Sketch: Ruth gets an answer – but it’s not what she expected

TIME is running out for Scottish Labour leader Iain Gray, who is due to step down to make way for his successor as party leader in just a few weeks’ time.

But Mr Gray’s performance at First Minister’s Questions yesterday showed he’s hellbent on using the short time left to him to get a few answers from the SNP about the timing of the independence referendum.

The Labour leader said that before he finished in the role he might get the SNP leader to “listen to the question”, as he continually pressed Mr Salmond about when the big day would be.

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But Alex Salmond was having none of it, and the SNP leader was clearly in no mood for seasonal generosity as he boasted about his party’s “quite successful” election campaign this year.

When it came to getting questions answered, new Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson fared a lot better than Mr Gray, as she asked Mr Salmond about what action he planned to take to keep sex criminals in jail.

The First Minister’s response that legislation would be presented to parliament this month was probably too much of a direct answer for Ms Davidson, who then appeared to be slightly wrongfooted by Mr Salmond and looked as though she wished she could talk about another subject.