I am sure that most Courier readers will have been as astounded as I was to read about Humza Yousaf’s so-called ‘Summer of Independence’ tour.

Rather than addressing the ongoing cost of living pressures faced by families or the chaos in our public services, the First Minister prefers to tour the country in a desperate attempt to drum up support for breaking up the UK.

This shows, once again, just how grossly out of touch he is with the people of Scotland and their priorities. While he has published a paper on the colour of Scottish passports post-independence, posed on a skateboard and tried his hand at DJ-ing, the Scottish people are facing public service meltdown and ongoing rises in living costs.

The current challenges facing the government include one in seven Scots being stuck on NHS waiting lists and an NHS dentistry system that professionals have described as broken.

Latest figures show the number of affordable houses starting construction this year has plummeted by 42 per cent compared to March 2020.

Meanwhile, nearly 550,000 households in Scotland will be paying an average of £190 more a month on their mortgages next year. And, tragically, despite all the warm words from Ministers, there are still an average of 100 drug deaths every month in Scotland.

Scottish Labour has called for an end to Humza Yousaf’s pointless independence tour and urged him to focus instead on fixing the chaos engulfing Scotland’s public services.

Scotland needs a First Minister who is capable of actually leading, not someone who has lost all control, both of the country and his own MSPs and party.

Only Scottish Labour is serious about fixing the range of problems this country faces and delivering the change Scotland needs.