Politics

First Minister denies avoiding press at marketing campaign launch


NICOLA Sturgeon has rejected accusations of Donald Trump-like “arrogance and cowardice” for not inviting print media to the SNP’s native authorities marketing campaign launch. 

The First Minister was on the People’s Pantry in Govanhill in her Glasgow Southside constituency this morning to induce voters to “send a message to Boris Johnson” at subsequent month’s election.

However, the social gathering solely invited the BBC and Bauer, saying house was restricted as they had been launching the marketing campaign “with a cost of living visit rather than a typical launch event”. 

Opposition events accused the First Minister of hiding from scrutiny with a “media blackout”.

Scottish Liberal Democrat chief Alex Cole-Hamilton described the choice as a ” remarkable display of both arrogance and cowardice from the First Minister.” 

“It feels more like the scrutiny dodging antics of Donald Trump than the actions of a leader at ease with her government’s record,” he added.

READ MORE: Sturgeon accused of dodging scrutiny as SNP exclude media from election launch

Despite not being invited, reporters from The Herald and The Scottish Sun attended the social gathering’s launch and got a while to ask the First Minister questions. 

When Mr Cole-Hamilton’s accusation was put to Ms Sturgeon, she mentioned it didn’t stand as much as scrutiny. 

“I do not suppose any of that’s true. Because of the tightness of the house in there, we did not invite folks in there as a result of there’s restricted house, however it is a public pathway, you’re right here. So clearly, I’m not avoiding the press.

“I feel in all probability in case you return during the last couple of years, specifically, I’ll have answered extra questions from the press than every other politician within the entirety of the UK, which is correct as a result of that is my job. 

“So this is not our manifesto launch as I saw a lot of journalists allege this morning that it was, our manifesto launches next week when you will be welcome to attend. I’ll be doing the Glasgow manifesto launch tomorrow, which I think press are welcome to attend. So it just doesn’t be any real scrutiny.”

When it was put to right here that we weren’t invited and needed to observe down the situation of the occasion, the First Minister mentioned: “You’ve clearly received a lot of initiative. You see this tightness of house in there. That’s why it wasn’t an open invitation to everyone as a result of it would not have been potential. 

“I did an event this time last week in Queen Street Station, lots of space, where the print media were given an open invitation to come, very few turned up. There is plenty of access to me and I think people standing here, I think I must have spoken to you probably more over the last couple of years, albeit on Zoom, than I’ve spoken to some members of my own family.” 

When it was put to her that she didn’t need reporters to be there or ask questions and that the social gathering had chosen a small venue to launch their marketing campaign, the First Minister replied: “If you suppose that is an inappropriate place for me to come back and launch a council marketing campaign, given the price of dwelling disaster, a meals pantry serving to individuals who cannot afford to feed their youngsters, properly I’m sorry, I simply disagree with you on that. 

“And it’s a small house. We provided a pool facility due to the smallness of the house. So it wasn’t that we weren’t ready to take questions. The broadcast media have simply given me a tricky line of questioning, they did it on a pool foundation due to the smallness of the house. So that isn’t a totally exceptional factor. 

“It wasn’t that there wasn’t any opportunity to ask questions, it was being done on a basis to take account of the tightness of the space. I’m standing here, I’m happy to answer any questions you want to ask me. And it just seems to me a bit odd that you asked me questions about not answering your questions and I’m standing here saying ask me questions.”

The First Minister mentioned the social gathering wasn’t taking the election as a right: “The last few years for everybody have been really difficult and I think SNP councils have shown strong leadership. That’s not to say there are not issues that councils are facing and grappling with. I’m an MSP here in the Southside of Glasgow, I know what those issues are. But I think the SNP is the right party to continue to lead Glasgow and that’s the case I’ll be making over the next few weeks.”

Ms Sturgeon additionally defended her social gathering’s name to make use of the council elections to ship a message to Boris Johnson’s authorities in London, regardless of the SNP being the biggest social gathering in Scottish native authorities. 

“I feel this election is a council election. It’s about native providers, native management, I feel it’s about the price of dwelling disaster. We’re dwelling by way of occasions proper now which might be extra severe when it comes to folks’s capacity to feed their youngsters and warmth their properties most of us have ever skilled.

“The Scottish Government working with councils will proceed to do all we are able to. In Scotland in contrast to different components of the UK, folks do not pay prescription costs they do not pay for eye assessments, they usually do not pay for college training apart from by way of taxation.

“We have decrease on common council tax payments, water payments, rail fears, we have simply doubled the Scottish little one fee, we’re mitigating the bed room tax, supporting the Scottish welfare fund. 

“So we’re doing everything we can and we’ll continue to do that within the powers and resources we have. But most of those powers are held at UK government level and most of the resources are controlled at UK government level and Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak are out of touch with this and are not doing nearly enough and therefore there is an opportunity for people to send that message loudly and clearly.” 

She added: “I’ve simply been in there at a meals pantry that’s catering for individuals who actually cannot feed their youngsters. Boris Johnson holds a lot of the levers right here to assist and subsequently I feel each election is a chance to ship a message to folks in energy.

“People will select to try this for individuals who maintain energy at native stage, they will select to try this in the event that they need to the Scottish Government, however they have the chance as properly to try this to Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak who usually are not doing something to assist folks proper now, with the worst price of dwelling disaster that we have ever confronted.”

The streets outdoors the marketing campaign launch had been strewn with litter, with a fly-tipped fridge on the pavement reverse.

HeraldScotland:

When requested in regards to the state of the town after 5 years of an SNP administration, Ms Sturgeon mentioned: “I symbolize this space I do know these points are necessary. But I additionally know that you will notice cleaning staff doing a improbable job cleansing up this garbage frequently. 

“So councils everywhere are dealing with difficult situations. If you take the situation in Scotland, our budget at Scottish Government level in this financial year has been reduced by 5 per cent in real terms. The decisions we’ve made has resulted in around a 6 per cent real terms increase in the total local government funding settlement. So we’re prioritising local services and we’ll continue to work with councils to do that.”

Ms Sturgeon additionally accused Labour chief Anas Sarwar of sexism, after he described Glasgow City Council chief Susan Aitken as a “Nicola Sturgeon puppet” at his social gathering’s manifesto launch. 

The remark was, she mentioned, “a bit sexist.”

“She’s no one’s puppet. I’ve identified Susan Aitken for an extended, very long time. I simply suppose that is infantile,” Ms Sturgeon added.

Responding to the SNP marketing campaign launch, Scottish Labour Deputy Leader Jackie Baillie mentioned the First Minister can’t “pretend she isn’t responsible for part of this cost of living crisis.”

Ms Baillie added: “She talks about sending a message, however beneath her authorities fewer Scots can afford their messages than ever earlier than. 

“The SNP have been in authorities for 15 years – they’re placing up water payments and elevating prepare fares.  

“They’ve did not again a windfall tax on oil and gasoline corporations making £44,000 in revenue from rising vitality payments a minute.  

“Nicola Sturgeon needs voters to ship a message to the folks accountable  for this disaster.  

“They should – by abandoning the SNP and Tories and voting Labour on the 5th of May.”  




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