nicola Sturgeon’s right-hand woman, hand-picked by the First Minister to rise rapidly through the ranks. But now she’s trashed the government’s record.
“Nicola Sturgeon might expect to hear me call her government’s record appalling, but she can’t have expected her own finance secretary to brand this SNP government mediocre.
“Nicola Sturgeon divided Scotland, now her departure is dividing the SNP.
“Yet while the SNP goes through civil war, the real priorities of Scotland are being ignored.
“This divided and distracted party is failing to give Scots the health service they deserve.
“BMA Scotland said this week that nearly half of junior doctors are thinking of quitting.
“On Monday, an investigation reported one in five people in Scotland have been forced to go private for health treatment.
“There’s 773,000 Scots on an NHS waiting list. And 10 patients a month are travelling to Lithuania for treatment.
“The SNP leadership candidates should focus on the crisis in our NHS, not the crisis in their party?”