​We will continue working for people and the planet - Lorna Slater

Green co-leaders Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater with Humza Yousaf (Picture: Lisa Ferguson/National World)Green co-leaders Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater with Humza Yousaf (Picture: Lisa Ferguson/National World)
Green co-leaders Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater with Humza Yousaf (Picture: Lisa Ferguson/National World)
​It may be a cliché to say that a week is a long time in politics, but the last seven days have been among the most consequential in the history of our Scottish parliament.

Humza Yousaf was right to resign, but we certainly didn’t take any satisfaction or pleasure from his decision.

When he acted unilaterally to end the cooperation agreement between the Scottish Greens and the Scottish Government it was a breach of trust and drew a line under two and a half years of good work.

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By acting in the way he did, the First Minister caved in to some of the most conservative elements of his party and will have disappointed the many Scottish Green and SNP supporters who believed in the agreement and wanted it to work.

Yet, in spite of how it ended, I am very proud of what we achieved. Record investment in wildlife, nature and recycling, the introduction of free bus travel for young people and scrapping of peak rail fares and a ban on new incineration to name but a few.

These are all really important changes that my Scottish Green MSPs will work to protect and expand, regardless of who is in Bute House.

But we cannot afford to look backwards. This is a pivotal moment for our country and our politics must live up to the huge generation-defining challenges that we face.

There is a lot of important work that is already in motion.

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From the introduction of rent controls and stronger tenants rights to better and more ambitious environmental policies, the creation of a national park and a ban on conversion practices.

These are still really vital steps that we need to take and the work we have done on them is too important to be dropped.

There are a lot of very good and dedicated people working in government, both in terms of Ministers and civil servants, and they need time and stability to do this work.

In the days ahead Scotland will have a new First Minister. I hope that it is someone who shares our vision for a fairer and greener Scotland and who will build on the progress we have made over the last three years.

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The Scottish Greens have a long track record of working constructively from opposition and will do so with any First Minister who shares our progressive values and who can secure our confidence

The last few days have been hectic for me and my party. Our role in parliament may have changed, but our values have not.

I was an environmentalist and an activist long before I was a government Minister. I will continue working for people and the planet, and for our communities here in Edinburgh.

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