Humza Yousaf: Sir Ed Davey says SNP situation as no confidence vote looms a 'total mess'

Several UK party figures, including Sir Ed Davey and Rachel Reeves, have spoken out about the scenario facing Humza Yousaf and the SNP

Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey has described the situation with the SNP and its leader Humza Yousaf, who is facing a no confidence motion, as a “total mess”.

The Scottish Conservatives have put forward the motion of no confidence in Humza Yousaf as First Minister, while Labour has submitted a similar motion, saying the party has no confidence in the Scottish Government.

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However, during a visit to Dundee on Friday that was arranged at short notice after he pulled out of a speech in Glasgow, Mr Yousaf insisted he would seek to stay in post.

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey during a visit to Treflach Farm in Treflach, Shropshire. Picture: Jacob King/PA WireLiberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey during a visit to Treflach Farm in Treflach, Shropshire. Picture: Jacob King/PA Wire
Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey during a visit to Treflach Farm in Treflach, Shropshire. Picture: Jacob King/PA Wire

Sir Ed, who was asked about the SNP’s woes during a visit to the River Goyt in Stockport, said: “It’s a total mess with the SNP and Humza Yousaf. I personally think this SNP Government has really failed Scotland.”

Sir Ed said the SNP had let Scotland down on key services such as health and education because the party had been “so focused on their ideological obsession of independence”.

“On these basic things that matter to people, the SNP have been failing them and so Liberal Democrats have been saying in Scotland, look, we need to focus on the NHS, we need to focus on our schools, the cost of living, the environment,” he said.

“Because the SNP haven’t done, I actually think it’s time for a general election in Scotland.”

The triggering of a Scottish election is not yet off the table.

If Mr Yousaf loses the vote of no confidence in himself, he is not obligated to step down – but given how close the vote is likely to be, it would be extremely difficult for him to stay on.

If he does resign on the back of this, Parliament would have 28 days to find a new first minister – a more difficult task given the SNP has now lost its pro-independence majority in Holyrood.

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If no first minister is elected after 28 days, Parliament would be dissolved and this could trigger an election.

Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves has meanwhile said Labour will back the motion of no confidence against Mr Yousaf as well as tabling the further motion against the whole Scottish Government.

“If Anas Sarwar and Scottish Labour are successful with that amendment, the Government will fall and there’ll be fresh elections,” Ms Reeves said.

She added: “We now have two broken governments – the SNP in Scotland and the Conservatives in Westminster. It is time for fresh elections in Scotland and across the UK.”

Ms Reeves said: “The SNP are terribly divided and that is having a real impact on the lives and communities across Scotland. We don’t just want another leader of the SNP – we’ve already had two during this parliament so far.”

Mr Yousaf said: “I’ve got every intention of winning that vote of no confidence. And let me say to the opposition for minority government to work in the interest of the people of Scotland also requires the opposition to act in good faith. And to the Greens I’ve obviously heard their anger, their upset.

“What I will do is be writing to all the political party leaders, all the party groups represented in the Scottish Parliament … to say how do we make minority government work.”



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