Sturgeon won’t say why Scottish National Bank boss resigned
Sturgeon refuses to give any reasons why Eilidh Mactaggart suddenly resigned as chief executive of the state-owned bank. Sturgeon says MacTaggart’s resignation happening at the same time that Kate Forbes announced the Scottish Government’s 10year economic plan is “a coincidence” and in response to requests for clarifications she said:
I am sure everyone will understand that I am not going to go into the confidential details of anybody’s employment situation.The former chief executive of the Scottish National Investment Bank is a private individual. She has opted to resign her post and is entitled to the duty of care that any individual in her circumstances is entitled to.
Sturgeon requests list of oligarch-owned properties in Scotland0 Comments
Sturgeon has requested a full list of Russian oligarch owned properties in Scotland. This is as part of an international effort to punish Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, through economic sanctions are aimed at anyone who has either profited from or supported the Putin regime. Registers of Scotland handed over a dossier last week. comprising homes, lands, boats and goods. It has been pointed out that the many of the sanctions will fail because over 15 percent of the lands are held by offshore firms. A decade ago the SNP government set up the land reform group to investigate the secretive foreign ownership of Scottish land. The recommendation of the LRG was to ban offshore land ownership but this was ignored by the Scottish Government
Rowling: Sturgeon’s gender reforms puts women at risk
Rowling says Sturgeon is putting vulnerable women at risk with the plan to change the gender recognition laws. The proposed changes will allow a person to change their gender after three months. Rowling says this means that men facing a custodial sentence for harming women, could potentially self declare as female and be incarcerated in a female prison
Exactly this. The law @NicolaSturgeon's trying to pass in Scotland will harm the most vulnerable women in society: those seeking help after male violence/rape and incarcerated women. Statistics show that imprisoned women are already far more likely to have been previously abused. https://t.co/LPN8cx1Vf4
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) March 5, 2022
Sturgeon: Recovery after Covid should address gender inequality
Speaking at an event to mark International Women’s Day, Sturgeon says gender equality should be at the heart of building back after the covid pandemic and praises the role that women had played in the pandemic as carers and key workers. She also says that the pandemic made some inequalities worse and vowed that addressing inequalities between men and women should be at the centre of the post covid recovery
We must learn lessons from the pandemic and work together to build a fairer country.And given the massive contribution women made to tackling the pandemic, the massive contribution women make to our society each and every day, any attempt to build a better society out of this must have gender equality absolutely at its heart.
Sturgeon: No connection between Ukraine and Scottish Independence
Sturgeon weighs into the Ukraine debate to clarify statements made by her own party members. Mike Russell SNP party president and Michelle Thompson Scottish likened Ukraine’s’ fight against their Russian invaders – to the fight for Scottish independence. When asked about this, Sturgeon said it was “overstating things”
There is no connection between a war in Ukraine and the support and campaign for independence in Scotland.What I think should unite all of us right now are some fundamental values, the values that underpin I think much of our democracy in Scotland – and certainly underpin my party and the independence movement – the commitment to democracy, freedom, the rule of international law and the value of the world coming together in solidarity. These are the values that we hold dear and these are the values that people bravely in Ukraine are standing up for in the toughest imaginable circumstances. But we should all remember right now this is about Ukraine fighting for these values and our responsibility is to do everything we can to support them.
Promises 1/2 million medical items for Ukraine
Sturgeon says she will send 500,000 medical items to Ukraine to help those “fighting a battle for democracy and freedom” against their Russian invaders. While visiting a distribution centre that was collating the items she described this as an initial consignment and said that while the conflict was ongoing she do as much as she could to support them. Predicting that the war would be “likely to be grimmer and more deadly in the weeks and months to come” she asked that the Prime Minister make it easier for fleeing Ukrainians to come to the UK. She described the UK Government as having moved in the right right direction but not far enough.
I would appeal to the Prime Minister to stop moving forward incrementally, stop having to be dragged into a better position. Follow the example of the European Union who’s opened its doors and said people from Ukraine will get entry and the right to stay for three years, follow the example of Ireland as they drop visa requirements, open the doors of the UK to people fleeing this horror in Ukraine and sort the paperwork later.That’s the humanitarian thing to do, it’s what we need to do to give life to the words of support that everybody is articulating right now. But it’s also the practical and necessary thing to do.I don’t think any of us has properly grasped the magnitude of the population displacement that is going to come from this war.
She also said that the donation of so many medical items would not mean that the Scottish NHS would go without.
Sturgeon: waive visa for Ukrainian refugees
Sturgeon asks the Home Office to review its immigration policy to allow Ukranians fleeing war to enter the UK without a visa, calling for them to be given asylum first and their paperwork be processed after. She also called the existing Home office immigration policy “inhumane ind indefensible”, comparing UK policy with the Republic of Ireland who had completely done away with any visa requirement for entry in response to the situation in Ukraine.
🇺🇦 The @ukhomeoffice must immediately lift visa requirements for any Ukrainian seeking refuge here. Give entry now on humanitarian grounds & sort paperwork later. Ireland has already enacted such an approach. Continued application of an inhumane UK immigration system indefensible https://t.co/qrJtGHrTnz
— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) February 27, 2022
Sturgeon calls for RT UK Ban
Sturgeon says she is appalled that Alex Salmond continues to work for a Russian State television company RT and has asked that Ofcom revoke RT’s licence so that they are prevented from broadcasting in the UK
It’s a matter for Ofcom, but I do think there is now a very serious question about whether RT should continue to have a broadcast here in Scotland.And I would certainly encourage Ofcom to look at that very, very seriously and closely indeed.I’m appalled at Alex Salmond’s continued involvement with RT, I don’t think it’s any secret now that I don’t think he should ever have had a television show on RT, but it is even more unthinkable now that that should continue.
Sturgeon: Covid tests to remain free
Sturgeon says that even though free Covid tests will end in England on 1st April, they will remain free to users in Scotland. She was unable to confirm how they would be paid for though. She expressed “frustration at the position of the UK Government”, who she said may reject calls for extra money and “demand instead that funding is taken from elsewhere in the health budget”.
We consider it important – in line with the principle of healthcare free at the point of use – that they should remain free of charge for any circumstance in which government recommends testing.
Announces end of mask requirements
Sturgeon says masks will cease to be a legal requirement in Scotland after 21st March but she “strongly encourages” people to continue to wear them in public. She also added that should another dangerous new variant arise then restrictions could be reimposed.
As of March 21 – assuming no significant adverse developments in the course of the virus – we expect that the legal requirement to wear face coverings in certain indoor settings and on public transport will be converted to guidance. However, we will continue to strongly recommend the wearing of face coverings in shops and other indoor public places, and on public transport. We also expect on March 21 to lift the legal requirement for businesses, places of worship and service providers to have regard to Scottish government guidance on covid, and to take reasonably practicable measures set out in the guidance. The Scottish Government will adopt three threat risk levels that could see restrictions reimposed
Congratulates Women’s GB Curling team
Sturgeon congratulates the British Women’s curling team as they win a gold medal in the Beijing Winter Olympics.
Such an amazing achievement @Team_Muirhead #TeamGB – congratulations on Olympic 🥇 https://t.co/W8jFZqEvRr
— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) February 20, 2022
Says post-independence pensions a ‘matter of negotiation’
Sturgeon has says the English and Scottish governments would negotiate pension liabilities at the point of independence but other senior members of her party have given different views on how this will be handled. The Blueprint for Scottish Independence, which was written before the 2014 referendum, said after independence the responsibility for paying out to Scottish pensioners would be held by the Scottish Government.
There are assets and liabilities, including pensions, that of course will be subject to negotiation when Scotland becomes independent. On an ongoing basis it will be for the Scottish Government to fund Scottish pensions, but in terms of how we take account of historic assets and liabilities, that will be a matter of negotiation.
In response to the argument that pensions are paid out of current taxes rather than out of national insurance contributions:
You might want to look at the Fraser of Allander comments on this just recently when they talk about the fact that access to pensions in the UK is not based on citizenship, it is based on National Insurance contributions.
Says independent Scotland would fund pensions
Sturgeon says an independent Scotland would fund Scottish pensions.
On an ongoing basis it will be for the Scottish Government to fund Scottish pensions.
Nicola Sturgeon says SNP's position on pensions 'hasn't changed' since 2014.
First Minister accepts 'on an ongoing basis it will be for the Scottish Government to fund Scottish pensions'.
However, she says 'historic assets and liabilities' will be a 'matter for negotiation' pic.twitter.com/8qZU9Nf00m
— Representing Border (@ITVBorderRB) February 9, 2022
Comments on Fire Service use of Nalaxone, drug deaths
While visiting a community fire station in Bathgate, Sturgeon comments on an announcment by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service that firefighters are to start carrying Nalaxonespray which can reverse the effects of an opiod overdose.
[Nalaxone] is a part of the overall approach we have taken to reduce the unacceptable toll that drugs have taken in Scotland and the number of deaths that are caused by drugs. We already have naloxone being used by the police (and) by the ambulance service. The Fire and Rescue Service initiative is an important addition to that. Of course, ultimately, we want to see naloxone kits widely available to people, to families of people who are drug users, for example, because it’s easy to administer and it can be the difference between life and death.
I want to see a significant reduction in the lives that are lost and are wasted to drugs, but we recognise it’s going to take time. What we have seen in recent years in Scotland in the form of drugs deaths is not acceptable. It’s not acceptable to me, to the Government and it shouldn’t be acceptable to anybody across the country so we are determined to turn that around.
Sturgeon hired Godley despite Yousaf ‘divisive’ warning
A freedom of information response shows Sturgeon approved Godley’s £10,000 Covid commercial fee, despite Yousaf raising concerns. On August 30, Mr Yousaf’s private secretary emailed the First Minister’s Office to say that My Yousaf felt using Ms Godley could “be divisive” and “there may be many people who purposely switch off if she is fronting it”. Yousaf wanted an unnamed male celebrity to front the public health campaign instead as he would “be a better candidate, given his broader appeal”. Sturgeon’s office replied:
FM (First Minister) is content to clear but agrees with Cab Sec comments. FM is very supportive of Janey Godley and she has been hugely helpful to our Covid messaging but she is perceived to be on one side of the political debate in Scotland and so may not speak to the maximum number of people.
Sturgeon: Johnson should resign, says she nearly resigned
In an interview with Sky Sturgeon says that she had considered quitting her job last year whilst she was being investigated for breaching the ministerial code. She said that the position of First minister like that of Prime Minister was a privilege not something to be taken for granted and where you are found to have broken the standards required of the job, you have to be willing to step aside.
My own personal experience this time last year – I was being accused in a completely different context, of having breached the ministerial code. I should say I was found by an independent adviser, and in an independent report, not to have breached the ministerial code. But when that was ongoing, I had within myself to ask myself some serious questions and I had came to the conclusion in my mind, that had I been deemed to have breached the ministerial code – I didn’t think I had – but if an independent person had said I had, then in the interest of the office I hold and in the interest of the country, I at that point would have resigned.I’m sure it would have been really difficult and I’m glad that didn’t come to pass. But these responsibilities are heavy responsibilities, and they require all of us in these offices to contemplate things that perhaps others might think is difficult to imagine.
She also says Boris Johnson should resign.
I think if Boris Johnson has decency and integrity, however difficult it may be, he will reach the conclusion that the time is right for him to step aside.
Omicron: ‘We are now through the worst’
Sturgeon says that Scotland is over the worst of the Omicron pandemic. Daily infections and hospitalisations are continuing to fall and she will look at lessening restrictions after the 22nd February. This has led to the lifting of nearly all the additional restrictions that were put in place in December but the requirement for face masks and vaccine passports will remain, subject to review later in February
We are now through the worst of this wave of Omicron. We are on a good track at this state. To stay on this track, continued care and caution is needed. After almost two years of this ordeal, I know getting back to normal for short periods followed by further disruption to our lives, is not what any of us want. A return to normal that is sustained is what we want and are striving for. That is what the updated Strategic Framework will be aiming to support
Scotland has 26 cases of BA.2 variant
Sturgeon says a new variant of Covid-19, known as BA.2, that is thought to be more transmissible than the highly contagious Omicron variant has infected at least 26 people in Scotland. She says there is no evidence it is more dangerous than well-known strains of the disease.
BA.2 does appear to have the ability to outrun the main Omicron variant, which may indicate that it is more transmissible. Investigations into this are ongoing both in the UK and in other countries like Denmark where the subvariant has been circulating for longer. At the moment this BA.2 subvariant is not a cause for any alarm nor a cause to change our approach but it does warrant further study. It is also a reminder that the course of this pandemic or any pandemic, indeed, does remain uncertain.
Sturgeon: Rovers ‘must reflect’ on Goodwillie signing
Sturgeon comments on Goodwillie’s signing:
I think the statement Raith Rovers issued last night actually compounded the problem…what they effectively seemed to be saying is that it didn’t matter how a man had behaved towards a woman, the only thing that mattered to them was whether he could score goals for the football club. That really illustrates the distance we’ve still got to go as a society if our rhetoric about zero tolerance of sexual violence against women is to be a reality. Football players are role models and football clubs have a responsibility to make sure they are positive role models for the wee boys and the wee girls who look up to them. This is a player who was found in a civil court, albiet on the balance of probablities, to have raped a woman and as far as I’m aware, hasn’t shown any remorse or reflection for that and I think Raith Rovers really do have to reflect on the message that sends.
🗣 “Football clubs have a responsibility to make sure players are positive role models for the wee boys and wee girls who look up to them.”
First Minister @NicolaSturgeon is again urging Raith Rovers to rethink the decision to sign David Goodwillie. pic.twitter.com/gZsB9mH9PF
— Radio Clyde News (@RadioClydeNews) February 2, 2022
Praises Loganair on 60th anniversary
Sturgeon praises Loganair on the company’s 60th anniversary.
For six decades now, Loganair, the oldest name in UK airlines, has made an exceptional contribution to the Scottish economy. Since 1962, the airline has helped keep the country moving, ensuring that people across Scotland are connected – particularly those living in and visiting our most remote communities. The importance of that has never been clearer than during the pandemic as the airline continued to operate, transporting patients, tests and equipment across Scotland and beyond. Loganair’s leadership in the net zero transition is also hugely appreciated and it should help ensure a very bright future for Scotland’s airline.