New finance secretary: Too easy for SNP to blame Brexit and London

Scotland’s new finance secretary has been urged to practice what she once preached – after it emerged she said the SNP government was too quick to “blame Brexit or blame Westminster."

Kate Forbes’ promotion to one of government’s most senior roles was confirmed today as part of a minor reshuffle by the First Minister.

Now Graham Simpson MSP has said it’s a chance for the nationalists to break with habit and start taking responsibility for their own actions.

"Having made these remarks, I hope she now stands by them and embodies a major SNP government figure who’s actually willing to take responsibility for devolved issues," said Mr. Simpson. "People are getting sick of the nationalists pointing the finger at everyone else, when clearly they are the ones who’ve made a gigantic mess of domestic issues like health, education and the economy."

Senior SNP ministers, including Nicola Sturgeon and Ms Forbes’ predecessor – the disgraced Derek Mackay – routinely pointed the finger at the UK Government or the vote to leave the European Union when defending failures in devolved areas.

That sparked the Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch MSP to say in 2018: “It’s far easier for me – and I do it all the time – to stand up and blame Brexit or to blame Westminster or to blame somebody else.”

“The SNP has been in charge in Scotland for 13 years, over which time education has descended into crisis, the NHS has deteriorated, and our economy badly lags the rest of the UK," said Mr. Simpson. “No shuffling of personnel can disguise the fact that the SNP’s time in government is up.”