Michael Gove accuses SNP of ignoring key issues for indyref2

The SNP Government is “ignoring” grassroots issues like health and education as it pursues plans for a second independence referendum, Environment Secretary Michael Gove has said.

He also took a swipe at “Alexei Salmond”, a reference to the former First Minister’s current affairs show on Kremlin-backed RT.

The Tories suffered a disastrous night in the English local government elections last week with the loss of 1,200 seats and Gove put this down to the failure to agree a Brexit deal and urged his party to deliver this.

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Michael Gove also took a swipe at Alexei Salmond. Picture: Jane Barlow/PA WireMichael Gove also took a swipe at Alexei Salmond. Picture: Jane Barlow/PA Wire
Michael Gove also took a swipe at Alexei Salmond. Picture: Jane Barlow/PA Wire
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Scots-born MP Gove slammed the SNP’s plans for a second referendum on Scottish independence, insisting this would be “contemptuous of Scotland’s interests”, as he addressed the Scottish Conservative party conference in Aberdeen yesterday.

He insisted that the Scottish Government should be focused on “critical issues like the NHS, schools and fighting crime.

“We desperately need to improve Scotland’s schools,” said Gove, who was brought up in the Granite City.

Nicola Sturgeon used to agree. She said education would be her top priority as First Minister. Since then, the number of teachers in Scotland’s schools has shrunk by more than 3,000.

“The range of subjects on offer to students has been restricted, and in the latest international league tables Scotland’s education system is falling further and further behind other countries.

“Scotland’s next generation are being denied the opportunities they deserve because the SNP are obsessed with independence when they should be focused on our children’s future.”

Gove is likely to be a frontrunner to replace Theresa May when she steps down as Prime Minister later this year and insisted it was time to make Scotland “stronger in the Union.”

The NHS in Scotland is also suffering because of the Scottish Government’s failure to do their day job. And the Scottish Government is also failing in the fight against crime.

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“Failing on crime, letting down the NHS, going backwards on education. The SNP are so busy arguing for independence that they aren’t using the powers that the Scottish Parliament already has to improve lives.”

Gove is a leading Brexiteer who spearheaded the campaign to leave the EU during the referendum in 2016. He warned that the losses suffered by the party signal the collapse in support which could usher Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street.

“If we want to avoid that danger, we need to deliver and that then means a Brexit deal that works for the whole United Kingdom.

“If local elections down south tell us anything, they remind us that referendum verdicts must be honoured.”