‘A remarkable display of arrogance and cowardice’: Nicola Sturgeon is compared to Donald Trump as she BANS journalists from local SNP election campaign launch
- Scottish Prime Minister is accused of dodging scrutiny by banning the press
- SNP blocks local election newspaper reporters in Glasgow
- Ms Sturgeon set to attack Boris Johnson’s Tories over cost of living crisis
Nicola Sturgeon’s local election campaign launch threatened to fall flat today as she was accused of dodging scrutiny by banning the press from the event.
The Prime Minister has been compared to Donald Trump after newspaper reporters were blocked from today’s event in Glasgow.
Such a comparison will prove uncomfortable for Ms Sturgeon, who was a fierce critic of the former US president during his tenure.
The SNP is the only Scottish party to impose a ‘press blackout’ at an official local election campaign launch event.
It means Ms Sturgeon was not prepared to face questions about her policies, with reporters instead having to rely on sound bites played by her spin-docs.
He was told the Prime Minister was to use the campaign launch to attack Boris Johnson’s Tories over the cost of living crisis.
Nicola Sturgeon has been accused of dodging scrutiny and compared to Donald Trump for a decision to ban news reporters from launching the SNP’s local election campaign
Scottish Conservative local government spokesman Miles Briggs said: “It is shameful that Nicola Sturgeon imposed a press ban on the launch.
“She seems to think she and her party are above scrutiny. Sorry, but that’s not how democracy works.
“The Prime Minister may not like it, but responsibility comes with territory.” She has to face and answer questions about her government’s brutal cuts to local councils.
Scottish Lib Dem leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said: ‘This is a remarkable display of arrogance and cowardice from the Prime Minister.
“It sounds more like the antics of Donald Trump avoiding scrutiny than the actions of a leader comfortable with her government’s record.
“Then again, if I had spent five years cutting local authority budgets, I might not want to face the media scrutiny either.”
The SNP press office published quotes from Ms Sturgeon ahead of today’s event, which it described as the launch of the party’s local election campaign.
But when asked to attend by the Scottish Daily Mail, a party official said he was launching the campaign with a ‘cost of living tour’ rather than a typical launch event, adding: ‘It will be at Glasgow and the number is limited.
“We will have visits throughout the campaign and publications will have the opportunity to ask questions of the leader of the party, as well as the usual channels through SNP Media.”
Despite the blocking of all newspapers, broadcasters were invited.
Scottish Labor commercial director Neil Bibby said: ‘It’s no wonder Nicola Sturgeon is trying to duck scrutiny as she bungles her response to the worst cost of living crisis in decades.
“It is a telltale sign that this manifesto is going to be as empty of ideas as the SNP’s last 15 years in government. It is utterly shameful for the SNP to talk about the cost of living crisis when it refuses to use the litany of powers at its disposal to help Scots.
“The truth is they don’t want to be asked questions because they don’t have answers.” We deserve transparency and openness from our politicians.
Former US President Donald Trump was frequently criticized by the Scottish Prime Minister during his time in the White House
It is understood that concerns about the lack of access to the press have been raised with the SNP by the Scottish Parliamentary Journalists Association, which represents political journalists at Holyrood.
Last month, journalists were barred from asking questions at a Scottish Government economic event hosted by Finance Secretary Kate Forbes.
They were asked to watch on Zoom after being told they could only attend “online” due to “ongoing Covid restrictions”.
After losing the independence referendum in 2014, then-Prime Minister Alex Salmond caused an outcry by inviting only selected journalists to attend the press conference at Bute House when he announced his resignation.
Ms Sturgeon’s comments ahead of today’s event include claims that the cost of living crisis is ‘constructed by the Tories’ and that the Scottish Government is ‘doing what we can to ease the burden on families beleaguered’, and that SNP councilors ‘will prioritize the cost of living crisis in Scottish council chambers’.
She also called on voters to “send a message to Boris Johnson that Scotland is fed up with his incompetent and squalid government”.
The Scottish Conservatives described it as “the same tired old slogan that the SNP trots out at every election”.