Holyrood election 2021: Key factors from first BBC debate – NewsEverything Scotland

Tonight, leaders from Scotland’s 5 largest political events confronted off for the primary time on this yr’s election marketing campaign.

Nicola Sturgeon, Anas Sarwar, Douglas Ross, Lorna Slater and Willie Rennie went face to face within the leaders’ debate, broadcast reside on the BBC, on Tuesday night.

We introduced you reside updates and response through the debate – and we have run down the important thing matters mentioned all through the night.

Independence focus

The prospect of a second independence referendum dominated the start of the controversy this night, with the primary few viewers questions targeted on the structure. 

Nicola Sturgeon was requested if her focus was on Covid restoration or a second referendum.

She mentioned that she is going to proceed to give attention to the pandemic, and added that the “hazard is we take the fallacious selections”.

Douglas Ross insisted: “We will’t have a restoration and a referendum.”

HeraldScotland: Pro-independence supporters march through Edinburgh, during the All Under One Banner march. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday October 6, 2018. Photo credit should read: Jane Barlow/PA Wire.

Anas Sarwar mentioned he wished to “give attention to what unites us as a rustic, not what divides us”.

Willie Rennie mentioned: “That is not the second for an additional referendum. We have to put the division behind us and convey the nation collectively.”

And Lorna Slater, in the meantime, mentioned the coronavirus pandemic had proven the economic system had been based mostly on low wages and insecure work, and that “we should not return to this damaged system.”


The leaders had been requested if the events have a sensible plan for clearing the backlog of appointments.

Anas Sarwar mentioned that an NHS restart plan needed to be on the centre of a Covid restoration plan.

Douglas Ross mentioned that the SNP are “not targeted” on making enhancements within the NHS, and mentioned there have been points “lengthy earlier than the pandemic hit”.


Willie Rennie mentioned that “it is not going to be a fast repair” however says that funding is required to make sure companies can enhance.

Lorna Slater mentioned that Boris Johnson “could not discover the cash” to provide NHS employees a bigger pay rise.

And Nicola Sturgeon mentioned that 5 years in the past, she dedicated to investing £500 million into the NHS over the lifetime of the parliament – and that there are six everlasting elective centres deliberate for Scotland.

The timing of a second independence referendum

Ms Sturgeon confirmed she would desire a second vote on Scottish independence to happen within the first half of the following five-year Holyrood time period “assuming the disaster has handed”.

Lorna Slater of the Scottish Greens mentioned her occasion would decide to a referendum happening within the subsequent Holyrood time period in its manifesto.

She mentioned: “Across the room we hear people who find themselves in favour of the union not really arguing for the union, however as an alternative arguing that the individuals of Scotland shouldn’t have the best to decide on.”

She added: “The Scottish Greens would assist a referendum on this time period of parliament as a result of we predict selections about Scotland needs to be made by the Scottish individuals.”

However Scottish Tory chief Douglas Ross highlighted the coronavirus vaccination programme as being one of many strengths of the UK.

HeraldScotland: This is why the time for new parties is after an independence referendum

With greater than half of all Scottish adults having had their first dose of the vaccination, he mentioned: “That’s the union working, the UK getting the vaccines which might be delivered by our NHS workers, our British armed forces and volunteers. That’s the union working for individuals proper now.”

Anas Sarwar wished that Ms Sturgeon has a “blind spot” relating to the structure. He mentioned that she ought to put as a lot give attention to baby poverty as she does on the structure.

And Willie Rennie agrees with Mr Sarwar, warning the independence debate “goes to be bitter, it may be divided, it may final years”.

Common Primary Earnings

An viewers member requested if the occasion leaders supported Common Primary earnings. Celebration leaders had been requested to reply in a brief reply by host Sarah Smith.

Nicola Sturgeon: Sure, it has been trialled in sure areas however present powers.

Douglas Ross: No

Lorna Slater: Dedicated to working in direction of it

Willie Rennie: Sure, we argued for it through the pandemic

Anas Sarwar: Sure, we assist trials of it and the pandemic was alternative


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