NICOLA Sturgeon has told Douglas Ross that he is set to feel the “full force” of public anger from voters at the council elections after the Tory leader accused the First Minister of “weasel words” on the ferries scandal.
The Scottish Tory leader continued to press Sturgeon over the CalMac ferries controversy, saying she hasn’t given Scots the “apology they deserve”.
But the First Minister said she will “not apologise” for what she said was a decision that allowed 400 jobs to continue at the Clyde.
During First Minister’s Questions, Douglas said: “Quarter of a billion pounds of taxpayers’ money has been spent and not a single ferry built.
“The crucial document detailing why this awful decision was made has disappeared/ but all we hear from Nicola Sturgeon is this is ‘regrettable’.
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“First Minister, when you suggested chopping off the bottom of classroom doors that was regrettable. wasting a quarter of a billion pounds is much, much worse.
“First Minister, do you understand how angry it makes the public to use weasel words like ‘regrettable’ rather than giving them the apology they deserve?”
Sturgeon responded, saying: “I know there’s a lot of anger across Scotland right now. I’m not sure it’s for the reason Douglas Ross has raised today and I expect he’ll feel that tomorrow.”
WATCH as Nicola Sturgeon tells Douglas Ross he will feel the ‘full force’ of the public’s anger at the Tories after tomorrow’s local council elections pic.twitter.com/nAdG7j5QLE
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The First Minister defended her government’s record on the ferry contract awarded to Ferguson Marine.
She said: “I will not apologise for a decision that allowed the last commercial shipbuilder on the Clyde to continue in business, that allows 400 workers to be employed there today, supporting their families and I will not apologise for investment in new ferries because the yard the Government is focused on ensuring that these ferries are completed as part of our overall investment in Scotland’s ferry network.
“I’ll always take responsibility when things don’t go right but I’ll continue to act in a way that is in the interests of this country overall and of course tomorrow people have an opportunity to cast their verdict on all of that. ”
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It comes just a day before the Scottish council elections, with polls showing the Tours are likely to be pushed into third place by Labor.
That SavantaComres survey revealed that 56% of Scots thought his U-turn was wrong, including 21% of Tory voters. Some 39% of Scots said the U-turn made them feel worse about Ross as leader, with 37% saying it made them less likely to vote for the Scottish Conservatives.