Nicola Sturgeon says the last year has ‘tested her’
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Mrs Sturgeon is currently under pressure after a committee of MSPs concluded by five votes to four that she had misled their inquiry into the handling of sexual harassment allegations against Alex Salmond, her predecessor as Scotland’s First Minister. Additionally, Mr Salmond, last week launched the pro-independence Alba Party, resulting in the defection of two of the SNP’s MPs in Westminster.
Mrs Sturgeon yesterday tweeted: “If the SNP is re-elected in May, we will make sure every school pupil from P1 to S6 gets a laptop, Chromebook or tablet.
“In the digital age, this should be as automatic as being given jotters and pencils was in years gone by.”
However, Scottish journalist Iain Martin, a Times columnist as well as the editor of the Reaction website, was suspicious about the timing of her announcement.
He posted: “Seems odd to have not done this at the height of the pandemic, when could have been most use and Scottish govt was awash with Westminster support, rather than saving it up for an election bribe?”
Mr Martin was not the only person to voice his scepticism.
Scottish former Labour and Respect MP George Galloway simply replied: “Perverse.”
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Simon Oakden said: “The SNP are undoubted experts at throwing taxing payers money around like confetti but their track record on managing education and health is appalling.
“Chucking money at people while they eviscerate public services might be ok for their cult followers but not for grown-ups.”
James D Brown asked: “Where is the money coming from?.. More Tax?
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“A laptop at £400.00 or more £750.00 per child so what’s being cut or is Westminster going to have to fund it indirectly.
“Scotland under the SNP is a joke…How can anyone think we could afford independence?.. They’d bankrupt us in a day.”
Paul Harrison said: “Timing of it certainly has the stench of a bribe. Much like the NHS payrise.”
Another poster, referring to a commitment made last year, added: ”Nicola Sturgeon did say laptops would be distributed to pupils during the pandemic, but they weren’t.
”Presumably these laptops are the same ones, which have been sitting in a warehouse somewhere for months.”
A second said: “Shameless that she has sat on this to use as a political stunt.
“Kids education has suffered whilst she pulls a stunt like this.”
However, not everybody was supportive of Mr Martin.
Calum Nicol said: “Correct me if I am wrong Iain but does Johnson not reel this objective out every couple of months as something Gavin Williamson is supposed to be in the middle of doing. Welcome your confirmation. Thanks.”
The Scottish Government’s Education Secretary John Swinney confirmed the election pledge during a speech yesterday.
About £260million will be spent buying laptops and tablets for Scotland’s 792,000 pupils during the lifetime of the next parliament.
Express.co.uk has contacted the SNP to offer them a chance to comment.
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