Scottish Conservative Conference: Douglas Ross urges pro-UK voters to back the Tories in a bid to oust ‘dud’ Humza Yousaf

He is due to speak to the Scottish Tory conference today

Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross is urging Labour and Lib Dem voters to back his party in the forthcoming general election to help ditch “dud” First Minister Humza Yousaf.

Mr Ross wants to use the Westminster election, which is set to take place this year probably, to heap further pressure on his SNP rival.

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Calling on Scots to use that ballot to “send Humza Yousaf packing”, Mr Ross will urge pro-UK voters who have backed other parties to switch to the Tories this time round.

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA WireScottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

He will tell the Scottish Conservative conference, taking place in Aberdeen: “If pro-UK voters want to kick the Nationalists out, then they need to unite behind the Scottish Conservatives in key seats.”

Mr Ross will say: “Together, we can beat the SNP and take Scotland forward.”

His comments will come in a speech which will brand Mr Yousaf as being “totally unfit to be Scotland’s First Minister”.

The Scottish Tory leader will tell party supporters: “In WhatsApp messages revealed by the UK Covid Inquiry, Humza Yousaf said ‘I am winging it! And will get found out sooner rather than later’.

“We all knew that long ago. Humza Yousaf has been found out in every job he’s ever done.

“He was the transport secretary when the trains never ran on time, and celebrated the launch of a ferry with painted-on windows.

“He was the justice secretary who left the police at breaking point and brought in the disastrous Hate Crime Act.

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“He was the health secretary who let waiting times spiral out of control and Audit Scotland said had no vision for the NHS.

“Only in the SNP would he fail upwards.”

Mr Ross will go on to say that “we need better than a First Minister who is winging it with the lives and livelihoods of Scots” urging people across the country: “This general election, let’s send Humza Yousaf packing.”

Speaking about the First Minister, the Tory will declare: “His days in office are numbered.

“The knives are being sharpened, not just across the country but within his own party as well.

“Even the SNP are starting to realise that Humza Yousaf is a dud.

“We already pushed Nicola Sturgeon out. Now let’s use this general election to shove Humza Yousaf out the door.”

Mr Ross will argue that if the “pro-UK majority” in key seats “unites and votes together”, then the Tories can “beat the Nationalists up and down Scotland”.

He will insist: “We can make sure it’s not only a bad night for the SNP, but a terrible night for Humza Yousaf.

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“If we vote together in those crucial SNP-Scottish Conservative seats, it won’t be a campervan that Humza Yousaf needs, it will be a removal van.”

But Scottish Labour deputy leader Dame Jackie Baillie said “Douglas Ross and his party are out of touch, out of ideas, and quickly running out of time.”

She added: “This Tory party is a disaster for working people and a gift for the SNP, delivering years of political turmoil and economic misery.

“The Tories and the SNP have worked hand-in-hand to stoke the politics of division in an attempt to distract from their own woeful record in government.”

But Tom Brake, a former MP who is the director of the think tank Unlock Democracy said: “Douglas Ross’s comments highlight how poorly Scotland and the rest of the UK is served by first past the post – it warps political debate, forcing people to choose between the lesser of two unsatisfactory options.

“It’s time to replace this rotten voting system so people can vote the way they truly want, confident that their vote will actually matter.”



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