Published On: Thu, Sep 12th, 2019

SNP’s Nicola Sturgeon savaged in fiery First Minister’s Questions – ‘People are angry!’ | UK | News

Mr Leonard hit out at the First Minister and Health Secretary after the new children’s hospital in Edinburgh delayed its opening until Autumn 2020 when a number of issues were found. The leader of the Scottish Labour Party outlined Audit Scotland want to do an inquiry into the “failure of governance and government”. The Parliament then erupted with applause as Ms Sturgeon explained circumstances surrounding the project had changed meaning they were unable to open the hospital.

Mr Leonard said: “Yesterday the Cabinet Secretary of health was forced to come to this Parliament to admit that this major facility of strategic influence will not now open until Autumn 2020.

“The Cabinet Secretary was wrong in her response that the hospital would open in July.

“Does the First Minister also accept that the Cabinet Minister was wrong in dismissing the wider issues of hospital building and procurement?”

Ms Sturgeon said: “Nobody is dismissing any of these serious issues. In terms of the Cabinet Secretary’s statement to Parliament in June – at that point it was a firm expectation that the hospital would open in July.

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“All of the issues that has previously been identified had been resolved.”

Mr Leonard added: “This is a hospital that was already way over timetabled. Does the First Minister not understand how angry people are about this?

“We’re got a children’s hospital in Edinburgh that can’t open its doors and we were reminded on the weekend we have a hospital in Glasgow built by the same contractor that has been closing its doors to a children’s cancer ward.

“Audit Scotland is saying there needs to be a review of whole project contracting to help with preventative and reactive measures.

He said while the system is already under stress, people are looking to see how the interests of Scotland are being carried forward in the Brexit enterprise.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Mr Rycroft said: “Let me give you one very straightforward example agriculture is a devolved subject matter, how farmers are supported will be for the individual governments of the UK.

“Now let’s say the Scottish Government is subsidising sheep on the hills of the borders, those sheep are sold into the same market as sheep that come off the hills of Cumbria.

“If the Scottish Government is given bigger subsidies that would put the Cumbrian farmers at a disadvantage.The same thing, of course, applies the other way around.

“Another example, food labelling requirements. If the Scottish Government goes down a different track on food labelling that would require manufacturers to produce different labels for supermarkets north of the border compared to the south.

“These things would disrupt the internal market of the UK.”

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