Alex Cole-Hamilton replies to the First Minister letter

28 Apr 2024

After discussions with key stakeholders in the party I have just written to the First Minister, declining his offer of talks.

Minority government works on trust, he has none.

His priorities are not the people’s priorities and he is clearly only motivated now by political survival.

He should resign and call an election.

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has today written to First Minister Humza Yousaf to decline his offer of talks at Bute House and called on Mr Yousaf to tender his resignation as First Minister and call a Scottish Parliamentary Election.

The text of Mr Cole-Hamilton’s letter is as follows:

Dear First Minister,

Thank you for your letter. Scottish Liberal Democrats have always believed in working together in the national interest and building consensus across all political traditions. Our history speaks to that and we will continue to do so in the change that is coming for Scotland. However, I have decided to decline your offer of talks at Bute House.

Successful minority administration must be rooted in compromise and a spirit of mutual trust with other parties. However, your actions this past week have eroded entirely any remaining trust that you enjoyed across the chamber. They suggest that rather than being motivated by the national interest, you are presently motivated only by your own self-interest and by political survival.

After 17 years in power it is clear that your government’s priorities are not the people’s priorities. People can’t get a doctor’s appointment or see an NHS dentist; our schools are tumbling down the international rankings and you have abandoned Scotland’s climate targets. You have made life harder for business and islanders still don’t have the lifeline ferries they so desperately need.

Yet still, you spend an unforgiveable amount of ministerial attention and public money on fomenting constitutional division.

Put simply, you have run out of road. It’s time to put the national interest first, resign the office of First Minister and call a Scottish Parliamentary Election so that the people of Scotland can determine the future of both our Parliament and our country.

Yours sincerely

Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP

Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats

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