Kate Forbes: We need to end ‘abuse and vitriol’ to turn No voters to Yes
In an interview with Laura Kuenssberg, filmed shortly after the resignation of Peter Murrell, Forbes outlined three things she wants to see done differently.
Asked “what has gone wrong” by the BBC presenter, Forbes outlined three things, starting with the “ability to listen”.
“To understand the priorities of the people that we are here to serve. Secondly, the ability to deliver. So when we have solid, good policies we need to make them happen.”
Forbes cited the dualing of the A9 as an example of a project which still needed to be completed.
“Decisions within the SNP have been taken by too few people”
SNP leadership candidate Kate Forbes says her party needs to change after chief executive Peter Murrell resigns
Watch the full interview tomorrow on Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg 9am @BBCOne https://t.co/0a1kfXcMmc pic.twitter.com/6SNL64dv5l
— BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) March 18, 2023
Her third point was on independence. She said: “I think that we’ve lost some of the respectful dialogue that we need when it comes to persuading those who are not yet persuaded of the case that we have to make on independence.
“We need to cut the abuse and the vitriol and actually respect the reasons why people might not be persuaded and work hard to persuade them.”
Forbes was also asked about the recent row over membership numbers, which were revealed on Thursday.
Figures showed that the party has lost more than 30,000 members since 2021.
Asked about this, Forbes said: “I think at the heart of this is about the fact that decisions within the SNP have been taken by too few people and I think that’s well recognised across the political domain.
“SNP members want to know that our institution is democratic, that they can influence it, that they can shape policy.
READ MORE: Ruth Wishart: Independence needs a reset – Kate Forbes is best placed
“I think there’s been a feeling that they’re disempowered from that process and I think within government we need to make sure that it’s a wide tent with a big team rather than very few people making decisions.”
In a separate interview with Sky News, recorded prior to Murrell’s resignation, Forbes said she had “no concerns” about the “integrity of the election”.
“I’m certainly confident that whoever is elected is the person who SNP members will have chosen.”
The Finance Secretary also said she did not believe “continuity” will cut it when it comes to the next leader of the party.
This comes after the SNP confirmed more than 30,000 members have left the party since 2021.
“I think those figures demonstrate that continuity won’t cut it”, Forbes said.
She continued: “I think if you were to ask the other candidates, at least one has quite happily and readily accepted that he is the continuity candidate.
“I have great respect for his approach but ultimately there is a profound choice facing SNP members because I offer a new approach.”
Asked if she had progressive views, Forbes said she believed she did.
Kuenssberg also asked the Finance Secretary about the scrutiny of her faith. At the beginning of the leadership contest, Forbes faced criticism for her views on equal marriage.
The host asked if she felt she had been “punished” for what she believed. Forbes replied: “I think there has been quite a stunning level of scrutiny and perhaps backlash from some quarters. Of course I won’t be the only person with faith in high office.
“I think people of faith have the right to occupy high office.”
Forbes was then asked about potential concerns from those who could not vote for her due to her views.
“I would say that I give you an honest pledge today to govern in a way that delivers for you, that does not in any way undermine your rights and actually seeks to enhance your opportunities in Scotland to ensure Scotland is truly that tolerant and pluralistic nation that we all want to see.”