Politics

Sturgeon warned of ‘total failure’ as ‘pure poison’ independence obsession to tarnish lega

Nicola Sturgeon fumes at ‘democracy denying hypocrites’

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Broadcaster, author and political commentator Iain Dale spoke to the leader of the SNP at the Edinburgh Fringe. After the interview, he compared her and Liz Truss to the “Margaret Thatcher de nos jours”, and called the First Minister “one of the most impressive politicians I had ever interviewed”.

However, Mr Dale was then attacked online for his interview with Ms Sturgeon by unionists.

Mr Dale then pointed out he did “skewer her on her government’s failures on drug deaths, energy, Ferries” during the interview.

He said: “What last week brought home to me was that the divisions in Scotland over independence run far deeper than most commentators in England realise.

“It’s Brexit all over again, and then double it.”

He then warned Ms Sturgeon that she “has precious few domestic policy achievements to her name”, citing education, drugs deaths and “allegations of corruption and incompetence”.

Mr Dale then said: “The First Minister must be praying that she is able to get her Scottish independence vote. Otherwise, her legacy could turn out to be one of near-total failure.”

Mr Dale also called the Scottish independence debate “pure poison” due to attacks from unionists and nationalists he suffered online.

He wrote for the Telegraph: “We hear a lot about the bile spewed out by ‘CyberNat’ trolls, and I have experienced it myself.

“What I hadn’t realised is that the Unionist side of the debate has its equivalents. They’ve been dubbed the ‘BritNats’ or ‘BritYoons’.

“They seem to loathe Nicola Sturgeon far more than they hate the independence cause she espouses. It is a phenomenon that female politicians face far more than male.

“Mrs Thatcher had it in spades, and within a very short time so presumably will Liz Truss.

“My mistake was to tweet that Nicola Sturgeon was one of the most impressive politicians I had ever interviewed.”

Writing on his website, Mr Dale stressed he “didn’t call ordinary unionist supporters, BritNats”, and explained “the more extreme side of that argument” are “equally as vile and viscious”.

In June, Ms Sturgeon announced plans to hold a referendum on October 19 2023

It comes as the Tory leadership race draws to a close, with both Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss attacking the First Minister.

Mr Sunak accused Ms Sturgeon of using “austerity” economics to cover Scotland’s welfare budget.

He said at a Tory hustings event in Perth that while he ran the Treasury, he became confused about where billions of pounds he sent over the border was going, given the SNP’s refusal to cut taxes and its meagre spending on the NHS, education and local government.

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Mr Sunak then claimed at the hustings a large amount of the cash had been set aside for more generous welfare handouts in Scotland, and called on his party to make the case against prioritising spending on benefits.

He said: “Public spending on the NHS in Scotland is growing at a far slower rate than in England. Then look at the rest of the public sector – education, justice, local government.

“She’s imposed austerity on all those parts of public services … You might scratch your head and say ‘hang on, where is all that money going then?’ We found out – the welfare budget in Scotland is increasing by 50 percent over the next five years.”

“That is wrong, and we have got to be able to make that argument. We are a party that believes in people working hard, and we want that hard work to be rewarded.

“The priority should be cutting taxes, not putting more money into welfare spending.”

Ms Truss also said at the hustings in Perth that Ms Sturgeon should stop “agitating” for a second independence referendum.

The Foreign Secretary added: “If I am elected as prime minister, I will not allow another independence referendum.

“At the time of the 2014 referendum, it was agreed by the SNP that it was a once-in-a-generation referendum.

“I believe in politicians keeping their promises, and Nicola Sturgeon should keep her promise.

“What she should do, rather than agitating for another referendum, is deal with the very real issues in Scotland.”

She added that the Scottish government should be dealing with its NHS backlog instead.

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