Humza Yousafs Scottish Green coalition partners blasted for Queen snub

How Queen Elizabeth II's death unfolded – one year later

Humza Yousaf’s Scottish Green coalition partners have been accused of a “churlish stunt” after declining to pay tribute to the late Queen in a special Holyrood session.

Party leaders came together at the Scottish Parliament yesterday ahead of the one-year anniversary of Elizabeth II’s death.

But the Scottish Greens, who are in coalition with the SNP, were the only one of five parties to turn down an invitation to speak from Holyrood’s Presiding Officer Alison Johnstone.

Co-leaders Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater, who are both Scottish Government ministers, said they did not want to make political statements.

But the Scottish Tories criticised the party over the refusal to pay tribute to the nation’s longest-reigning monarch, who died aged 96 at Balmoral on September 8 last year.

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Donald Cameron, the Scottish Tories’ Shadow Constitution Secretary, said: “This is just the sort of churlish stunt we’ve come to expect from the extremist Scottish Greens.

“While their republican views are well known, the majority of Scots will be appalled that the Greens couldn’t find it within themselves to pay tribute to Her Late Majesty one year on from her passing.

“Queen Elizabeth was widely loved across Scotland, which was clearly shown by the tens of thousands of people who lined the streets last year to pay their final respects to her.

“This is just another example of the Greens indulging in childish politics, rather than doing the right thing and recognising the enormous contribution Her Late Majesty made to our nation during her 70-year reign.”

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The Scottish Greens, who are in favour of an elected head of state, previously snubbed a service of thanksgiving for King Charles at St Giles’ Cathedral on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh in July.

Scottish First Minister and SNP leader Mr Yousaf, a self-avowed republican, led tributes to the late Queen at the Holyrood session on Thursday.

He said:  “One year since the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth does present a moment for reflection on a long and dedicated life of public service.

“Her Majesty’s deep fondness for Scotland was well known.

“It is here that Queen Elizabeth chose to spend her most private family moments each summer and it is within the halls and gardens of the Palace of Holyroodhouse that Her Majesty welcomes thousands of community leaders, volunteers, artists, activists, faith leaders and essential key workers in recognition of their service to Scotland.”

Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross said: “Our late Queen brought the country together in her life and in her death.

“The late Queen cherished Scotland and, in her passing, the country showed how much it cherished her.”

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar praised Elizabeth II as a “dedicated public servant, demonstrating strength, leadership and empathy when her country needed it the most”.

Scottish Lib Dem leader Alex Cole Hamilton said the Queen’s death “ended a constancy in the lives of everyone in this chamber”.

The Scottish Greens were contacted for comment.

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