BBC Question Time: Audience members slam armed forces cuts
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BBC Question Time returned yesterday as Fiona Bruce made the trip to Inverness, Scotland. The debate quickly turned to the issue of Scottish independence.
Ms Bruce was joined in Inverness by the SNP’s ex-Westminster leader Angus Robertson, Scottish Tory Party chairman Craig Hoy, Labour’s Shadow Social Security Secretary Pam Duncan-Glancy, Spectator editor Fraser Nelson and award-winning stand-up comedian Susie McCabe.
However, a Conservative Party activist decided he would take the opportunity to tear into Mr Robertson and his SNP colleagues over their record in Holyrood.
He said: “We are just coming out of a pandemic, we’ve got a cost of living crisis, education’s going down the toilet, the NHS waiting list is as long as your arm, perhaps a little bit longer, but who cares?
“Let’s have a referendum, what nonsense!”
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Mr Robertson, who was defeated by Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross in the 2017 general election, responded by revealing he knows the activist well.
The Holyrood Constitution Secretary said: “I am delighted, we know each other well from my time being the Member of Parliament for Moray where the questioner is a leading Conservative Party activist.”
Mr Robertson added: “We take a different view on all of this [but] the point I am trying to make, and repeatedly so this evening, is that we will be on different sides of the argument about whether Scotland should be independent or not.
“But regardless of our political affiliation, regardless of whether we are ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ voters, do we trust the people to decide?”
Despite Mr Robertson’s reply, other Unionists have suggested the Scottish Government should focus on dealing with domestic issues, including the NHS.
Speaking about a poll which found just 34 percent of Scots support a second independence referendum in 2023, Scotland in Union’s chief executive Pamela Nash said: “This confirms that Nicola Sturgeon is acting against the will of the people of Scotland.
“The people of Scotland are telling her loud and clear – we don’t want a divisive second referendum on leaving the UK next year.
“A majority of Scots oppose her plan to waste £20million on an unwanted contest, and they don’t see a referendum as a priority for the Government.
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“Ministers should focus on what really matters to people – our cherished NHS, the economy and jobs, our schools, and the environment.”
The ex-Labour MP added: “Scotland’s positive future is as part of the UK, bringing together people and communities, keeping the pound, avoiding a hard border between friends and families, investing more in our NHS and schools, tackling the climate emergency, maintaining our seat at the top table of international organisations, and creating more jobs.”
Ms Bruce will return to TV screens next Thursday when the BBC host joins panellists and audience members in Barnsley, South Yorkshire.
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