Nicola Sturgeon has been blasted by the Scottish Tories after demanding Rishi Sunak holds an early general election. The Scottish First Minister was among the first to push for the new PM to go to the country when he was announced as the new Tory leader yesterday.
But Scottish Conservative MSP Russell Findlay pointed out that Ms Sturgeon did not go to the polls early after taking over as First Minister from Alex Salmond in 2014 following his resignation and waited until the 2016 Scottish Parliament election.
Mr Findlay accused the SNP leader of “another attempt to provoke grievance with the UK Government”.
He said: “Nicola Sturgeon clearly has a very short memory.
“She governed as First Minister for years without ever attempting to call an election.
“She has proven herself to be a shameful hypocrite by demanding Rishi Sunak calls an election, given she never tried to do that herself when she was installed as leader by the SNP.
“Nicola Sturgeon must have realised this grubby political attack would backfire instantly.
“It seems like this is just another attempt by the SNP to provoke grievance with the UK Government.
“Rishi Sunak will restore economic stability and unite the country – unlike the SNP leader who wants to create fiscal chaos and divide people all over again with her unwanted push to hold another independence referendum in less than a year.”
Mr Findlay’s comments come after Ms Sturgeon called for a general election on Monday as she offered her congratulations to Mr Sunak on becoming Tory leader.
She said: “I’d suggest one immediate decision he should take and one he certainly should not.
“He should call an early general election. And he should not – must not – unleash another round of austerity. Our public services will not withstand that.”
However, Mr Sunak has ruled out an early general election demanded by opposition parties as the Tories move into their third prime minister on the mandate won by Boris Johnson in 2019.
Meanwhile, Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross praised the former chancellor’s economic record as he congratulated him yesterday.
Mr Ross said: “I’d like to congratulate Rishi Sunak on becoming the new Conservative Party leader and Prime Minister, and look forward to working with him for the good of Scotland and the whole United Kingdom.
“Our country – like others around the world – faces tough economic challenges.
“Against that backdrop, it’s important that we have someone at the helm with a proven track record in running the nation’s finances, who can provide economic stability and reassurance to the markets.
“Recent weeks have been difficult and unsettling for both the Conservative Party and, more importantly, the country.
“Now all our focus must be on bringing the nation together and navigating the tough economic conditions we face.
“As he showed during his time as Chancellor – not least in safeguarding one in three Scottish jobs during the pandemic through the furlough scheme – Rishi Sunak is uniquely well equipped for that task.”