Humza Yousaf erupts after Frost suggests stripping Scotland of powers

Humza Yousaf admits ‘challenging’ time for SNP

Humza Yousaf today hit back at Lord Frost after he suggested stripping Scotland of devolved powers following SNP chaos. The Conservative peer said devolution was about “enabling powers to be exercised closer to the people in a more practical and accountable way”.

But the former Brexit negotiator said it had resulted in “effective one-party states” with a “tinpot amateurish one in Wales and a seriously dangerous one in Scotland”.

Lord Frost warned that “not only must no more powers be devolved to Scotland, it’s time to reverse the process”.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, he said: “We, the Conservative Party and the Conservative Government, have allowed this to happen.

“It’s time to fix it. Ministers should make clear that, if re-elected, they will review and roll back some currently devolved powers.

“In particular, Scotland does not need to be an independent actor on the world stage; it should not be able to legislate to disrupt free trade within the UK; and it does not need to have most tax raising powers currently available to it.

“These powers are embryonic, independent government powers.

“They aren’t necessary to run an effective local administration, which is what devolution should be about.”

But Mr Yousaf pledged to “always defend our democracy” when asked about Lord Frost’s comments during First Minister’s Questions.

The new SNP leader said: “We will always defend our democracy and we will always defend the voice and the will of the Scottish people.

“Lord Frost, unelected Tory peer, gave the game away. He said the quiet bit loud, he said what every single Scottish Conservative really thinks.”

Lord Frost’s column was attacked by senior Scottish Tories on Twitter.

Scottish Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser described the comments as “nonsense”, saying: “Devolution has allowed us to shine a light on SNP failures. The Conservatives will not be rolling it back.”

Fellow Tory MSP Stephen Kerr said: “Strongly disagree with this article. A poor Scottish Government isn’t justification to roll back devolution, any more than issues at the UK Gov are justification for Scottish separation. Devolution works. It’s the SNP that are failing.”

Tory constitution spokesman Donald Cameron added: “What a load of baloney. Devolution hasn’t failed and no Conservative should want to reverse it.”

A Scottish Conservative spokesperson said: “Lord Frost is a backbench peer and entitled to his personal views.

“Our view, shared by the UK party, is that the problem is not with devolution but with this divided and distracted SNP Government.”

The row comes as the SNP has been plunged into chaos with a police investigation into its finances with two arrests.

Earlier this month, Nicola Sturgeon’s husband Peter Murrell, who is the former chief executive of the party, was arrested and questioned for more than 11 hours before being released without charge “pending further investigation”.

On Tuesday the then-SNP treasurer Colin Beattie was arrested and was also released without charge “pending further investigation” later in the day.

The probe by Police Scotland centres on how more than £600,000 of SNP donations earmarked for independence campaigning was spent.

Source: Read Full Article