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23 September 2014

Stevenson Applauds First Minister on Magnificent Team Building Skills

In a Scottish Parliament debate today (Tuesday) Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson praised First Minister Alex Salmond for his strength in bringing people together to deliver success.

Following a statement from the First Minister where he called last week’s referendum an “extraordinary, empowering and exhilarating experience”, Mr Stevenson focused on the team building skills that he has deployed throughout his career.

He said:

“For the 1979 referendum, Alex orchestrated a cross party campaign, an SNP campaign in West Lothian, and he ran the Labour campaign for Yes in West Lothian as well. How many men can run three campaigns and not break sweat? It was a magnificent effort, and the West Lothian campaign was picked out as the most effective of all those run in 1979.”

Mr Stevenson spoke of Mr Salmond’s victory in the Banff and Buchan constituency in 1987 which at the time was plagued by unemployment. On leaving the seat in 2010, Banff and Buchan had moved into the best quintile for employment.

He also cited the example of the fishing boat, The Sapphire, which sank within sight of Peterhead harbour in 1997, and was raised after the million pound project was spearheaded by Alex Salmond.

Mr Stevenson said:

“The First Minister takes on immense challenges. This was the achievement of great effort and an achievement of building a team and drawing people in. But fundamentally it was focused on giving comfort to individuals - nothing to do with party politics and everything to do with doing the right thing by people.”

He added:

“Alex built a team in 2007 that delivered the first ever SNP government - without any ministerial experience he turned us all into a very effective team. In 2011 he earned the right to lead for the first time a majority government, and in 2014 from around 30 per cent a couple of months ago, the SNP gained a Yes from 45 per cent of the Scottish people.

“He did this not alone but by building a team, across political parties and with people of no parties. That is the effort that he put into it.”
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