FMQs: Sturgeon mocked for making British army plea – ‘so much for indepedendence’

Nigel Farage savages Nicola Sturgeon over 'financial disaster'

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New research shows people across the UK share near-identical priorities and values in a blow to separatist claims the home nations are doomed to split. The survey, conducted on behalf of Gordon Brown, suggested people’s priorities were aligned on immigration, law and order, defence and the importance of more local decision making. Only 20 percent of Scottish respondents identified referendums as a top priority.

Ms Sturgeon has pledged to hold a second Scottish independence referendum by the end of 2023 after securing a Holyrood majority by making a deal with the Green party.

This marks the first time the Green party has been in power in British political history.

The bombshell report also found that 53 percent of independence supporters would feel warmer towards England if the country was represented by figures such as Gareth Southgate and Marcus Rashford, rather than Boris Johnson’s Government.

Mr Brown said: “It makes them more warm towards a better relationship with England.

“What you see is a change in the attitudes of people in Scotland, and that the image that Scots have been taught to have of England – full of toffs and football hooligans – is not the image that England really has.”

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‘Shameful answers’ from Sturgeon

A Scottish Conservative MSP has slammed Nicola Sturgeon for her “shameful” answers delivered in FMQs today. 

Meghan Gallacher is livid that the first minister “couldn’t even admit there is a crisis” despite cases of people waiting up to 40 hours for an ambulance.

What will the military support look like?

If Nicola Sturgeon asks for the British Army’s support with the Scottish health service, it is understood the support could include use of military ambulances and vehicles.

This will be made as a Military Aid to Civilian Authority (MACA) request in the same way as the vaccine delivery was.

There is the potential that this support, if confirmed, could extend into winter. 

Labour grills Sturgeon on prosecutors’ misleading practices

Scottish Labour’s Pauline McNeill has grilled the first minister on the shocking report which found Scottish prosecutors had a historic practice of freezing targets to mask the time taken to decide on criminal prosecutions.

Ms McNeill asked the First Minister what the Scottish Government’s response is to analysis by HM Inspectorate of Prosecution. 

Ms Sturgeon said: “The report noted a historic practice of freezing targets while further information was awaited from an investigating agency that practice ceased in April this year, meaning it will not have an impact on target performance in this reporting year.

“It was an administrative exercise having no impact on the investigation or outcome of any cases.

“The Lord Advocate is carefully considering all recommendations in the report, and we’ll make changes when appropriate to implement them.”

Scottish prosecutors under fire for misleading public

Scottish prosecutors have come under fire for the “misguided” practice of pausing criminal cases to “mask the reality” of how it was meeting targets on time taken for deciding on criminal prosecutions.

A shocking analysis from the criminal prosecution watchdog revealed “significant concerns” that wings of the Crown Office had been resetting cases to show that it was meeting targets for investigation and prosecution of cases.

27 cyber attacks on Scottish government since 2017

Tess White said: “First Minister, audit Scotland has warned that cybercrime is a serious risk to Scotland’s public sector, with 27 separate attacks recorded since 2017.

“Given the considerable cost to the public purse of the ransomware attack on the Scottish Environment Protection Agency in December 2020, as well as the ongoing impact on its operations is the Scottish Government satisfied that public bodies have achieved the standard set out in the PUC Scottish public sector, cyber resilience framework?”

Nicola Sturgeon replied: “I don’t think any government is under any illusion about the threat of cyber attacks in our countries, to the public sector, the private sector and indeed to governments themselves it’s a risk that we take extremely seriously.

“There have been some very significant cyber attacks happening to public sector organisations in Scotland SEPA, obviously being a case and point.”

Ms Sturgeon assured Holyrood she was working with agencies to protect the Government from attacks but admitted it was an evolving risk.

Conference of Youth 2021 to be funded by SNP

Nicola Sturgeon has criticised the British Government for cancelling the Conference of the Youth which normally runs alongside the COP conferences.

The first minister said she had not been made aware of why the British government was refusing to fund the Conference of Youth. 

However, she stressd she would be happy to help to ensure children had a voice on their future.

We are ready for COP26, says Sturgeon

MSP Bill Kidd asked the first minister for an update on the COP26 environmental conference. 

Ms Sturgeon responded: “A recent report from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary offered a high degree of assurance or in the ability to balance business as usual with policing.” 

She added that there was a transport plan in place and that she had spoken to the United Nations executive director on climate change to consider some of the broader. 

First minister apologises for inadequate health service

The first minister had “apolised unreservedly” for the horrific wait times in Scotland which saw a man die after not being sent an ambulance for more than 40 hours. 

Gerard Brown was 65 years old and was the man who died after not being sent an ambulance for more than 40 hours. 

Ms Sturgeon promised “a number of additional actions” to ease the backlog. 

Sturgeon’s army plea prompts widespread disapproval

Nicola Sturgeon’s army plea has resulted in widespread jeering on social media. 

Jack wrote:”So she wants to independent but still use the UK’s resources and manpower. Yeah it’s either one or the other love.”

SNP do not stand up for Scottish jobs, says Scottish Tory

Scottish Tory Jamie Greene said: “Back in 2016, Nicola Sturgeon declared our government’s intervention in Ferguson at Port Glasgow, was going to be an incredible triumph.

“She said at the time it was living proof of how the SNP stands up for Scottish jobs. 

“In 2019, the yard was forcibly nationalised despite much protests and warnings that it would be a complete disaster.

“First Minister, which bit of welding together Scotland’s Future very fleet and Romania is standing up for Scottish jobs?”

Ms Sturgeon responded by saying it was thanks to the SNP that Ferguson was still open. 

‘Extreme Brexit plans’ affecting Scotland

SNP’s Jenni Minto said: “The UK government has now confirmed that it again intends to delay post Brexit food and farming import checks. 

“Once again Scotland’s vital food and farming sector finds itself paying a price for the Tories’ extreme Brexit plans.

Does the First Minister share my concern that this last minute delay highlights that the Tory government has no real solution to the Brexit issues it has created and is just kicking the can down the road once again?”

Ms Sturgeon agreed with this assessment. 

‘Wake up!’ Sarwar rages at Sturgeon

Anas Sarwar has accused the first minister of not appreciating the urgency of the Scottish health service crisis. 

Following a statement in which Ms Sturgeon said she was considering the various ways of solving the problem, Mr Sarwar said: “You don’t understand the urgency.

“You want to wait a week for a statement, and then actions to follow that.

“You want to consider options about what happens with the British Army, how many more Lillian Briggs need to happen in the next week, before we take urgent action?

“How many more Gerard Browns need to happen in the next week, before you take urgent action?

“Urgent action needs to happen today, tomorrow, the day after and the day after, not wait a week for this government to wake up!”

Sturgeon refuses to be drawn on a timeline for emergency action

Sarwar asked: “Will the first minister listen to calls from ambulance staff and Unite the union who have called for a major incident to be declared, for pop-up wards and emergency departments and for the British Army to be drafted in?”

Ms Sturgeon responded: “It’s important that we make that request in detail so that we know exactly what it is we are requesting from the military, and that is currently being prepared right now.

“On the issue of the call for immediate incident as I said to Douglas Ross again we’re getting a bit lost in terminology here.

“The ambulance service is operating at its highest level of escalation, because we don’t call that at major incident, it’s called level four of their escalation doesn’t change the reality and I would suggest that it is more important that we focus on the substance of what we’re doing, rather than perhaps have manufactured disagreements over the terminology.

“On the issue of pop up wards, I referred earlier on to the consideration, again it is underway right now around temporary admission wards.

“Pop-up wards may not be appropriate, because we’re going into a winter period and that may not be the best conditions for patients who were looking at an equivalent which is temporary admission words.”

British Red Cross drafted to Glasgow amid crippled health service

The British Red Cross has been drafted in to Glasgow to deliver humanitarian assistance at the city’s flagship hospital. 

The aid comes at the same time as reports that people have had to wait days for an ambulance to arrive. 

Nicola Sturgeon insists the problem is temporary and blames the pandemic for the additional strain placed on the health service. 

Do not use the pandemic as a cover for your failure, says Sarwar

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar has demanded Nicola Sturgeon stops hiding behind the pandemic as an excuse for the crumbling Scottish health service. 

He said there were 1,000 instances of ambulances waiting more than two hours outside a hospital, before the pandemic. 

Almost 15,000 times the ambulance took more than two hours to arrive to the patient. 

‘Think twice before calling an ambulance’

Douglas Ross has blasted Scottish health secretary Hamza Yusuf’s request that people “think twice before calling an ambulance”. 

Mr Ross said no developed country should be telling sick people to stay away. 

Sturgeon considering targeted military assistance

Nicola Sturgeon is considering seeking “targeted military assistance” to ease pressure on Scottish Ambulance Service. 

She said a model was being considered which would fast track the most urgent emergency calls. 

Douglas Ross demanded Ms Sturgeon declared a major incident status. 

Sturgeon apologises to Scots for horrendous ambulance waits

Ms Sturgeon said: “I recognise that some people are not getting the standard of service that they should be getting, or indeed the standard of service and the Scottish ambulance service wants to deliver. 

“That is not acceptable, and I apologise unreservedly to anyone who has suffered, or who is suffering unacceptably long waits.

“A range of actions have already been taken to address these challenges, for example, additional funding to support new recruitment, a number of additional actions are currently under active consideration.

I can confirm, you know, that this includes consideration of seeking targeted military assistance to help deal with short term pressure points such military assistance is already being provided to ambulance services in England and of course we have had military assistance for other aspects of the pandemic. over the past 18 months.

“This is a service under acute pressure, I think people understand the reasons for that pressure, but the obligation is on government to work with the service to ensure that it can meet those pressures in the interests of patients.”

Ross slams Sturgeon for 40 hour ambulance wait

Conservative leader Douglas Ross has criticised the worst ambulance wait times in history. 

He explained a case study in the Scottish press this morning of a man who died after a 40 hour wait for an ambulance. 

His GP told his son that the man would have survived if the emergency services had got to him quick enough. 

Over 700 suspected drugs deaths in first half of 2021

There has been more than 700 suspected drugs deaths in Scotland in the first half of 2021, according to the latest Police Scotland figures. 

In total, 722 cases have been recorded, a minor improvement from the 731 drug-related-deaths occuring the year before. 

The majority of the deaths were men – 72 per cent – and just over two-thirds were people between ages 35 and 54.

Drugs minister Angela Constance told MSPs: “This information on suspected drug deaths will help services to respond to what is needed more quickly and will also help parliament monitor progress. It provides a barometer of drug death trends over time.

“We can very cautiously take some encouragement from what appears to be a very slightly lower figure of suspected drug deaths than for the same period last year – but I do want to stress there is a long way to go here. Whether suspected drug-related deaths or actual drug-related deaths, both remain too high in Scotland today.”

‘Drop muscular unionism!’ warns Gordon Brown

Gordon Brown has told Boris Johnson to ditch his policy of “muscular unionism” to stop Scotland voting for independence in the next referendum.

The former prime minister said the idea harked back to “an unrealistic view of an indivisible” and ignored the reality that the UK is a “family of nations”.

“Muscular unionism” will only play into the hands of Nicola Sturgeon, according to Mr Brown. 

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