Scottish Greens snub Holyrood tribute to Queen

The Scottish Greens snubbed a debate at Holyrood over the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

The MSPs left the room before the tributes to the monarch to mark her 70 years of reign.

A spokesman for the party – which is in government with the SNP – said their MSPs believe the people “should choose a head of state, and that person should be accountable to the electorate”.

They added, “We respect others who have different beliefs and do not wish to deprive them of their celebration.

‘Our MSPs have decided to take time off from today’s short debate and vote on the royal celebration and instead spend their time serving their constituents.’

Scottish Tories have blasted the Greens, accusing them of ‘petty student politics’.

Sharon Dowey, the party’s Shadow Minister for Culture, Europe and International Development, said: ‘Her Majesty The Queen has been an outstanding ambassador for the UK during her seven-decade reign – and all others Holyrood political parties will seize this opportunity. thank Her Majesty for her years of service.

“The Greens’ refusal to do so is petty, student politics at its worst

“Their transparent attempt to woo anti-monarchy voters will only frustrate the vast majority of Scots who recognize this weekend’s Jubilee celebrations as a chance to show our gratitude for Her Majesty’s tireless devotion.”

During the debate, Nicola Sturgeon paid tribute, praising the Queen’s leadership and dedication. She said the 96-year-old had played “a vital role in the history of modern Scotland”.

Ms Strugeon told MSPs: “In the last decade alone she has helped score many important occasions here. She opened the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014. In 2015, the same day she became the UK’s longest-serving monarch, she officially opened the Border Railway.

“In 2017 she opened Queensbury Crossing exactly 53 years to the day after she opened the Forth Road Bridge.

“At all of these events it was very evident how great the public affection was for her, and also for the Duke of Edinburgh, whose loss last year will, I am sure, be very keenly felt. felt by her over the next few days.”

The Prime Minister said the country had been reminded of Her Majesty’s “sense of service very recently, in the example she set for all of us during the pandemic”.

Ms Sturgeon said: “In her public address during the first lockdown in April 2020, when she said better days would return and we would all meet again, she provided a heartwarming message of reassurance to an anxious and unstable population.

“And of course none of us will ever forget the deeply moving image of the Queen at the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh, her husband of 70 years, no doubt an image for the ages, as she once demonstrated moreover his determination to lead by example.

“She affirmed that day, as she has throughout her reign, those core values ​​of integrity, wisdom, justice and compassion.

“The Queen has been upholding these values ​​for over seven decades now. She has been a constant figure in an ever-changing world. And she has provided support and encouragement to many people over the decades.

The Prime Minister has confirmed that on behalf of the people of Scotland, the Scottish Government is preparing to present the Queen with a limited edition Johnnie Walker whisky, with a special design to celebrate the beauty of Scottish plants and wildlife, and a tartan throw. commissioned in honor of the three bridges over the Forth.

There are plans to plant a ‘Jubilee Wood’ of 70 native trees in Holyrood Park, close to the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

In his speech, Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said the Queen had been “a constant presence in times of adversity and triumph, reflecting the mood of our country”.

He told MSPs: ‘As we celebrate the Queen’s reign today, we must also reflect on her role in our country today.

“She remains the UK’s most recognizable and persuasive advocate abroad, and a symbol of our enduring links with so many countries around the world. And she continues to dedicate her life to duty, to our country.

“Our country, Scotland and the whole of the UK are made richer by her dedication, her passion and her commitment to the people she has served and continues to serve.”

Labor’s Anas Sarwar said the jubilee was a chance to look to the future.

He told MSPs: “Some say Scotland’s and the UK’s best days are behind us. I believe they are wrong. Our best days are ahead of us.

“And together, as we celebrate, we can build a social bond of better union that celebrates the values ​​of Her Majesty and these islands. Duty, integrity, warmth, selfless service to others.”

Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said even in the “most ardent Republican hearts” in Parliament the Queen had “been deemed worthy of our trust”.

He added: “There are those who have argued that the money spent on celebrating the jubilee is unjustified, especially in the midst of the cost of living crisis. I have some sympathy for this prospect.

“But we must remember that these festivities also mark and commemorate a chapter in our nation’s history, who we have been and what we have stood for for the past 70 years will be recognized and celebrated this weekend.”

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