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Humza Yousaf’s year of ‘independence obsession, failures and scandal’

Humza Yousaf’s “independence obsession, abject failures and broken promises” are laid bare today in a dossier compiled by the Scottish Conservatives to mark the first anniversary of him becoming SNP leader.

The report card on his 12 months at the helm highlights more than 100 areas where the First Minister has fallen short, including:

  • Scotland’s economy having contracted
  • Every single A&E target being missed
  • Publication of nine independence propaganda papers, at a cost of at least £134k to the taxpayer
  • More than 185,000 crimes recorded, including a rise in violent and sexual offences
  • Over 12,400 trains cancelled by nationalised ScotRail

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross says Humza Yousaf and his government have ignored Scotland’s real priorities, at the expense of their “fixation with breaking up the UK”, the SNP’s internal scandals and “cosying up to the anti-growth Greens”.

 

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said: “Humza Yousaf’s first year as SNP leader has been nothing short of a disaster for him, his party and – most importantly – the people of Scotland.

“It’s a tale of independence obsession, abject failures and broken promises; of a First Minister out of his depth and unable to control his feuding, scandal-ridden party.

“Humza Yousaf has ignored the real priorities of Scots – fixing our ailing public services and growing the economy – and instead doubled down on the SNP’s fixation with breaking up the UK, while cosying up to the anti-growth Greens.

“This detailed and damning dossier lays bare his appalling record, which includes every A&E target being missed, Scotland’s economy shrinking, rising levels of violent and sexual crimes, unacceptable train cancellations at SNP-run ScotRail and public cash being squandered on independence propaganda papers.

“Later this year voters will get the chance to cast their verdict on his and the SNP’s dire reign. In swathes of seats across Scotland they know that only the Scottish Conservatives can beat the SNP and get the focus back to the issues that matter to them.”

Notes to editors:

 

The Scottish Conservatives’ dossier on Humza Yousaf’s first year as SNP leader is attached. It includes the following:

 

Scotland’s economy has shrunk since Humza Yousaf became SNP leader. According to the latest monthly GDP statistics which go up to December 2023, Scotland’s economy has shrunk since he came to office. In March 2023, the month he was elected as SNP leader and First Minister, Scotland’s economy was 2% bigger than it was compared to April 2019. However, by December 2023, this had shrunk to only 1.8% bigger in comparison to that baseline. (GDP Monthly Estimate, 28 February 2024, link).

The NHS has failed to hit every single A&E target with Humza Yousaf as SNP leader, meaning 439,173 patients have had to wait over four hours at A&E. Since the end of the first week since Humza Yousaf has been first minister, there have been an average of 8,783 patients waiting more than four hours to be seen every week at A&E. This figure has never dipped below 7,000 for a single week. The official target, which has never been met under Humza Yousaf as First Minister, is that at least 95% of patients should be seen within four hours – it has been missed 61 times through both weekly and monthly figures. (A&E activity, 19 March 2024, link).

Under Humza Yousaf, nine independence prospectus papers have been published costing the taxpayer more than £134,000. The following papers have been published since Humza Yousaf became SNP leader, with the cost to the taxpayer also added. ’Creating a modern constitution for an independent Scotland’ paper cost £18,011.39. The ‘Citizenship in an independent Scotland’ paper cost £13,616.43. The ‘Migration to Scotland after independence’ paper cost £16,165.06. The ‘An independent Scotland in the EU’ paper cost £22,692.14. The ‘Our marine sector in an independent Scotland’ paper cost £14,057.37. The ‘Social security in an independent Scotland’ paper cost £20,270.68. The ‘Culture in an independent Scotland’ paper cost £13,589.44. The ‘An independent Scotland’s place in the world’ paper cost £16,022.14 and finally ‘Education and lifelong learning in an independent Scotland’ which has not yet been costed. This brings the total to £134,424.65 since Humza Yousaf became SNP leader. (Scottish Government, 4 March 2024, link).

More than 185,000 crimes have been recorded with Humza Yousaf as SNP leader, including a rise in violent and sexual crimes. Between April and December 2023, a total of 185,078 crimes were recorded, which was a rise from 172,641 in the same period in 2022. Specifically, in this period compared to the same period in 2022 8,738 non-sexual crimes of violence were recorded - a rise from 7,623. Meanwhile, 11,142 sexual crimes were recorded, a rise from 10,803 and 85,671 crimes of dishonesty were recorded, a rise from 76,334. In this latter category thefts by shoplifting rose substantially from 20,675 in the 2022 period to 28,863 in the 2023 period. (Management Information Force Report Quarter 3 2023/24, accessed 21 March 2024, link).

Over 12,400 trains were cancelled in Humza Yousaf’s first year in charge of ScotRail. A freedom of information request reveals that in the financial year 2023-24 – up to the 29 February 2024, ScotRail cancelled 12,416 trains.  (FOI Available on request).