ASLEF: Sturgeon 'should sack her incompetent Transport Minister' Humza Yousaf

  • Alfie Baron
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is under pressure this week to sack under pressure transport Minister Humza Yousaf.

ASLEF General Secretary Mick Whelan said "The Scottish government response to the rail crisis has been pathetic. Transport Minister Humza Yousaf has stood by while Abellio Scotrail takes Scotland's passengers and taxpayers for a ride."

Mick Whelan continued "Nicola Sturgeon must take personal responsibility for this situation as her government awarded this contract. She should sack her incompetent Transport Minister."

Earlier this week Nicola Sturgeon apologised following a train break down between Edinburgh's Waverley and Haymarket stations. ScotRail told the First Minister that this was "probably the worst place in the country" for a breakdown. It caused lengthy delays to services to and from Inverness, Dundee and Aberdeen and the Borders rail line.

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale said it was part of pattern of shoddy performance by ScotRail and passengers were "fast losing confidence" in Transport Minister Humza Yousaf.

Nicola Sturgeon said: "I am sorry for the disruption that was caused this morning and also sorry for this disruption that any passenger faces on any day of the week. That's ScotRail's position and it is also mine."

During a heated exchange at Holyrood, the First Minister apologised to rail passengers and raised the prospect of using a break clause in its contract with Abellio to bring ScotRail out of its hands five years earlier than expected.

"There are options for the contract to be broken early and we will keep that option under review," Nicola Sturgeon said.

This all comes a few weeks after Humza Yousaf admitted that he wasn't a "transport expert".

Humza Yousaf had previously said: "There are things we can do to ensure we are monitoring closely every single project hence why we have established a projects board portfolio-wide.

"But we do rely on Network Rail as the contractor to ensure that when they give estimates that those estimates at design stage and developmental stage are well detailed and the fact that years on they can come and say that compliance issues that I think - not being a transport expert - that I think they should have been cited on these issues well well in advance at design stage.

"To come back years later and say that is costing x million pounds is not an acceptable situation."
SNP MSP Mark McDonald quits SNP in Sleaze Investigation
  • Alfie Baron

Aberdeen Donside MSP Mark McDonald has quit the Scottish National Party (SNP).

His resignations follows allegations of misconduct against at least two women.

McDonald resigned from the SNP with immediate effect - but will remain as an Independent MSP.