Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 18th May 2017.

Alert me about debates like this

The First Minister:

I follow thousands of people on Twitter, and I am followed by hundreds of thousands of people on Twitter. Is Kezia Dugdale really saying that, if I was to go through her tweets or the tweets of members of her group or members of her party and found retweets that were in some way unsavoury, she would hold herself personally responsible for that? This is an absolutely ridiculous line of questioning.

I unequivocally condemn abuse of any kind. I have here a list of abuse that has been hurled at me by many people who are now Tory councillors in Scotland. I have had abuse from people who are members of the Labour Party. I have been called a fascist and a Nazi—or my party has—by Ian Smart, who was a senior member of the Labour Party, but I did not hold Kezia Dugdale responsible.

Let us cut to the chase. Kezia Dugdale is creating a smokescreen because her party is in disarray—it is in civil war and it is in meltdown. She is directing this line of questioning at me in order to hide the simple fact that the leader of the Scottish Labour Party is not in control of her own party and cannot stop her councillors going into coalition with Tories up and down the country. She is using her questions as a smokescreen to protect herself against the state of her own party.