Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross (pictured) has said he is “not afraid of Nicola Sturgeon’s poll numbers” and no other opposition leaders should be either.
In a speech at the Onward think tank today, he called for opposition parties to support Votes of No Confidence in the Deputy First Minister and First Minister because the evidence against them is overwhelming.
Douglas Ross also put forward a range of ideas to strengthen the power of Holyrood and MSPs to prevent any Scottish Government abusing power again.
He argued for reforms to split up the dual role of the Lord Advocate, and to prevent the First Minister from being in sole charge of Ministerial Code investigations.
Further proposals included a Holyrood equivalent of elected select committee chairs and a right to recall for disgraced MSPs in exceptional circumstances.
He also called for enhanced parliamentary privilege to prevent the situation where the Crown Office stopped MSPs from considering Salmond inquiry evidence that had no risk of identifying a complainer.
Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said:
“By bringing forward these Votes of No Confidence, I am asking that opposition parties unite with us and stand up for the Scottish Parliament and its fundamental principles.
“To demand that votes of its chamber are respected every single time, not only when the government feels like it.
“To state together that it’s for a parliament inquiry to decide when it gets information, not the government.
“To send a clear message that in the Scottish Parliament, we will not tolerate a government trampling over the truth, suppressing evidence and shutting down scrutiny.
“The testimony of multiple credible witnesses – and even Nicola Sturgeon’s own evidence – makes it clear that she misled Parliament.
“The words of Scotland’s most senior lawyer, Roddy Dunlop QC, makes it plain that the government “discounted” his advice.
“As a result of that decision, they lost hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money.
“We can all plainly see the evidence against the Deputy First Minister too.
“He ignored two votes of Parliament until his job was on the line.
“He suppressed information to help Nicola Sturgeon.
“He still withholds information.
“His statements have lurched from insincere to inaccurate.
“So as the main opposition to the SNP, I have to ask other parties – do you really think any of those actions are acceptable?
“Why should we put up with any of that?
“Why would we let this government – or any government – away with this?
“And I say to them – I am not afraid of Nicola Sturgeon’s poll numbers.
“No other opposition leader should be either.
“We will bring these Votes of No Confidence forward because it is the right thing to do.
“The evidence of what they have done wrong is overwhelming.
“It is the job of Scotland’s opposition to call that out – not to run and hide from the SNP.
“When they abuse their power, cover up the truth, and trample on Parliament – don’t let them away with it.
“Join with us and stand up to them.
“Let’s confront them together.
“Let’s send a message that we are Scotland’s opposition and what they have done, what they are doing, to the Scottish Parliament will not be tolerated.”