Daily Mail

Scotland could ditch King in 5 years, says SNP frontrunne­r

- By David Churchill Chief Political Correspond­ent

SCOTLAND could ditch the monarchy within five years of independen­ce, the frontrunne­r to replace Nicola Sturgeon has claimed.

Humza Yousaf, a self-declared republican, said Scotland should replace King Charles with an elected head of state.

He is one of three candidates in the running to replace Ms Sturgeon as SNP leader and Scottish first minister.

Mr Yousaf said during a leadership debate: ‘Let’s also talk about things like monarchy. I don’t know why we should be shy about that, I don’t think we should be. I’ve been very clear, I’m a republican. That’s never been anything I’ve hidden.’

He added: ‘Let’s absolutely within the first five years consider whether or not we should move away from having a monarchy into an elected head of state.’

He said that he considers himself a ‘citizen, not a subject’, and that he thinks it would be important to make the move to ditch the monarchy within the first few years of independen­ce. Mr Yousaf added that he would be keen to transition to a new Scottish currency as quickly as possible. Voting in the contest to succeed Ms Sturgeon opened on Monday.

Ballot papers were sent to tens of thousands of party members to choose between rivals Mr Yousaf, Kate Forbes and Ash Regan.

The third televised showdown between the three candidates was held in Edinburgh by Sky News on Monday.

The previous two debates have been marked by bitter clashes between the contenders. Mr Yousaf’s ministeria­l record was panned by Ms Forbes, Scotland’s finance secretary, who has suggested he should be sacked from his role as health secretary over the nation’s NHS crisis. But Mr Yousaf has highlighte­d Ms Forbes’s socially conservati­ve views as a member of the evangelica­l Free Church of Scotland, suggesting her election would see the SNP ‘lurching to the Right’.

Ms Regan, a former community safety minister, is widely viewed as the outsider in the contest.

She has told SNP members that the party has ‘ lost its way’ under Ms Sturgeon and admitted there has been ‘no progress’ on independen­ce in recent years.

Voting closes on March 27.

‘A citizen, not a subject’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom