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Swinney must drop independence obsession and rule out Bute House Agreement 2.0

Douglas Ross has today written to John Swinney urging him to drop his independence obsession – by ditching the minister for independence and his “SNP propaganda papers” and pledging not to request a referendum from the UK Government during his time in office.

The Scottish Conservative leader is also calling on the SNP leader-in-waiting to rule out any future deals with the “extremist” Greens and reverse his party’s position on key policy areas.

Mr Ross – whose no-confidence motion led to Humza Yousaf’s resignation – insists genuine changes are needed for Mr Swinney to prove he will govern in Scotland’s interests, rather than the SNP’s. 

In the letter, he urges Nicola Sturgeon’s former deputy to support new oil and gas projects in the North Sea, to protect almost 100,000 Scottish jobs, and to commit to upgrade the A9 and A96.


Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said: “If John Swinney genuinely wants to be a First Minister for all of Scotland – rather than just for SNP supporters – he must drop his obsession with independence.

“That means abandoning the office of Minister for Independence, ditching the taxpayer-funded SNP propaganda papers it produces and pledging not to request a referendum from the UK Government during his time in office.

“The public want the Scottish Government to focus on the issues that matter to them – like fixing the crises in the NHS and education, and growing the economy.

“Sadly, the signs are not encouraging, judging by John Swinney’s campaign slogan – uniting for independence. How can he claim to be the fresh start Scotland needs when he’s putting up in lights that the SNP’s divisive independence obsession is his top priority?

“As one of the authors of the disastrous Bute House Agreement, John Swinney must also promise Scots that there will be no fresh deal – official or unofficial – with the extremist, anti-growth Greens.

“And to prove that he’s serious, he needs to U-turn on the SNP’s opposition to future oil and gas projects in the North Sea and recommit to dualling the A9 and A96 as soon as possible.”