‘Crass stunt’ Scottish Greens blasted for walking out of Jubilee tributes at Holyrood

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Nicola Sturgeon had been hailing the monarch’s dedication to the nation of Scotland when the MSPs got up and walked out. This is despite two members of the minority party being ministers in the SNP leader’s cabinet, following a cooperation agreement in 2021.

During her speech to the parliament in Edinburgh, the First Minister noted the “privilege” of attending the thanksgiving service for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee on Friday “on behalf of the Scottish people”.

She noted the Queen’s plea to the Scottish Parliament last October to consider climate change and the future of children in lawmaking.

Ms Sturgeon continued: “The Queen has been a very good friend to our Parliament for the past 23 years. The mace before us in the chamber, which was her gift to mark the Parliament’s re-establishment, in 1999, is inscribed with the words: wisdom, justice, compassion and integrity.

“It is a treasured symbol of the values that underpin this institution and that guide those of us who are privileged to serve here.”

She added: “Her regular visits to Holyrood—both to the chamber and to her residence across the road from here—reflect the fact that, as she noted when she first addressed us, Scotland occupies a special place in her affections.

“Her love of Balmoral is very well known, and her first-ever public engagement was at the Aberdeen sailors’ home in 1944.

“When she visited Scotland seven decades ago, following her accession to the throne, tens of thousands of people turned out to welcome her.

“Since then, Her Majesty has played an integral part in the story of modern Scotland.”

However, there were no special affections or words of welcome from the Greens, who’s collective walk-out drew the ire of other Scottish representatives.

Annie Wells, a Conservative MSP in Glasgow, described the act as a “crass stunt”, but added it would “not distract” from Holyrood commemorating the Queen’s reign.

Jamie Greene, a Conservative MSP for West Scotland, told the Daily Record it was “disappointing and quite sad to see Green Party members walk out of the chamber as we congratulate Her Majesty the Queen.

“Given that they sit in the Scottish Government as ministers, it pays a huge disservice to the Parliament, Government and the Queen.”

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Sharon Dowey, the Scottish Conservatives’ culture spokeswoman, told the Times “every other political party in Holyrood will be taking this opportunity to thank Her Majesty for service.

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

“Their transparent attempt to woo anti-monarchy voters will frustrate the vast majority of Scots who recognise [the] celebrations as a chance to show our gratitude for Her Majesty’s tireless dedication.”

The Green Party’s external affairs spokesperson told the Record: “It makes me deeply uneasy that vast sums of public money will be spent on the Jubilee at the same time as millions of families are pushed to breaking point by the cost of living crisis.

“I respect people who hold a different point of view and don’t begrudge them their celebrations, but the Scottish Greens believe passionately that in a healthy democracy the people should choose their head of state, and that individuals should be accountable to those who elected them.”

A party spokesperson said the party “believes that the people should choose a head of state, and that person should be accountable to the electorate.

“We respect others hold different beliefs and have no wish to deprive them of their celebration.

“Our MSPs decided to absent themselves from today’s short debate and vote on the Royal celebration and instead spend their time serving their constituents.”

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