Scottish Tories plan for vote of no confidence in Nicola Sturgeon

The Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross has vowed to press ahead with a confidence vote in the First Minister, despite his party’s attempt at unseating her depute just last week, failed.

First minister Nicola Sturgeon could face a vote of no confidence.
First minister Nicola Sturgeon could face a vote of no confidence.

Following his speech to his party's conference Mr Ross confirmed that a timeline for a vote of no confidence in Nicola Sturgeon will be announced on Tuesday.

He accused Ms Sturgeon of lying to the Scottish Parliament over when she first knew of allegations of sexual harassment against Alex Salmond, which if proven would be a breach of the ministerial code, and said that despite the tight timescale with the parliament due to rise for the election on March 25, his party would still look to push the vote.

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The Tories previously failed in their bid to oust Depute First Minister John Swinney, after they pushed for a confidence vote when he did not release legal advice to the government over Alex Salmond’s judicial review, despite two votes by MSPs in Holyrood for him to do so.

However once the motion was lodged, Mr Swinney agreed to release "key legal advice", which was enough to secure the support of the Scottish Greens and keep him in post.

Nicola Sturgeon has referred herself for investigation to the independent adviser on the ministerial code, James Hamilton QC, who is currently looking into the allegations.

In his conference speech, Mr Ross said: "The evidence against Nicola Sturgeon is overwhelming and mounting up every day. If we allow her to get away with this, then we say that the truth is worthless in Scottish politics.

"We can't let more than £500,000 wasted, lies to Parliament and the mother of all cover-ups, go without challenge."

He implored other parties in Holyrood to back the vote, saying: "So, we will bring that vote of no confidence in the First Minister.

"Win or lose – we will put all the damage that she has done out there for all to see.

"We will not hold back. From now to May, we're not going to back off an inch.

"I would urge the other parties to get behind us, to stand up for truth, stand up for our parliament, stand up to the SNP.

"We have the votes, don't cave in again, don't duck this chance to be counted, don't let Nicola Sturgeon get away with this."

However less than a minute later, Mr Ross attacked the Greens as "lackeys" of the Scottish Government, the Lib Dems as "teetering on the edge of political extinction" and said the Labour Party were "weak, full stop.”

When asked if this was a wise strategy to win support from other opposition parties, Mr Ross said: "They can see the evidence that's very clear to the Scottish Conservatives and people across Scotland.

"It's undeniable that Nicola Sturgeon has lied to the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish people, she and her government have wasted hundreds of thousands of taxpayers' money with a case that they were told by their lawyers would not be successful."

Mr Ross added: "If political leaders are so sensitive about what other political leaders say about them, then they shouldn't really be in politics if that's a determinant on how they vote."

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