SNP crisis as Sturgeon's own minister reported over breach of code: 'Total contempt'

Scotland’s Health Secretary Humza Yousaf announced on Tuesday plans for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and more than 100 military personnel to support Scotland’s ambulance service. It comes after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced last week she would request help from the military to ease a backlog in the ambulance service which was causing long waits for patients.

The latest data revealed yesterday showed waiting times for ambulances had risen, leaving some patients waiting several hours – or even days – to get help.

Ms Sturgeon said the health service was dealing with “crisis conditions as a result of a global pandemic” – but stressed this was the case throughout the rest of the UK.

Details of the announcement by Mr Yousaf were leaked by him hours before it was delivered to Parliament.

The ministerial code states that an announcement should be made to parliament when Holyrood is in session.

Mr Yousaf was rebuked by Presiding Officer Alison Johnstone ahead of Tuesday’s statement and subsequently apologised to Ms Johnstone and MSPs.

Stephen Kerr MSP, Scottish Conservative Chief Whip has written to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon asking what measures will be taken in response to Mr Yousaf’s breach.

The Central Scotland MSP also asked Ms Sturgeon whether she still has confidence in his ability to retain Ministerial office.

In a letter to Ms Sturgeon sent this afternoon, Mr Kerr added: “Yesterday, in his statement to Scottish Parliament, it was confirmed by the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care that he leaked the content of his statement to the Daily Record ahead of delivery to parliament.

“This included multiple important announcements of government policy on tackling the current ambulance crisis.”

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“When challenged on his actions in Parliament, he responded arrogantly and took umbrage at being held to account.

“He has held Parliament in total contempt which is why this must be investigated further by Nicola Sturgeon.

“Her Ministers have a duty to respect and abide by the Ministerial Code at all times.

“That clearly hasn’t happened here and she must confirm whether she still has confidence in Humza Yousaf’s ability to hold office.”

Mr Kerr also said he would be writing to the convener of the Scottish Parliaments Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee about the Scottish Health Secretary. 

Nicola Sturgeon’s spokesperson has been approached for comment. 

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