Alex Salmond blames SNP’s election results on ‘divisive’ self-ID

Author: Chantelle Billson

Alba Party leader Alex Salmond pictured during a photocall at That Place In The Bay community cafe on the last day of campaigning in the UK General Election.

Alba leader Alex Salmond has blamed the Scottish National Party (SNP)’s poor performance in the general election on the party’s “obsession” with “divisive” self-identification for trans people. 

The Labour Party won a majority in the 2024 general election, in a night that saw huge losses for not only Britain’s Conservatives but also the pro-independence SNP.

At the last election in 2019, the SNP won 48 seats. This year, at the time of writing, it has only secured seven seats, as reported by the BBC.

The result has seen first minister John Swinney admit that the party will be left to do “a lot of soul-searching”. 

‘Poison legacy’

Former SNP leader Salmond, who served as First Minister of Scotland from 2007 to 2014 and founded the Alba Party in February 2021, weighed in on the SNP’s huge losses, making reference to recent controversy over the Gender Recognition Reform bill, which sought to make it easier for trans people to legally change their gender.

Asked by the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg who was to blame for the SNP’s poor election night performance, Salmond pointed to self-identification for trans people as one of the main reasons voters had turned their backs on the party.

In December 2022, Scotland passed the Gender Recognition Reform bill by 86 votes to 39. The bill was set to make it easier for trans Scots to change the gender markers on their official documents, as well as open up the legal transition process to 16 and 17-year-olds for the first time, but it was blocked by the UK government in Westminster.

Salmong told Kuenssberg: ”Both Hamza [Yousaf] and John Swinney have been handed a poison legacy. The chaos and incompetence dates back three or four years.

“The obsession with issues which are both divisive and not central to Scottish opinion, like self-identification – I mean, that took two years, consuming the parliament’s time and dividing the country.”

Leader Alba Party Alex Salmond 
Leader of the Alba Party Alex Salmond campaigns on Calton Hill on 12 April 2021 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

He went on: “Now, Hamza Yousaf and John Swinney, the difficulty there is that instead of sweeping the boards, saying ‘let’s have a fresh start from the peoples’ prioritities, let’s reformulate our strategy for independence’, they tried a sort of continuity, slightly moving things to one side.

“As someone said on the SNP campaign recently, continuity doesn’t cut it.”

In December last year a court found in favour of the UK government blocking Scotland’s landmark gender law reforms. 

As the law currently stands, in the UK trans people must apply to the gender recognition panel and present reports as well as a diagnosis of gender dysphoria – a process that can take years given the immense wait times at NHS gender clinics.

Actual Story on Pink News
Author: Chantelle Billson

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