ANAS Sarwar was left flustered when he was challenged on calling for a Holyrood election after Humza Yousaf’s resignation – despite Labour-run Wales not doing so after his party’s leader quit.

Speaking on Channel 4 News on Monday night, the Scottish Labour leader accused the SNP of trying to install a new leader in Holyrood through a “backroom deal stitch up” as he repeated his calls for an early Holyrood poll.

But he was challenged by host Krishnan Guru-Murthy, who asked whether there was a “democratic deficit” in Wales after Vaughan Gething was elected as First Minister after Mark Drakeford (below) stepped down.

The National: Mark Drakeford

Gething did not call an early Senedd election when he took the reins from Drakeford in March.

Sarwar said: “We’re going to have the third first minister in just over a year, that’s carnage, that’s chaos and I think people across Scotland need stable government.

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“I don’t think they’ll get that from the SNP and it’s for the people of Scotland to decide who leads our country, not some kind of backroom deal stitch up from the SNP and that’s why, yes, we need an election.”

Guru-Murthy asked: “So then you must think it’s absolutely outrageous that Labour changed its first minister in Wales without an election? Should there be an election in Wales?

Sarwar replied: “Well look I think it’s really important to compare and contrast the difference.

“In Mark Drakeford’s case you had a stable government handing a stable handover and a stable government.

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“What happened in Scotland is, you had Nicola Sturgeon’s sudden resignation, you had Humza Yousaf come in for just around a year and now you have the SNP proposing to impose a second unelected first minister, perhaps even a third depending on whether they go for an interim leader or a permanent one.”

The National: Ash Regan and Humza Yousaf

He compared the situation with that in Westminster when the SNP demanded an election after Rishi Sunak became the third Tory leader since the 2019 General Election.

Sarwar said: “I think in the SNP’s own terms, that’s a democratic outrage. If they thought that for Rishi Sunak, if they thought that for the Conservatives, if they thought that for the Westminster Parliament, why are they holding Scotland to a different standard?”

Speaking on LBC with Andrew Marr on Monday night SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn batted away the comparison saying the situation in Scotland was different because first ministers are elected by Parliament while prime ministers are not.