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SNP leadership nominations to close as Ash Regan joins race to succeed Nicola Sturgeon – UK politics live


SNP leadership nominations to close

Ash Regan is joining the race to succeed Nicola Sturgeon today. Assuming no one else decides to jump in before nominations close at midday, she will be facing Kate Forbes and Humza Yousaf, who are also running for the party’s leadership.

The Edinburgh Eastern MSP has the support of about 7% of SNP voters as the race starts, according to a poll released on Friday. As she launches her campaign, she gas intimated she wants to let groups who worked for the wider Yes movement in the run-up to 2014 take the lead on independence, while the Scottish government focuses on running the country.

She has accused her colleagues in the SNP of failing to listen to such groups.

Also today, the defence secretary, Ben Wallace, has said the UK will not directly supply Ukraine with its Typhoon fighter jets because their complexity and the lack of training among Ukrainian forces would also require the deployment of a large number of RAF ground crew to the warzone; a step the UK is not willing to take.

Instead, he has said, Britain could offer air cover for eastern European nations who want to provide aircraft the Ukrainian forces are already trained to operate and maintain.

Key events

Regan has become more outspoken in her opposition to the party’s leadership in recent months, following her resignation in opposition to gender reforms, with her most high-profile backer Joanna Cherry calling for party chief executive Peter Murrell – who is Nicola Sturgeon’s husband – to quit.

Regan has said she will seek to reset relations between the SNP groups at Westminster and Holyrood as leader, attending meetings at the House of Commons and allowing MPs to do the same in Edinburgh.

We need to adopt a far more collegiate approach and deploy all of the talents we have at our disposal properly by appointing the best people to the jobs that best suit their abilities.

Regan would not be drawn on cabinet positions for her rivals during her Herald interview, but described fellow candidate Forbes as one of the SNP’s “top talents”, adding:

If I’m elected to serve, there will be some very important jobs up for grabs in my government, and I want to ensure that only the very best people get them, irrespective of whether I agree with them on everything.

We have to have the very best people advising us, even if they don’t back independence. What’s important is that they have the gifts and the desire to help us make Scotland better.

She has also restated her position of dropping any potential legal action against the UK government over its blocking of the Gender Recognition Reforms (Scotland) Bill, saying she will not be “wasting any more time” on a court battle that is unlikely to be won.

The SNP has “dismantled” the yes movement since the independence referendum, the leadership candidate Ash Regan has said.

Speaking to the Herald, the former community safety minister hit out at the party’s current leadership, saying she will return the independence movement “back to the people”. Regan launches her campaign on Friday. She has told the paper:

In recent years, the wider yes movement has become marginalised in the fight for independence. If elected, I intend to change that.

As a party, I don’t think we’ve listened enough to the groups who got us here. I know these people, because I campaigned side-by-side with them throughout the first referendum. The party has effectively dismantled the yes campaign, but I want to reconstitute it once more.

It’s also important that we get on with the business of governing on the day-to-day issues affecting all of the people of Scotland.

And, as much as possible, allow some of the groups who did amazing work for the yes cause in 2013 and 2014 to do what they did so well back then. I want to get the band back together, if you like.

SNP leadership nominations to close

Ash Regan is joining the race to succeed Nicola Sturgeon today. Assuming no one else decides to jump in before nominations close at midday, she will be facing Kate Forbes and Humza Yousaf, who are also running for the party’s leadership.

The Edinburgh Eastern MSP has the support of about 7% of SNP voters as the race starts, according to a poll released on Friday. As she launches her campaign, she gas intimated she wants to let groups who worked for the wider Yes movement in the run-up to 2014 take the lead on independence, while the Scottish government focuses on running the country.

She has accused her colleagues in the SNP of failing to listen to such groups.

Also today, the defence secretary, Ben Wallace, has said the UK will not directly supply Ukraine with its Typhoon fighter jets because their complexity and the lack of training among Ukrainian forces would also require the deployment of a large number of RAF ground crew to the warzone; a step the UK is not willing to take.

Instead, he has said, Britain could offer air cover for eastern European nations who want to provide aircraft the Ukrainian forces are already trained to operate and maintain.



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