Three candidates have officially entered the race to replace Nicola Sturgeon following her resignation as SNP leader and Scotland’s First Minister.
But the first leader Kate Forbes – a devout Christian and Scotland’s current Chancellor of the Exchequer – appears to have missed her chance by making the “reckless claim that she would have been against gay marriage if she had been in the Scottish Parliament when the law was passed”, she said PoliticsLondon Playbook. Comment in the interview with Channel 4 news yesterday “appears to have gone down like a lead balloon north of the border,” the news release added.
Forbes previously announced her candidacy, joining Scottish Health Secretary Humza Yousaf and backbench MSP Ash Regan.
Candidates must collect more than 100 nominations from at least 20 local party branches by Friday to get on the ballot.
That means there’s still time for others to enter the race, but it’s “likely” the current candidates will make the bottom three, according to National. Potential contenders Angus Robertson, Neil Gray, Keith Brown and Mary Macallan have ruled themselves out of the running.
As they prepare their leadership campaigns, those running for office will turn to their own plans for Scottish independenceviews on gender reformsand current wave public sector strikessaid The Daily Telegraph.
Voting among party members will begin on March 13 and end on March 27, the same day the new leader will be announced.
The Scottish health minister, who was seen as a succession candidate before the Forbes blunders, “must now be considered the front-runner,” Politico said.
Although he is only 37 years old, Yousaf has also held the posts of Minister of Justice, Minister of Transport and Minister of International Development. In 2012, he became the first Muslim appointed to the Scottish government.
However, Youssef’s management of the NHS has come under scrutiny recently, with him criticized for urging the public to “think twice” before calling 999 in September 2021.
Youssef disagrees with Nicola Sturgeon’s opinion that the next election should be seen as a de facto independence referendum, writes The Telegraph. He insists it’s time to talk about “policy” rather than “process.”
However, he vowed to continue the fight for the outgoing leader’s gender reform law, which would allow 16-year-olds to identify as the opposite gender without a medical certificate.
Youssef “insisted there was no money left to increase NHS pay deals after a series of rejections”, The Telegraph told The Telegraph, but he submitted “a request for extra funds to cover pay rises which was rejected by Westminster”.
On the pressing issue of same-sex marriage, speaking on LBC Tonight with Andrew Marr, Youssef made his own position on the matter clear: “I am a supporter of equal marriage… I am a Muslim. I am a person who is proud of my faith… But what I don’t do is I don’t use my faith as a basis for legislation.”
Kate Forbes, Scotland’s 32-year-old finance minister and current favorite to become the new leader, will return early from maternity leave to join the race. As she launched her campaign, she said she could not “sit back and watch as our people are thwarted on their path to self-determination.”
The MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenach said: “Our small, independent neighbors benefit from wealthier, fairer and greener societies – and so should we. We urgently need to unleash all the talent of the SNP, the wider Yes movement and the country as a whole.”
Forbes found herself in the spotlight in 2020 when she was forced to step in and publish Scotland’s budget at the 11th hour after her predecessor Derek Mackay resigned, said Sky News.
However, there are concerns that Forbes, who is a member of the Free Church of Scotland, holds views that are at odds with the party’s policies on abortion and same-sex marriage. Forbes “gave a pro-life speech at a prayer breakfast in Edinburgh” in 2018. National informed.
In 2019, she was also criticized by some members of her own party when she became one of 15 SNP politicians to sign a letter urging the leadership to take its time with plans to revise the Gender Recognition Act, The Telegraph reported.
As finance minister, Forbes increased benefits and urged Rishi Sunak to increase all social security benefits in line with inflation.
Forbes was asked today if her campaign was over before it started on BBC Radio Good morning Scotland program.
She replied: “Not at all. We have many party members, most of whom are not on Twitter. I understand that people have very strong views on these issues. I think the public is hungry for politicians to answer straight questions with straight answers, and that’s certainly what I tried to do yesterday in the media.”
Although Ash Regan, 48, is currently a Member of Parliament, she was until recently Minister for Public Safety. However, she resigned over controversial gender reforms proposed by Sturgeon.
So it’s no surprise that she vowed to abandon the reforms, telling the Sunday Mail: “Women’s rights will never be compromised with me.” Daily Mail informed.
Regan also insisted that any pro-independence party majority in an election, whether at Westminster or Holyrood, should be seen as a mandate for independence.
In her leadership campaign statement, the Edinburgh East MSP said: “People expect the First Minister to focus on boosting the economy, creating jobs and helping them deal with the cost of living crisis,” she said.
However, she has so far said “relatively little” about public sector pay, The Telegraph said.
Regan has previously supported the goal of reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2035. However, on Monday, she wrote on Twitter: “I will not support a fast track to net zero where we shut down the North Sea faucets, put 10 out of 1000 oil workers out of work, destroy NE & H&I communities while continuing to use and import hydrocarbons. I will stand up for our oil workers and their communities.”