'Continuity won't cut it': Salmond uses Forbes slogan as he responds to SNP result

·2-min read
Former First Mnister and SNP leader Alex Salmond. Mr Salmond now leads the Alba Party.
Former First Mnister and SNP leader Alex Salmond. Mr Salmond now leads the Alba Party.

Former first minister and SNP leader Alex Salmond picked up on the election slogan of Kate Forbes as he told the new leader of the SNP that "continuity won't cut it".

Mr Salmond, who now leads the Alba Party, warned the new SNP leader Humza Yousaf that the "constitutional issue cannot be kicked into the long grass yet again".

Mr Yousaf beat rivals Ms Forbes and Ash Regan in the contest with neither of the former, the frontrunners in the race, winning a majority of votes in the first round.

Voting then went to a second round and saw Mr Yousaf beat Ms Forbes by 52 per cent to 48 per cent with Ms Regan's votes transferred.

Mr Salmond, who served as first minister of Scotland between 2007 and 2014, congratulated Mr Yousaf on his victory in the race to succeed Nicola Sturgeon but advised him given the tight vote he needed to listen to what the other candidates said during the campaign.

He also underlined the need for competent leadership in government after Mr Yousaf, the current health secretary, has repeatedly come under attack from opposition parties - and his SNP rival Ms Forbes - over his ministerial record.

"Throughout the leadership campaign his record in government was a source of attack, but it is in the best interests of all the people of Scotland that the first minister of Scotland can competently lead a government to address the key challenges we face as a nation, namely the cost-of-living crisis and ensuring that our public services are fit for purpose," Mr Salmond said.

"I thought both Ash Regan and Kate Forbes fought brave campaigns against the full force of the SNP establishment, and given that together they received over half the votes, the new leader would do well to listen to what they had to say in the campaign."

Mr Salmond continued: "As the new first minister focuses on rebuilding the trust of the people of Scotland by improving the delivery of our public services, the constitutional issue cannot be kicked into the long grass yet again.

"The people of Scotland have voted in election after election not for who the first minister should be, but for Scotland to have a choice on its future.

"Humza Yousaf must back the calls of other independence-supporting parties and organisations, and convene an independence convention. It is now his responsibility to reunite the movement.

"Continuity won't cut it. It's time to hold Westminster's feet to the fire."