The BBC Newsnight host Faisal Islam clashed with the SNP's Ian Blackford over the ongoing party civil war. The Newsnight host pointed out that even
The BBC Newsnight host Faisal Islam clashed with the SNP’s Ian Blackford over the ongoing party civil war. The Newsnight host pointed out that even the former independence campaign leader Alex Salmond “does not think Scotland is ready for independence”. This comes after Mr Salmond said yesterday that Scotland’s leadership “had failed,” and went on to claim they were putting independence at risk.
The former first minister told the Holyrood inquiry on Friday: “Our move to independence, which I have sought all my political life, must be accompanied by institutions whose leadership is strong and robust and capable of protecting each and every citizen from arbitrary authority.”
Mr Blackford dismissed the ongoing controversy surrounding the SNP, telling Newsnight: “This was the day for Alex Salmond to bring forward any allegations that he had against the First Minister.
“There was nothing of any substance. There was no evidence brought forward. This is clutching at straws.
“I certainly hope that what we begin to see is this draw to a conclusion over the coming days and weeks.”
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This prompted Mr Islam to hit back: “I’m sure you would love to see this draw to a conclusion.
“But you just had the former first minister, the leader of the Yes campaign, saying that under current leadership, effectively, your country is not ready for independence.
“Damning, is that not?”
Mr Blackford responded: “When I talk to people in my own constituency and elsewhere, there is growing support for independence, and demonstrably so.”
The BBC host interrupted the SNP MP, telling him: “But this is Alex Salmond, the leader of the Yes campaign, saying that under your party leader, your country is not ready for independence, which is your whole raison d’être.”
The SNP MP continued: “Nicola Sturgeon will lead us to that independent future, backed by the Scottish people.
“We will a First Minister who will be vindicated, who is focused on the day job, focused on dealing with the Covid crisis, and I predict will lead our country to independence.”
The Newsnight anchor then questioned whether the SNP is falling apart, asking: “Recently you fired respected frontbencher Joanna Cherry.
“Is there a fundamental split emerging in your party, that has one purpose but it’s a broad church, that is bumbling up now and will be a sore in your party for years to come?”
Mr Blackford denied suggestions of party rifts, saying he had a “united SNP frontbench” in the Commons.