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Scottish Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson resigns after snow fiasco

December 11, 2010

Stewart Stevenson

Despite earlier winning the support of Alex Salmond, Scotland’s transport minister Stewart Stevenson has tendered the First Minister his resignation letter. Stevenson has faced mounting criticism this week over his response to the heavy snowfall which paralysed parts of Scotland.

The Herald’s Ian Macwhirter offered a defence (of sorts) in his column titled: ‘There are aspects of the big freeze that warm your heart‘, but on the whole Stevenson was becoming a media and political liability for the SNP, as he all but admitted in his letter. Salmond hit out at the political game-playing by opposition parties at Holyrood last week, but Brian Taylor’s blog suggests Stevenson was running low on allies in any party.

Scottish Labour have said the resignation should have come sooner, and will see this as a significant scalp. Iain Gray summed up the gist of the criticism here, mostly referring to the situation last Monday:

  • Why was nothing done to stop more traffic joining motorways already blocked?
  • Why were motorways not closed to get them cleared?
  • Why at 4.30pm was the minister saying roads were clearing when they were not?
  • Why no emergency meeting until 9pm, when some people had been stuck for 12 hours?
  • Why take until 11.15pm to announce a helpline number, do it on TV and then get the number wrong anyway?
  • Why is Mr Stevenson still the Transport Minister?

(There we go, a whole post on snow without one pun about being ‘cast adrift’ or ‘snowed under’!)

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