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Moray MP Douglas Ross reacts to Humza Yousaf leadership win

By Lewis McBlane

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AFTER Humza Yousaf was announced as SNP leader, Moray MP Douglas Ross criticised his record on Moray's big issues.

Humza Yousaf (left) is the new SNP leader but Douglas Ross says the SNP has "neglected" Moray.
Humza Yousaf (left) is the new SNP leader but Douglas Ross says the SNP has "neglected" Moray.

Mr Ross attacked Mr Yousaf's response to Moray maternity services, centralisation, A96 dualling, local government funding and more.

Mr Yousaf won 26,052 votes, 52.1 per cent of the total, while runner-up Kate Forbes received 23,890 votes, 47.9 per cent, in the vote's second round.

Fellow contender Ash Regan was eliminated in the first round.

Moray MP Douglas Ross said he will take on Mr Yousaf "when he lets the people of Moray down".

He said: “I congratulate Humza Yousaf on his election and becoming the first leader of his party from an ethnic minority.

“I hope he will truly govern for all of Scotland – including the communities I represent in Moray – rather than relentlessly pushing his obsession with independence.

“As the local MP, as well as being leader of Scotland’s main opposition party, I will be holding Humza Yousaf to account when he lets the people of Moray down."

As Health Secretary, Mr Yousaf visited Dr Gray's Hospital in Elgin as part of his response to the ongoing maternity crisis.

He recently announced £6.6 million of funding to restore a consultant-led maternity service at Dr Gray's by 2026.

Mr Ross said the new SNP leader, expected to become First Minister after a Scottish Parliament vote, had to "finally show the ambition" to bring back a consultant led service "as quickly as possible".

He also drew on his own experience of the maternity services, when his wife was forced to undergo a last-minute transfer to Aberdeen during the birth of his second child.

“As health secretary, he has been in charge while maternity services at Dr Gray’s continue to be downgraded, which has directly impacted myself and my family," Mr Ross said.

"As First Minister, he must finally show the ambition to restore full, consultant-led, maternity services in Elgin as quickly as possible."

Issues including centralisation, A96 dualling, broadband delays, agriculture and local government funding show that the SNP has not bee "on the side of Moray", according to Mr Ross.

He said: “There is an onus on Humza Yousaf to move away from the centralising agenda of the SNP Government he’s been at the heart of for over a decade and stop neglecting the needs of our rural and remote communities in Moray.

“From rowing back on the commitment to dual the A96, to their failure to rollout superfast broadband, not giving our farmers clarity over their future and savagely cutting Moray Council’s budget year after year, this is a SNP Government that has not been on the side of Moray.

“The election of Humza Yousaf shows that the SNP Government are moving further and further away from the priorities of the people of Moray and focused only on their push for another divisive referendum.

"Alongside my Scottish Conservative colleagues, I will continue to focus on the issues that really matter to our constituents.”

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