Scottish Greens confirm they will stand candidate in Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election after being accused of being 'SNP branch office'
The party has rubbished claims it would not field a candidate in the Rutherglen and Hamilton West due to its Bute House Agreement with the SNP. The power-sharing agreement sees co-leaders Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater take up ministerial posts in the Scottish Government in exchange for support.
The pact has come under intense scrutiny in recent months following controversial policies such as Scotland’s deposit return scheme and highly protected marine areas (HPMAs).
Scottish Labour’s deputy leader, Dame Jackie Baillie, said the Greens would show their “subservience” to the SNP by failing to stand a candidate. However, a spokesperson for the Scottish Greens confirmed the party’s campaign for Rutherglen and Hamilton West would officially launch on Tuesday.
Dame Jackie said: “At a time when Scots deserve a green party fighting for environmental justice, the Scottish Green Party has taken Humza Yousaf’s shilling and shown for all to see that it is nothing less than an SNP branch office.
“While the SNP-Green coalition of chaos goes from crisis to crisis, Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater are acting as human shields for Humza Yousaf. The fact is that the Scottish Green Party are now a wholly-owned subsidiary of the SNP who have surrendered all political independence for a shot on the ministerial bicycles.
“Only Scottish Labour is serious about turning Scotland into green energy superpower and creating thousands of green jobs.”
Hitting back at the claims, a spokesperson for the Greens said: “This is really desperate stuff from the Labour Party, although it is good to see that even Jackie Baillie acknowledges that the Scottish Greens are the party of environmental justice.
“We have selected our candidate and will be launching our campaign tomorrow. We will put the climate crisis front and centre of our campaign and present a vision for a fairer, greener and better future for the people of Rutherglen and Hamilton West.
“Scotland has had enough of the broken status quo being offered by Sir Keir Starmer and Anas Sarwar, who are prepared to punish the most vulnerable with a brutal, two-child cap and a disastrous Tory Brexit that they are committed to maintaining.
“Business as usual isn’t good enough. Only the Scottish Greens can deliver the transformative change that the Westminster parties are so afraid of.”
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