POLITICS: ROSS says extremist Green tail is wagging SNP dog

Tory leader Douglas Ross, FM Humza Yousaf and SNP rebel Fergus Ewing.

By Lucy Ashton

Douglas Ross has accused the First Minister of abandoning rural Scotland by allowing the “extremist Green tail to wag the SNP dog”.

At FMQs, the Scottish Conservative leader questioned Humza Yousaf over reports that he is to remove the whip from SNP MSP Fergus Ewing for backing a vote of no confidence in circular economy minister Lorna Slater, pictured right.

Douglas Ross said that the First Minister was willing to sacrifice a veteran MSP who has spoken up for industry, while keeping “an incompetent Green minister” who has lost the confidence of business over her disastrous Deposit Return Scheme.

He highlighted a string of policy areas in which the Greens’ influence was leading to “damaging effects” and quoted a press release from NFU Scotland today, which makes the same point.

In it, NFUS president Martin Kennedy warned that the “hardening of the green agenda… is giving cause for serious concern not only for rural businesses but for the Scottish economy as a whole.”

He added that NFUS “doubt very much” that solutions to key rural issues will be possible while the Bute House Agreement continues.

Humza Yousaf refused to say whether Fergus Ewing will lose the SNP whip but defended the coalition with the Scottish Greens. 

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said: “On the day farmers and crofters from all over Scotland come to Edinburgh for the start of the Royal Highland Show, the First Minister looks like he is going to sacrifice one of his longest-serving MSPs for a Green minister who’s failed time and time again.

“Humza Yousaf won’t suspend Nicola Sturgeon during a police investigation, but he is threatening to suspend Fergus Ewing for challenging Green incompetence.

“It’s clearer than ever that the extremist Green tail is wagging the SNP dog – and that, together, they have abandoned rural Scotland.

“Humza Yousaf has described the SNP-Green Deal as ‘worth its weight in gold’ but the Greens’ influence is having a damaging effect on every policy area.

“On the Deposit Return Scheme, they’re risking jobs and businesses.

“On farming, they’re risking rural livelihoods.

“On gender reform, they’re risking women’s rights.

“On fishing, they’re risking the very future of the industry.

“On oil and gas, they’re risking Scotland’s energy security.

“The Greens are making the SNP increasingly out of touch with mainstream Scotland, yet Humza Yousaf continues to dance to their extremist tune.”

Top picture: Ross defended Slater over handling of Deposit Return Scheme.

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