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

Stephen Flynn has played down the prospect of a fresh Holyrood election after Humza Yousaf dramatically resigned as First Minister yesterday.

It means the SNP are searching for a new leader for the second time in 14 months.

But Flynn, who leads the Nationalist group of MPs at Westminster, insisted Scots were "crying out for stability".

Asked today if there should be an immediate election following Yousaf's resignation, Flynn told Sky News: "I don't think so.

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

"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.

"Just as there was a vote the other in the Welsh Senedd for Vaughan Gething to become the First Minister of Wales."

SNP annual conference
Westminster SNP Group Leader Stephen Flynn -Credit:PA Wire/PA Images

Asked about the many SNP politicians who claimed Rishi Sunak had no mandate when he became Prime Minister, Flynn added: "The Westminster system is entirely different to the ones in place in the devolved nations.

"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.

"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."

It comes after Scottish Labour demanded the SNP call an immediate Scottish election.

Speaking yesterday, Anas Sarwar said: "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 called out Stephen Flynn, the SNP leader at Westminster, over his role in Yousaf's downfall.

The Scottish Labour leader branded the decision to suddenly terminate the Bute House Agreement as a "massive miscalculation".

He added: "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.

"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."

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