Cole-Hamilton to Humza Yousaf: Your actions have eroded any trust you had

Scottish Lib Dem Leader Alex Cole-Hamilton has declined to help Scotland’s beleaguered First Minister Humza Yousaf.

We need to remember that Yousaf’s predicament is entirely of his own making. He would not be facing a confidence vote this week had he not unceremoniously handed the Greens their jotters and booted them out of the Government on Thursday this morning, just two days after saying they were worth their weight in gold.

Alex understandably responded to Yousaf’s invitation to talks by asking him how on earth he could expect anyone to trust a word he said, given the way he had acted.

He also then outlined a few of the biggest failures of the Scottish Government before saying that the best solution would be for the First Minister to resign and for there to be a Scottish election. Here’s the text of his letter in full:


Dear First Minister,

Thank you for your letter. Scottish Liberal Democrats have always believed in working together in the national interest and building consensus across all political traditions. Our history speaks to that and we will continue to do so in the change that is coming for Scotland. However, I have decided to decline your offer of talks at Bute House.

Successful minority administration must be rooted in compromise and a spirit of mutual trust with other parties. However, your actions this past week have eroded entirely any remaining trust that you enjoyed across the chamber. They suggest that rather than being motivated by the national interest, you are presently motivated only by your own self-interest and by political survival.

After 17 years in power it is clear that your government’s priorities are not the people’s priorities. People can’t get a doctor’s appointment or see an NHS dentist; our schools are tumbling down the international rankings and you have abandoned Scotland’s climate targets. You have made life harder for business and islanders still don’t have the lifeline ferries they so desperately need.

Yet still, you spend an unforgiveable amount of ministerial attention and public money on fomenting constitutional division.

Put simply, you have run out of road. It’s time to put the national interest first, resign the office of First Minister and call a Scottish Parliamentary Election so that the people of Scotland can determine the future of both our Parliament and our country.

Yours sincerely

Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP

Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats


* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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This entry was posted in News.


  • Jack Nicholls 28th Apr '24 - 5:20pm

    It’s not the most important point here I grant you, but can we please not fall into the habit of using the appallingly lazy phrase ‘the people’s priorities’ – it is both collectivist and populist. Anything you can find both in hard-left tropes and patronising Sunak soundbites should be nowhere near a radical liberal party. ACH, for whom I have considerable respect, has (admittedly in common with the rest of Scottish politics) lowered himself this week to rhetoric that is below his usual high standard. I hope it’s a trend that ends soon.

    Thank you for the write up Caron.

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