Green MSP bursts into tears on BBC radio at Yousaf ending Bute House agreement

Gillian Mackay, MSP for Central Scotland said Mr Yousaf’s decision is ‘one of the worst pieces of political judgment’ she has ever witnessed.

Ryan McDougall
Friday 26 April 2024 19:13 BST
Scottish Green MSP Gillian Mackay (Jane Barlow/PA)
Scottish Green MSP Gillian Mackay (Jane Barlow/PA) (PA Wire)

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas


A Scottish Green Party MSP has broken down in tears on BBC Radio Scotland following the First Minister’s decision to end the Bute House Agreement.

Gillian Mackay, MSP for Central Scotland, spoke on the 5.10pm BBC Scotland Drivetime Radio show on Friday with host John Beattie, where she said Humza Yousaf’s reason to end the two-and-a-half year agreement was “as clear as mud”.

She told the host the First Minister was “essentially saying you’re dumped but can we still be friends” and that she does not know “that this holds water, especially for someone who is supposed to be leading the country”.

She added: “Humza has done this to himself in removing us from government… There is a lot of hurt and upset around.”

Host Mr Beattie asked her if an apology from Mr Yousaf would be welcome.

She replied: “I think it’s a bit late for that. He needs a time machine to go back and undo the decision he made yesterday morning.

“There is still no logical reason coming from the First Minister as to why he made that decision.

“He has shot himself in the foot; now saying he wants to collaborate with everyone on an issue-by-issue basis and thinks we are all game playing around votes of no confidence.

“He had an agreement that protected ministers from votes of no confidence, he ended that. His argument that the agreement has run its course which is as clear as mud.”

When Mr Beattie said the Green MSP sounded “bitter” in regards to Mr Yousaf’s decision, she broke down in tears.

“I’m actually quite upset,” she said.

“And a lot of people will have seen me being upset.

“We’ve had two-and-a-half years of working really well together and it’s sad that has all been undone by one person.”

Ms Mackay continued to speak through tears, saying she has friends within the SNP government who are also “hurting”, and have spoken to their Green Party colleagues on the issue.

“This First Minister has let Scotland down there was a pro-independence majority government that he has chosen to come to an end

Gillian Mackay MSP

She said: “So to every member of the SNP, we are as sorry this has come to an end, as I’m sure many of you are. We don’t want to be in this position, but it’s the First Minister who has put us here.

“This First Minister has let Scotland down, there was a pro-independence majority government that he has chosen to come to an end.

“We have worked very hard to get everything through in the last two-and-a-half years and he’s taken a decision to tear that up on no logical conclusion that any of us can find.

“I think that is a question that the FM has to answer as it is one of the worst pieces of political judgment I have ever seen in the history of the Scottish parliament”.

She concluded with a comment on SNP MSP for Edinburgh Eastern, Ash Reagan, saying she “is to equality what Liz Truss is to economics”.

Meanwhile, on BBC Radio 4, Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross told host Evan Davies the vote is on a “knife-edge”.

He said: “Well, there is no guarantee if Humza Yousaf loses this vote of no confidence that the SNP would be able with the minority to select and get through a new candidate for first minister in 28 days, and therefore we could be in a Scottish election territory anyway and I think from the reactions from the other parties, the move by Scottish Labour doesn’t have the same support as the motion I brought forward on behalf of the Scottish Conservatives in terms of a vote of no confidence in Humza Yousaf himself.

“We have to look at the numbers and the vote is on a knife-edge at the moment, [as] is the vote on Humza Yousaf”.

The Scottish Government was contacted for comment.

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