Nicola Sturgeon is continuing her campaign for a second referendum on Scottish independence – more than five years after the country voted 55 percent to 45 percent in favour of remaining in the UK. Ms Sturgeon has argued the SNP’s gains at last month’s general election, – which saw the party increase its number of seats by 13 to 48 – means it now has a mandate to hold Indyref2 this year. But Boris Johnson is refusing to bow to her demands, and earlier this week wrote to the SNP leader highlighting how the party had previously promised that a referendum had been a “once-in-a-generation event”.
Despite their overriding success in the general election, the performance of the SNP Government and Ms Sturgeon as the party’s leader have come under attack.
David Duguid, who held off SNP candidate Paul Robertson to keep his seat in the constituency of Banff & Buchan in north east Scotland, raged the ruling Government’s polling success is masking glaring failures.
He told Express.co.uk: “On an electoral level, there is no denying that the SNP has been very successful, but their record in government is nothing short of abysmal.
“Nicola Sturgeon has ignored and neglected the day job for far too long.
“A number of SNP candidates stated during the election campaign that a vote for them would NOT be taken as a vote for independence.”
Mr Duguid added: “There is nowhere near enough scrutiny of the SNP’s failures in Government and when there is, Nationalist MPs and MSPs including Nicola Sturgeon blame it all on Westminster.”
Scotland’s First Minister has come under increasing pressure over the country’s declining education system in particular, which shows no immediate sign of improving, and recently saw pupils fall behind those in England on core areas such as science, maths and reading.
According to Dr. Steve McCabe, associate professor and senior fellow at the Centre for Brexit Studies at Birmingham City University, Lindsay Paterson, professor of education at Edinburgh University, recently claimed the educational system in Scotland is “stagnating in mediocrity”.
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He added Economic growth was just 0.3 percent in the third quarter of 2019, increasing the difficulty of attracting new investors and enterprises that would help the economy recover and provide thousands of jobs for future generations.
Patrick Sullivan founder and chief executive of Westminster think tank Parliament Street, warned described Ms Sturgeon’s SNP Government as having a “miserable track record”.
He told this website: “In terms of what has actually been achieved from a policy perspective, the SNP has a miserable track record.”
“The Scottish Government ditched its planned education bill to collaborate with councils and teaching bodies on a so called headteachers ‘charter and new devolved school management guidelines.
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“These things are minor in comparison to actually having enough teachers alongside solid funding and a well thought out curriculum.”
Dr McCabe told Express.co.uk: “The SNP wish to be judged as a party that can create a ‘free’ Scotland.
“But for the majority of people what matters most are the things they experience on a daily basis and ensuring that their children can look forward to a better future.”
During First Minister’s Questions in Holyrood on Thursday, Ms Sturgeon faced questioning after accusing interim Scottish Conservative leader Jackson Carlow of not accepting positive reports on the Scottish educational system.
Mr Carlow warned the First Minister against attempting to “whitewash” an upcoming review of education standards in Scotland.
The First Minister rejected the accusation, pointing out the review would be carried out by the independent Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) rather than the Scottish Government.
The First Minister has been challenged repeatedly on education standards, particularly after the latest education report in December showed England outstripping Scotland in the core subjects of reading, maths and science.