With just weeks before the Scottish Parliament elections, the leaders of the major parties take to the stage to debate each other on the big issues.
The debate will be aired on STV at 7.30pm.
Follow here for all live updates.
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Scottish Elections 2021: Leaders Debate LIVE
Last updated: Tuesday, 13 April, 2021, 19:59
- Follow here for updates through Tuesday night’s leadership debate.
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The five party leaders are in attendance: Nicola Sturgeon, Anas Sarwar, Douglas Ross, Patrick Harvie and Willie Rennie.
Douglas Ross’s opening statement starts with mentioning the passing of the Duke of Edinburgh and ends with asking people to help prevent the SNP and Indy Ref 2.
Anas Sarwar: “We can’t go back to the old arguments” - discusses building Scotland’s economy together.
Patrick Harvie: “This election is like no other” - focuses on the climate crisis and the need for action.
Nicola Sturgeon: Claims the SNP is the only party that has experienced and strong leadership. Focuses on rebuilding economy and social issues.
Willie Rennie: Starts with saying that now is not the moment for an independence referendum - put recovery first.
First question is on independence:
NS: After the crisis - not during - people should have the right to choose. More unifying for people to come together to discuss the future. “I’m the only one saying I want to be in government”. When the time is right - do we want to shape our own future.
DR: This is a big issue for the whole of Scotland. Focus should not be on independence - should be on the economy. SNP want to ‘take us back’ to the old decisions on the path.
AS: In a pandemic election. Other polls show that people want focus on the aftermath of Covid and recovery. Don’t go back to “old arguments”.
PH: We believe there should be a referendum in the next session. We should be able to agree on the democratic principle. Unable to raise standards on poverty pay and furlough due to Westminster during Covid.
PH and NS say Greens and SNP have not conferred on their manifesto’s.
NS: When the pandemic hit, SNP shelved independence, Conservatives powered on with Brexit.
DR: What was reckless was introducing an indy bill.
WR: Boris Johnson was reckless to pursue Brexit. Equally reckless to pursue indy. We need to work together for recovery. Indy too divisive at the moment.
WR: Why make it worse? (on poll being 50/50 for indy)
NS: That’s your view - the future of the country should be for the people of the country to decide. We need to make sure we have the powers to rebuild the country we need. Tory Gov undermining devolved powers.
DR: The SNP are undermining everything we are seeking to do in this country.
AS: What people are going to see already is bickering about old arguments. They only want to focus on the half of the country that agrees with them. Take years to get back to pre-covid levels.
PH: The Greens will be proposing detailed plans for job creation. We are going to face economic problems, need more economic powers. Country able to have this debate in a civilised way. Not reopening wounds - opening possibility.
WR: Covid problems and drug related deaths, NHS problems all need to be fixed first.
NS: Still got a way to go, and have made real progress. Parliament has to make sure that it can rebuild the country we want without one hand tied behind its back.
DR: You just cant look at indy ref and rebuilding the economy at the same time. Recovery is our top priority. NS wants to separate the country for a recovery. You have been in power, you have failed Scotland.
AS: Travesty we had Tory Brexit. NS has worked day and night to get us through the pandemic. Frontline workers are what the election should be about.
Politicians now to field questions from their rivals.
Patrick Harvie to be questioned.
AS: Climate should be heart at national recovery. When the world’s eyes are on Glasgow, wouldn’t you rather the country was unified.
PH: I wish Scotland had it’s own seat at the table at the climate negotiations. Our constituents are going to represented by a UK Gov appointed represented by someone with links to the palm oil industry.
AS: Climate change doesn’t recognise borders - time is running out, why do we have to wait for Indy?
PH: Great evidence that Greens aren’t waiting for Indy, pushing the government to implement Green issues. Can’t regulate the energy companies - and need to.
DR: Why are you more interested in helping the SNP than fighting climate change.
PH: Tories have backed all the same climate policies as we have.
DR: What date would you set on North Sea oil if you were to serve in government.
PH: Over the next 10 years we should be investing in sustainable energy which will create jobs.
DR: It would halt North Sea gas.
PH: Don’t trust political parties that tell you nothing is going to change. You know as well as everybody else, that business can’t go on as usual.