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by Kirsteen Paterson
27 October 2022
Nicola Sturgeon mocks Douglas Ross over 'flip flops' on Tory leadership

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon arrives for FMQs. Pic: SST/Alamy Live News

Nicola Sturgeon mocks Douglas Ross over 'flip flops' on Tory leadership

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon mocked Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross over recent U-turns amidst Tory strife.

Ross has come under fire for changes in his position on key issues in recent weeks, including over the leadership of his party and the government.

Today he pressed Sturgeon over her government's recently published independence paper, which set out plans for an independent Scotland to rejoin the EU and adopt a new currency as soon as practicable.

Referring to an article in The Times newspaper which quoted an unnamed EU official as saying "no Euro, no membership", Ross asked: "Who is lying to the Scottish people, the European Union or Nicola Sturgeon?"

Sturgeon quoted former Tory PM David Cameron as saying "not all countries in the European Union will join the Euro" and said Ross "often flip-flops on whether he agrees with Tory leaders on not".

She went on: "I'm not sure we should put much store at all in anything Douglas Ross has to say. Let me just reflect on the last few weeks in the life of Douglas Ross, leader - for now - of the Scottish Conservative Party. He called him Boris Johnson to resign, then he U-turned. Then he called on Boris Johnson to resign again, then he U-turned again. 

"He demanded that I follow the mini-Budget, then he applauded Liz Truss for scrapping the mini-Budget. He voted for fracking in England, now I think he welcomes the fact that the fracking ban has been reinstated in England. 

"Just last week or the week before he said that Liz Truss would win the next general election, and days later he welcomes the resignation of Liz Truss. Today he backs Rishi Sunak; who knows what Douglas Ross's position will be this time next week?”

Turning fire on the Conservative record, Sturgeon said Ross' party had "wrecked the pound and "we're getting close to the point because of Tory incompetence where the Euro may well soon be worth more than the pound".

She told the chamber: "Deficits right now are created as a result of Westminster decisions and we are about to find out, later in November, the price Scotland is going to have to pay in the form of another wave of Tory austerity, probably in the form of tax rises. 

"Independence is an alternative to the economic mess that the Tories have created."

Ross accused Sturgeon of "desperate stuff", saying: "The first minister's big plan is actually to break Scotland away from by far our biggest trading partner, the United Kingdom, with nothing to show for it in the middle of the global inflation and cost-of-living crisis and she wants to put families and businesses through that in the next 12 months. First Minister, how can that possibly be your priority right now?"

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