Nicola Sturgeon must reshuffle '˜failing' government - Labour

The Scottish Labour leader has called on the First Minister to reshuffle her 'failing' Government.
Nicola Sturgeon has been accused of forgetting what's most important. Picture: Lisa FergusonNicola Sturgeon has been accused of forgetting what's most important. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
Nicola Sturgeon has been accused of forgetting what's most important. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

Kezia Dugdale claims the SNP Government’s record on education, health and the economy shows it is “not fit for purpose” and has “stopped listening and stopped working”.

She said: “Nicola Sturgeon has been sent a clear message to get back to the day job.

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“She has spent so long obsessing about the constitution that she has forgotten what really matters to people - schools, hospitals and jobs.

“Her Government has presided over 4,000 fewer teachers, while class sizes are up, Scotland is falling down international tables, teachers are under-paid and parents are being asked to fill-in in classrooms.

“A decade of SNP mismanagement of our NHS has left staff overworked, undervalued and under resourced, while the Government refuses to lift the pay cap for nurses, and hospital services are threatened with closure. Health Secretary Shona Robison is failing patients and staff.

“And Scotland has a hidden jobs crisis in our labour market because the SNP is not doing enough to create high-quality, well-paid jobs.

“This SNP Government is not fit for purpose because it has stopped listening and stopped working.

“It’s time for Nicola Sturgeon to reshuffle her failing Government.”

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Scottish Conservative deputy leader Jackson Carlaw, meanwhile, accused the First Minister of a “complete failure of leadership” in not taking a second independence referendum off the table after her party lost 21 of its 59 MPs in the General Election.

He said: “In the week since the General Election result, Nicola Sturgeon has shown a complete failure of leadership.

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“Instead of listening to the message she was given, she has ignored people in Scotland who want her to take a second referendum off the table.

“Instead, we now face Scotland being left in limbo by a First Minister who is putting her job as SNP leader before her duty as First Minister.”

He called on her to take immediate action to rule out a second referendum.

SNP MSP Linda Fabiani said: “While the Tories and Labour one-trick ponies try to outdo each other in their obsession with independence, the SNP Government is getting on with the job of delivering for Scotland.

“This week has seen us focus on the economy, as record low unemployment figures were posted, and on education where we unveiled the most radical reforms to our school system in decades.

“Meanwhile, the opposition have absolutely nothing constructive to say and are reduced to the laughable position of claiming we don’t discuss independence enough.”

She said Brexit is the “biggest threat” to Scotland and called on Labour and the Tories to support the SNP in pressing for a place at the negotiating table.