Nicola Sturgeon's SNP plans slammed by Galloway
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Scotland’s political parties head into the crunch Holyrood election on May 6, with question marks surrounding the country’s future and status in the UK. The SNP has continued its relentless pursuit of Scottish independence, despite Prime Minister Boris Johnson repeatedly rejecting demands to transfer powers to Holyrood to hold a second referendum on the matter. But Ms Sturgeon has insisted her party will push ahead with plans for a second independence vote should the SNP secure a majority in the upcoming election.
Mr Salmond made a dramatic return to frontline politics with the launch of the Alba Party – just weeks before the crunch Holyrood election.
The former First Minister, who led the SNP’s failed bid to split from the rest of the UK 2014, is pushing for a pro-independence “super-majority” of MSPs in parliament to help his latest referendum plot.
But Mr Galloway, who is leading his All for Unity party into the upcoming election, has accused both Ms Sturgeon and Mr Salmond of wanting Scotland to do badly to make their own push for independence look more attractive.
When asked if his two rivals could be working together to build momentum for independence, the veteran MP told Express.co.uk: “I don’t think they are colluding behind the scenes, but Sturgeon and Salmond are a distinction without a difference.
“Both of them are two faces of the same Separatist coin.
“They seek the breakup of Britain – it’s their one and only interest.
“Not only do they have no interest in Scotland doing well, they have an interest in Scotland doing badly.
“The more badly that Scotland does at the moment, the more their case grows for it to be separate.”
The latest attack from Mr Galloway comes with Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross accusing the SNP of “wasting” £4.5billion of taxpayer cash during their 14 years in power.
Mr Ross released a dossier of what his Tories labelled “SNP waste”, with the leader adding the figure “vanished into a black hole of SNP incompetence”.
Included in this is £147million spent resulting from delays to the delivery of the new Sick Kids hospital in Edinburgh, £24million on the malicious prosecution of administrators from Rangers Football Club and £47million spent on Scottish manufacturing firm Burntisland Fabrications (BiFab) which was placed into administration at the end of last year.
The document also claims the spending “waste” from the SNP has surged in the 14 years the party has been in power in Scotland and stood at £52million in 2007/08 – the SNP’s first full year in its minority Government.
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But this jumped to £99million for the first year of the majority Government in 2011 and to £840million in 2019/20 under the leadership of Ms Sturgeon.
It says: “The SNP have wasted a shocking amount of taxpayers’ money over their 14 years failing Scotland.
“They’ve lurched from scandal to scandal, squandering billions in the process through sheer incompetence.
“This vast sum could have been spent on improving our schools, hospitals and public services. Instead, it vanished into a black hole of SNP incompetence.
“The amount they throw away escalates with every new SNP government.”
“The reckless way they waste cash is visible all over Scotland.
“Delays to the Sick Kids in Edinburgh, water problems at the QEUH [Queen Elizabeth University Hospital] in Glasgow, botched ferry-building at Ferguson Marine in Inverclyde, a bad deal at BiFab in Fife, hold ups to the AWPR (Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route) in the North East, and a CAP IT system that plagued rural areas.
“The SNP have not only wasted billions, they’ve wasted the last 14 years by putting independence first and everything else last.
“If the SNP win a majority, they will waste the next Scottish Parliament focussed on getting another referendum, instead of rebuilding Scotland.”
But the furiously SNP hit back at the claims, and a spokesperson said: “This is utter nonsense from the Tories who are desperately trying to hide from the stench of sleaze surrounding their own party and the failures of their Holyrood campaign.
“We’ll take no lessons on wasting money from a party who have squandered billions in Covid contracts when handing them out to their closest friends and Tory donors.
“Billions have been wasted on PPE contracts and private sector Test and Trace deals that could have been spent supporting people.”
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