SNP: Internal turmoil will undermine the credibility of the current government

By Bill Heaney

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has today compared Humza Yousaf’s first weeks of taking over as First Minister to “Carry On Camping without the laughs”, as he urged Mr Yousaf to adopt a series of Scottish Liberal Democrat measures for tackling the key issues facing Scots.

Since Humza Yousaf became First Minister in March, SNP Chief Executive Peter Murrell was arrested and released in an investigation into the party’s finances, with the police seizing an £110,000 motor home from the house of Mr Murrell’s mother.

While Humza Yousaf has been focused on the internal turmoil of the SNP, we have seen:

  • Delayed discharges hit a record high
  • More ferry break downs
  • More sewage leaks reported into Scotland’s rivers and hospitals

Mr Cole-Hamilton said:  “Humza Yousaf’s first days in office have been like Carry on Camping without the laughs.

LibDem leader Alex Cole Hamilton and First Minister Humza Yousaf.

“These are serious questions that need to be addressed, and there is a very real risk that this internal turmoil will undermine the credibility of the current government.

“For too long, the SNP have led this country down a dreary and divisive political path.  It’s a path that left 1 in 7 Scots on a waiting list, households struggling with the cost-of-living crisis, and disruption to the livelihoods and healthcare needs of islanders- it also stinks of sewage.

“Sadly, the SNP are too distracted by their own internal wranglings to focus on the issues that matter. As Yousaf swerves from crisis to crisis, Scottish Liberal Democrats want to press the reset button.

“From preventing sewage spilling into our hospitals and onto our beaches to supporting our NHS, from our plans to make every home a warm one to calls for a public inquiry into the Ferguson ferry fiasco, Scottish Liberal Democrats are crackling with good ideas.

“My party will tackle the real issues facing Scots, and that’s why we’re part of what’s next.”

Over the weekend, footage emerged of Nicola Sturgeon rejecting concerns about the SNP’s finances in early 2021, which can be found here

More information on the resignation of the SNP’s auditors was reported in the Herald here.

In the past four years, half of Scottish health boards have been reporting sewage leaks in their hospitals. You can find the Scottish Liberal Democrat reports on sewage here and here

Last week, it was also revealed that the Scottish Government-owned CMAL will be sending its executives on a £1,000 a night conference cruise, despite a number of its ferries being out of action. More information can be found here

The latest delayed discharge figures can be found here.

Meanwhile, Scottish Liberal Democrat climate emergency spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP, left,  has today raised concerns about why the firm set up to administer the Scottish Government’s deposit return scheme was created in a form which renders it exempt from Freedom of Information legislation.

This has left the public and parliamentarians reliant on leaked reports to reveal the £300,000 salary of Circularity Scotland chief executive David Harris.

Mr McArthur said: “I can see why it might appeal to secretive ministers to have their unwieldy and expensive new administrative body sit above public questioning but it’s terrible for transparent and effective governance.

“The public deserve to know why this organisation was set up like this, who took the decision and were alternative options considered, such as using a similar model to Crown Estate Scotland and Scottish Water? I have lodged a series of parliamentary questions looking to get answers.

“Dozens of countries around the world have successful deposit return schemes in place. Left in the hands of SNP and Green ministers, however, a good idea has turned into a mess risking business failure, consumer choice and public confidence. At the moment the only thing getting recycled is endless excuses.

“Further reform of Freedom of Information laws is needed and Scottish Liberal Democrats are clear that any organisation delivering services to the public sector should be open and accountable to the public.”

His last point on Freedom of Speech and Information is relevant in West Dunbartonshire, where the Council makes its own anti-democratic rules in that regard.  

And this week, Nicola Sturgeon will give Holyrood a body swerve amid an ongoing police probe into the SNP’s finances, it has emerged. The former first minister was due back at the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday along with her MSP colleagues.

But she has been accused of trying to dodge scrutiny after it was confirmed she would only attend virtually.

Top picture: Nicola Sturgeon and her husband Peter Murrell.

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