Scotland crying out for change, says Sarwar ahead of confidence vote at Holyrood

Scotland is “crying out for change”, Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar has said as he sought to unseat the Government at Holyrood.

Speaking in favour of a motion of no confidence he tabled in the Scottish Government, Mr Sarwar compared the SNP – which looks set to have its third leader in just over a year following the resignation of Humza Yousaf – to the Conservatives, who suffered a similar fate with the premierships of Boris Johnson, Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak.

The motion – which is unlikely to pass due to a lack of support from the Scottish Greens – would require Mr Yousaf and his ministers to step down, with a new first minister to be appointed within 28 days or the country could go to the polls.

Mr Sarwar – whose party has closed the gap in the polls with the SNP at Holyrood – said both the SNP and the Conservatives were “unable to meet the ambitions, hopes and aspirations of the people”, adding: “That’s why our country is crying out for change.

“They want to get rid of this rotten Tory Government across the UK.

Humza Yousaf
Humza Yousaf is stepping down as Scotland’s First Minister (PA)

“That’s why we need an election, so the people can decide.”

He said only Labour “can deliver the change Scotland needs”.

Comparing the SNP and the Tories, Mr Sarwar said the similarities are “clear to see”, adding: “Two political parties, chaotic, divided, dysfunctional, unleadable, ungovernable, incompetent, distracted by internal wars, distant from the people’s priorities and unable to fix the mess of their own making.

“Both looking to pitch community against community, both entrenched in the politics of division.

“Both unable to meet the ambitions, hopes and aspirations of the people.”

Mr Sarwar also took aim at the two front-runners who have emerged for the SNP leadership following Mr Yousaf’s announcement on Monday that he will step down.

He pointed to reports suggesting Kate Forbes could struggle to appoint ministers and described John Swinney as “the finance secretary that broke the public finances and the worst education secretary in the history of the Scottish Parliament”.

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