Jackie Baillie has blasted ‘delusional’ Humza Yousaf as he launched his leadership campaign in West Dunbartonshire while the local authority faces a £21million budget deficit following 15 years of underfunding from the SNP.

Labour-controlled West Dunbartonshire Council are set to meet in the coming weeks to set their budget for the next financial year but have a massive financial black hole against a backdrop of less money from the Scottish Government since 2007.

The Cabinet Secretary for Health is standing to succeed Nicola Sturgeon as First Minister of Scotland after she revealed last week that she would be stepping down from the role.

He formally launched his campaign in West Dunbartonshire in front of a room of supporters, however no local SNP councillors were present to show their support for the leadership candidate.

Dumbarton constituency MSP, Jackie Baillie said: “Humza Yousaf was the justice secretary that trashed the justice system, the transport secretary that failed to improve Scotland’s infrastructure and he is the worst health secretary on record. Mr Yousaf’s level of self-confidence – or self-delusion – is almost impressive.

“Even during his appearance at Clydebank Town Hall to kick off his campaign, he failed to answer questions in public from the Council Leader, Martin Rooney about funding for the people of West Dunbartonshire as the Council faces a £21million budget gap.

“If he cannot face up to this kind of public scrutiny and doesn’t have answers on how he is going to address these SNP-made problems, he is not fit to be First Minister.

“On top of that, thousands of Scots, including many people locally, who have lost loved ones due to Mr Yousaf’s hopeless stewardship of the NHS will be deeply offended by his attempt to use his terrible record as a springboard to the top job.

“Frankly, Humza Yousaf cannot be allowed to continue to fail upwards. Scotland deserves better than this out of touch minister who is badly out of his depth.”

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