IN THE last two weeks, the SNP’s party leadership contest has descended into complete turmoil.

The priorities of the people of Scotland have been put on the backburner as leadership candidates Ash Regan, Kate Forbes and Humza Yousaf obsess over the “route to independence”.

There has been barely a mention of the ongoing global cost-of-living crisis or the critical issues within our fully devolved NHS – a crisis being presided over and exacerbated by Humza Yousaf himself.

Meanwhile, Nicola Sturgeon’s husband Peter Murrell has resigned as the party’s chief executive after overseeing the derisive response to reports the party had lost 32,000 members. The party claimed these reports were “inaccurate” and “drivel”, despite them turning out to be entirely true.

Police Scotland and the Crown Office are now investigating missing funds worth £600,000 from SNP accounts ringfenced to fight a future independence referendum campaign, as well as investigating a loan of more than £100,000 from Mr Murrell to the party which was not reported to the Electoral Commission.

As the party’s new interim chief puts it, the SNP are in a “tremendous mess” and things have gone “spectacularly wrong”.

We have all witnessed the bickering between the hopefuls, with Yousaf supporters describing Regan and Forbes as “Trumpian” and Forbes demolishing the ministerial record of Yousaf on live TV, accusing him of failing the police service and NHS. This is despite the fact that Forbes presided over Scotland becoming the highest taxed part of the UK as Scotland’s Finance Minister.

Scotland deserves better than a Scottish Government obsessed by independence and that’s why I and the Scottish Conservatives will continue to focus on the people’s priorities.