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by Louise Wilson
23 November 2023
‘Trust and faith’ lost under SNP, says Anas Sarwar


‘Trust and faith’ lost under SNP, says Anas Sarwar

Trust and faith in government has been lost under the SNP, Anas Sarwar has claimed.

The Scottish Labour leader suggested the Scottish Government “has a problem with the truth” while speaking at the weekly session of First Minister's Questions.

Humza Yousaf replied politicians should “all be telling the truth”.

The exchange follows a series of problems for the government relating to transparency.

That includes the sharing for minister's WhatsApp messages with the Covid inquiry, Michael Matheson's £11,000 data roaming bill, and debunked renewable energy figures repeatedly used by ministers, including the first minister himself.

Sarwar said a freedom of information request proved Yousaf has used civil service resources to avoid having to correct the parliamentary record.

During FMQs in June, Yousaf suggested Scotland has the majority of renewable resources, but the actual figure is around a quarter. Yousaf later said he had intended to say “per capita”, but this was only after civil servants had discussed the matter.

"Under the SNP, trust and faith in Scotland's institutions have been lost," Sarwar added.

Yousaf said: “We should all be telling the truth in our interactions, wherever they are and wherever they occur.”

Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross also raised the row over Matheson, accusing the health secretary of "taking the public for fools".

Yousaf said Matheson had made an honest mistake and was now "getting in with the job" of being health secretary.

MSPs should "let the SPCB get on with the job it's got to do,” he added. 

The SPCB earlier confirmed it would investigate the matter.

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