Saturday, May 4

Humza Yousaf manufacturers Scottish Tory chief Douglas Ross a ‘hypocrite’ for refusing to disclose social gathering membership numbers

Humza Yousaf has branded Scottish Tory chief Douglas Ross a ‘hypocrite’ for refusing to disclose his social gathering’s membership numbers.

The SNP chief hit again at Mr Ross throughout First Minister’s Questions on Thursday over the Ferguson Marine ferries fiasco.

The Inverclyde yard was nationalised in 2019 when issues with the Glen Sannox and as-yet-unnamed Hull 802 had been found.

The ferries are already 5 years late and estimated prices have ballooned to £293m from an preliminary price range of £97m.

Scotland’s auditor common, Stephen Boyle, instructed parliament’s Public Audit Committee earlier within the day that “it would be folly to suggest that is a reliable figure that will be spent to deliver the vessels at this stage”.

Mr Ross acknowledged: “Only a party that bought a campervan for £100,000 could think that paying hundreds of millions of pounds for two massively delayed ferries is a good deal.

“And everyone knows from the scandal engulfing the SNP that they actually battle with funds, however that is getting ridiculous.

“So will the first minister stop the secrecy and be honest for a change. How much higher is the real cost to taxpayers going to be to deliver these two ferries?”

The Glen Sannox is but to be put into service

Mr Yousaf agreed that the ferry overruns and delays had been “unacceptable”

He added the Scottish authorities is “reviewing projections” with ongoing due diligence anticipated to conclude inside the subsequent few weeks.

Read extra:
Nicola Sturgeon says SNP disaster past her ‘worst nightmares’
Call for bonuses given to Ferguson Marine shipyard bosses to be paid again

Noting that Mr Ross had taken a swipe on the SNP throughout his query, the primary minister replied: “Can I remind him of course that this week the SNP did release its membership numbers.

“I’m happy that we have seen a rise in our membership numbers over the previous couple of weeks. And the Tories, after all, demanded that we launch our membership figures. We’ve finished that.”

In March it was revealed that the SNP had misplaced round 30,000 social gathering members since 2021.

The membership whole has since risen from 72,186 final month to 74,889 as of final Friday.

The FM added: “Of course, Douglas Ross does not practise what he preaches. He hasn’t released his membership figures.

“There is a phrase for those that do not practise what they preach – they’re known as hypocrites, presiding officer.”

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