Subscribe to Holyrood updates

Newsletter sign-up


Follow us

Scotland’s fortnightly political & current affairs magazine


Subscribe to Holyrood
by Kirsteen Paterson
20 June 2023
Lorna Slater facing vote of no confidence over DRS

Lorna Slater joined the Scottish Government under the Bute House Agreement between the SNP and Greens

Lorna Slater facing vote of no confidence over DRS

Lorna Slater faces a vote on her future after every Conservative MSP backed a vote of confidence in the circular economy minister.

It takes the backing of just 25 MSPs to trigger a confidence vote on a minister. All 31 Tory members are calling for such a vote on Slater.

The motion of no confidence was tabled by Liam Kerr, the Tory net zero spokesperson, and signed by every one of his party colleagues.

No members of the SNP, Labour, Greens or Lib Dems have added their names so far. 

The cross-party Parliamentary Bureau meets this morning to table votes and debates and it is expected that the confidence vote could be held as early as this week, or before recess begins next week.

Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie has branded the motion a "cynical and shameless political stunt" by an "increasingly desperate" Conservative party.

However, it comes after further delay to the Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) after the Scottish Government refused to remove glass from the recycling initiative, as requested by the Conservative-led UK Government.

And it follows the news from industry bodies that they would no longer pay into DRS administrator Circularity Scotland, which has said that it is "not able to confirm" whether its staff will be paid this month.

Millions of pounds have been invested by drinks firms into DRS.

Kerr said first-time MSP Slater is "out of her depth as a minister": "I struggle to think of a minister who has struggled so much in their brief in the seven years I've been in the Scottish Parliament.

"Her handling of the Deposit Return Scheme has been shambolic from day one, with her refusal to engage with business or heed their warnings that her plans were unworkable."

DRS was pushed back to October 2025 at the earliest. Similar schemes for other parts of the UK are also due to go live around that time.

The motion reads: "That the parliament has no confidence in the minister for green skills, circular economy and biodiversity in light of the failure of the proposed Scottish Deposit Return Scheme."

First Minister Humza Yousaf has repeatedly stated his support for Slater.

Harvie said she "always puts Scotland first". He stated: "The politics that she represents are everything that the Tories rail against, so it is no wonder that they are attacking her in the spiteful, and often misogynistic, way they have done for months."

Holyrood Newsletters

Holyrood provides comprehensive coverage of Scottish politics, offering award-winning reporting and analysis: Subscribe

Read the most recent article written by Kirsteen Paterson - Puberty blockers paused for children in Scotland after Cass Review.

Get award-winning journalism delivered straight to your inbox

Get award-winning journalism delivered straight to your inbox


Popular reads
Back to top