Kate Forbes has said the next leader of the SNP will have to do “far harder things” after she scathingly critiqued her own government and Cabinet colleague.
During the STV debate this week, the finance secretary attacked her opponent Humza Yousaf’s record in various ministerial positions.
She said change is needed within the SNP, adding that “more of the same” in Government “is an acceptance of mediocrity”.
At First Minister’s Questions on Thursday, the clash between the SNP leadership hopefuls became ammunition for Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross.
Ross told Nicola Sturgeon her “ears must have been burning” as he accused the candidates of “torching her record in government”.
“Her finance secretary, Kate Forbes, said this about Scotland: ‘The trains never run on time, the police service is stretched to breaking point, there are record-high waiting times in the NHS’.”
Asked on Friday if she had handed the Conservatives a gift with her criticism of a Cabinet colleague, Forbes said: “Not at all.”
“I stand by the track record of our Government,” she told STV News.
“I stand by the track record of the SNP, and I’ve been privileged to serve alongside my Cabinet colleagues. But we are in an election contest.
“The next leader will have to do far harder things. They’ll have to stand up to the UK Government. They’ll have to face off to the opposition. They’ll have to deliver and be accountable to the Scottish people.
“And the winning candidate needs to be able to demonstrate that they have a renewed vision. They can carry the country and they can take the fight on.”
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