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by Louise Wilson
23 March 2023
Labour call for election at Nicola Sturgeon’s last FMQs

This was Nicola Sturgeon's final FMQs

Labour call for election at Nicola Sturgeon’s last FMQs

Anas Sarwar has used Nicola Sturgeon's last First Minister's Questions to call for a fresh Holyrood election, arguing the next FM will have "no mandate". 

And Douglas Ross used the session to focus on SNP membership numbers, saying Sturgeon's party had “lied”. 

The outgoing First Minister said she was "proud" of her record in government and she had “full faith” her successor would build support for Scottish independence. 

This FMQs was Sturgeon's 286th and final session as she prepares to demit office on Monday. 

Her successor will take their first FMQs next Thursday. 

Sarwar said there is "not a single institution" that is better now than it was when Sturgeon became FM. 

On her successor, he said: "They don’t have a plan for Scotland, and they don’t have a mandate from the public. That is why we need an election now." 

Sturgeon did not respond to the call directly, saying the people had “cast their verdict” in favour of the SNP repeatedly. 

She added her successor will “continue to lead this country forward, will continue to take the decisions that are in the interest of this country, and that they will lead this country to becoming an independent nation”. 

Ross said it was “absolutely clear” that SNP leadership had lied to the public about party membership figures and the “house that Sturgeon, Salmond and Murrell built has collapsed”. 

It follows the party’s denial that membership numbers had dropped by the thousands last week, ultimately leading to the resignation of chief executive Peter Murrell.  

But Sturgeon said that the SNP was the only “mass membership party in this country” and it had “more members than any other party in this chamber”. 

She called on Ross to publish membership figures for his own party.

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