Deputy first minister accidentally announces candidacy for SNP leadership contest

Deputy first minister accidentally announces candidacy for SNP leadership contest

Deputy first minister claims she is not running for SNP leadership during live TV interview

Sky News

Delays on live TV interviews always have the potential to throw up viral gaffes, and as speculation begins over who may throw their hat in the ring to replace Humza Yousaf as Scottish National Party (SNP) leader - and therefore first minister – one technical issue on Monday meant deputy first minister Shona Robison accidentally put her name forward when she very much didn’t intend to do so.

Earlier that day, Yousaf announced he would stand down as SNP leader after admitting he “clearly underestimated the level of hurt and upset” he caused by ending his party’s agreement with the Scottish Greens to run a minority government.

He was due to face votes of no confidence in his leadership and his government, in motions tabled by the Conservatives and Labour respectively.

“Repairing our relationship across the political divide can only be done with someone else at the helm,” Yousaf said.

He added he will remain in post until his successor is elected by his party.

And it wasn’t long before names were being floated as to who will become the next first minister, with Perthshire North MSP and former deputy first minister John Swinney telling reporters in London on Monday that he was giving the idea of standing “very active consideration”.

He said: “I’ve got lots of things to think about, there’s the whole question of my family, and I have make sure I do the right thing by family, they are precious to me.

“I have to do the right thing by my party and my country, so there is lots to be thought about.”

Kate Forbes, who came second to Yousaf in the contest to replace Nicola Sturgeon last year, is another name which has been floated as a potential candidate.

But Robison is definitely not standing, even though an appearance on Sky News gave the impression she was.

As she stood outside the Scottish parliament in Edinburgh, presenter Mark Austin asked the politician: “Are you in the running.”

“Yes,” she replied.

Austin clarified: “You are in the running?”

Robison then corrected herself: “No, sorry. No, I’m not, sorry, I thought you said, ‘can you hear me’, sorry, it’s really difficult to hear you.

“No, I’m definitely not in the running, I can make that absolutely clear. Over the next few days and weeks, my focus is on getting on with the job of deputy first minister and the public finances here in Scotland.”

Nevertheless, Twitter/X has been loving the “hilarious” mishap:

Responding to one clip sharing the awkward interaction, Robison wrote: “The joys of live television with a dodgy earpiece.”

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