Politics live: New SNP leader sticks to independence aim – as Sunak insists general election ‘not a foregone conclusion’ | Politics News

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New SNP leader John Swinney will “create division” in Scotland.

That’s the view of the leader of the Scottish Conservatives, the government’s official opposition at Holyrood.

Douglas Ross told Sky News that Mr Swinney, who is set to replace Humza Yousaf as first minister, would not deliver on the country’s priorities because of his “nationalist” stance.

“The slogan for his campaign was ‘uniting for independence’ – not for improving the NHS, our education system…. No, John Swinney has decided he wants to unite for independence because as a nationalist he wants to separate Scotland from the rest of the UK and create division.”

Tories will be ‘strong opposition’

Mr Ross said Scotland’s public services had “suffered” during the SNP’s 17 years in power, most of which Mr Swinney was in the cabinet.

He said the incoming first minister should remove the government position of minister for independence, and also called for him to show more support for the oil and gas industry.

Mr Ross was also bullish about the Tories’ election hopes in Scotland, saying the party has a “strong record” and has been a “strong opposition” that will rival the SNP in a number of seats.

Polls suggest Labour are on course for a significant recovery in Scotland, potentially helping Sir Keir Starmer become prime minister.

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