Business pioneer attacks Sturgeon for leaving “chaos” in his wake

Did viewers want to hear about Stop the Boats and the Home Secretary’s visit to Rwanda? The media, hitchhiking with Suella Braverman, thought that was the story of the day (Sky News was not invited, as host Sophy Ridge pointed out).

Or was the story “stop the voting” after the ongoing chaos in the race for SNP leader and first minister?

Or “Stop Boris Johnson” before his blatant appearance before the Commons Privileges Committee on Wednesday?

For politicians red in tooth and claw, what happened in Scotland was hard to beat. That is, as long as you were able to keep up with events.

Sophy Ridge explained the difficulty in the introduction to her taped interview with leadership contender Kate Forbes.

“Kate Forbes doesn’t do interviews on Sundays for religious reasons,” Ridge said. “Normally it wouldn’t be a big deal to pre-taped an interview with a politician, but when it comes to the SNP, it turns out that two days in politics really is an awfully long time.

“Since her interview, the communications chief has resigned after unknowingly giving us false information about SNP membership numbers, and now the party’s chief executive, Peter Murrell, has also resigned after accepting responsibility for the fiasco.”

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A pre-taped interview had clearly been a problem with a fast-moving story like this. Sky should be commended for its transparency. It’s the first time I’ve heard an interviewer mention Sunday work in relation to Ms. Forbes. It is unclear how this would work if she became First Minister. For example, does it only apply to media interviews or would it extend to Scottish Government business in general?

On Ridge, Ms Forbes said Sunday she had no concerns about the integrity of the party’s election.

“I have full confidence in the integrity of the election. I am confident that the SNP members will elect the person elected.”

BBC1’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg was happier or wiser. Kuenssberg had spoken to Ms Forbes “about an hour” after the SNP chief resigned on Saturday and a day after media chief Murray Foote resigned on Friday.

Kuenssberg asked whether she was convinced that the competition would be fair, or would she still wish for an independent auditor?

“I have complete confidence and faith in the process,” she replied. “The point I made about having an independent auditor was to try and show as much trust and confidence in those who are voting. It’s fairly standard practice in election campaigns that there’s this independent third-party scrutiny, and I hope we can exit this contest knowing that the decisions SNP members make when they vote are the decision that really want to meet her.”

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During the panel discussion later, it was Ms Forbes’ soon-to-be former boss who came under fire. Justine Roberts, founder and CEO of the Mumsnet website, said of Nicola Sturgeon: “There are some people at Mumsnet who certainly don’t share her beliefs or her politics of self-identification, but in general she has been a great advertisement for women.

“What I would say is that every business leader needs to have a succession plan and she seems to have failed completely at that. Look at the mess we have now.”

BBC Scotland’s Sunday Show topped the channels with a live interview with Mike Russell, SNP President and now interim CEO.

“It wasn’t an edifying process,” he said to moderator Martin Geissler. “There hasn’t been a controversial leadership in the SNP for 19 years, and it shows.”

READ MORE: Forbes has ‘complete confidence’ in competition

He said he didn’t know membership numbers because they’re reported once a year. When they were released, they came as “a surprise” to him.

When the number of members fell from 104,000 two years ago to 72,000 today, Geissler asked who “sat” on these numbers.

“We lost members and we lost members that we should have known about,” Mr. Russell said. “Of course we weren’t told that. That’s something I want to know about why this happened, but I don’t want to know this week.

“What I want to know this week is if we have a process that we can complete and we can find a new party leader and someone who then needs to gain the trust of the people of Scotland.” Business pioneer attacks Sturgeon for leaving “chaos” in his wake

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