Alex Salmond's involvement in May's election distracting from key issues, says Douglas Ross
Alex Salmond’s participation in the forthcoming Holyrood election is diverting attention from key issues such as rebuilding the economy, given his previous conduct as an MSP, according to Scottish Conservatives leader Douglas Ross.
The Tory leader was speaking after Scottish Labour chief Anas Sarwar branded the previous week in Scottish politics a “circus” that must not be repeated, and said he believes Mr Salmond is interested in “revenge, not recovery”.
Mr Ross, when quizzed on the comments, stressed that he didn’t think the Alba leader was “a fit person to seek elected office in Scotland as an MSP”.
The Conservative politician added that Mr Salmond has admitted his own actions fell “well below the standard anyone should expect of a politician and indeed the first minister... it does, sadly, distract this campaign away from issues such as rebuilding our economy, protecting people's jobs, restoring Scotland's standards in education”.
Mr Ross added: “Because the nationalists, be they Alex Salmond’s nationalists or Nicola Sturgeon’s nationalists, are only interested in holding another independence referendum. Where Anas and I disagree is that I think we've got to get rid of that threat of another independence referendum before we can focus on our economy.
"We've seen in the last 14 years of the SNP in power [that they] will always focus on their party political aim, which is to separate Scotland from the rest of the UK, rather than the national aim, which should be our recovery and rebuilding. We can only do that if we get rid of the threat of another independence referendum.”