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Fergus Ewing: 'I will no longer be able to support this government' without A9 progress

By Scott Maclennan

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MSP Fergus Ewing standing by the A9 at the Carrbridge turn off. Picture: Callum Mackay.
MSP Fergus Ewing standing by the A9 at the Carrbridge turn off. Picture: Callum Mackay.

Fergus Ewing has said his own party will not deserve to remain in government unless it delivers on the A9, telling the Inverness Courier’s A9 Crisis Summit – “I will not stand here in a year’s time and still support this government.”

The Inverness and Nairn MSP laid out three criteria for progress on the A9 dualling, whose completion date of 2025 was ditched in February, the first was a revised deadline to finish the whole dualling programme.

The second, a change to the contract offered by Transport Scotland in a bid to provide the best circumstances in the best bidding process and finally the “political will” to complete the dualling.

If those three points are unmet by the Scottish Government then the SNP could be faced by the resignation of one of its most famous sons over the failure to meet an SNP manifesto promise dating back to 2007.

Mr Ewing said the issue is vital for the credibility of the First Minister Humza Yousaf and the SNP government, saying: “If the First Minister says it is a cast-iron guarantee, there must be a plan – how could there not be a plan?

“If you have a cast-iron guarantee you need a plan and you need to persuade people that you mean it, and you believe it and you are going to ascribe the money.

“The rest of Scotland has seen excellent progress – the Forth Crossing for Fife, the Borders railway for the Borders, the motorways for Glasgow, the peripheral road for Aberdeen, and Edinburgh – god help them – chose the trams.

“They have had their major improvement – now it is the Highlands turn.

“For me this is a matter of honour, I will not stand here in a year’s time and continue to support this government unless they deliver and deliver quickly on all of those three things.

“And if they don’t do that then, frankly, I don’t think we deserve to continue to be in government.”

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