SNP's Stephen Flynn rules out fresh Holyrood election as Scots 'crying out for stability'

SNP annual conference
Westminster SNP Group Leader Stephen Flynn delivers the Welcome Address during the first session of the SNP annual conference at The Event Complex Aberdeen (TECA) in Aberdeen. Picture date: Sunday October 15, 2023. -Credit:PA Wire/PA Images

Stephen Flynn has dismissed the notion of a Holyrood election following Humza Yousaf's abrupt resignation as First Minister yesterday. The SNP now face finding a new leader for the second time in 14 months.

However, Flynn believes that Scots are "crying out for stability". When questioned on the issue, he told Sky News: "I don't think so."

He also stated: "I think the public are crying out for stability. Of course, they don't see that at the moment."

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Flynn highlighted the difference between the political processes at Westminster and Holyrood, noting: "There is a difference between Westminster and Holyrood. In Westminster, MPs don't elect who the Prime Minister is. In Holyrood, they do. There will be a vote within Holyrood, depending on who the SNP put in place."

He even mentioned the recent situation in the Welsh Senedd where a vote led to Vaughan Gething becoming the First Minister of Wales, reports the Daily Record.

A number of SNP politicians claimed Rishi Sunak had no mandate when he became Prime Minister, on which Flynn commented: "The Westminster system is entirely different to the ones in place in the devolved nations."

He also said: "The parliamentarians themselves will have to elect a First Minister. When they do so, they'll be voting on the basis of election result in 2021."

Finally, Flynn voiced his choice for the position stating: "For my part, I believe John Swinney is the best person to put himself into the role. Hopefully he does, as he has huge experience in government."

"He ran the public finances, he ran our education system, he is someone who can unite right across the political divides, as we now a minority government, and the public will expect parties to come together for common purpose."

This follows a demand from Scottish Labour for an immediate Scottish election from the Scottish National Party (SNP).

Anas Sarwar, speaking yesterday, commented: "I don't really mind who the next SNP leader is. I just believe in the principle that rather than this being the plaything of the SNP, it's for the people of the country to decide who to lead it."

Sarwar also criticised Stephen Flynn, the current Westminster leader for the SNP, for his role in Yousaf's sudden departure.

The Scottish Labour leader described the abrupt termination of the Bute House Agreement as a "massive miscalculation".

He went on to say: "It's probably more the manner in which he did it. I think the people who were pushing him to make that decision need to take a long, hard look at themselves."

He directly addressed Flynn when he said, "I'm looking at Stephen Flynn in particular. He might want to pretend that he had nothing to do with it. But everyone knows where the influence came from, everyone knows where the arm-twisting came from."

"He encouraged the First Minister to go on the front foot. It looks like he shot him in the foot. That's another example of a dysfunctional, divided political party."