SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon took a moment to mock Theresa May before unveiling a string of ambitious eco policies for Scotland at her party conference speech.
The First Minister held up a box of Strepsils and, referencing May’s disastrous conference speech in which the PM lost her voice, told delegates in Glasgow: “At the risk of tempting fate, I’ve come prepared.”
Sturgeon went on to reveal the Scottish Government would set up a publicly-owned, not-for-profit green energy company and told members she was eyeing another ten years in power at Holyrood.
The first of four Low Emission Zones would be in Glasgow, she added, as she underlined her party would also ban fracking north of the border.
But the SNP leader, whose party lost a third of their Westminster seats in June, stressed “acting and governing today” was top of the agenda amid claims she was pushing too hard for a second independence referendum post-Brexit vote.
She said: “If the last year has taught us anything it is this - in an age of rapid global change we cannot afford to be bystanders.
“That means speaking up for universal democratic rights. And, yes, it means campaigning for independence, but it also means acting and governing today.”
The publicly-owned energy company would be set up by 2021, Sturgeon said.
She said: “Energy would be bought wholesale or generated here in Scotland – renewable, of course – and sold to customers as close to cost price as possible.
“No shareholders to worry about. No corporate bonuses to consider.”
Labour, meanwhile, accused the First Minister of pinching their policy ideas, while the Tories said it was “arrogant” to assume the SNP would be in government for a decade.
In a speech which put eco-measures centre stage, Sturgeon lashed out at Donald Trump for pulling out of the Paris climate change accord, saying: “Every industrialised country, large or small, must play its part to meet our collective duty to safeguard the environment.
“And let me be blunt about this. That applies just as much to the White House as it does to Bute House.”
The Scottish Government has also committed to ending the need for new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2032, she told delegates - a target which would put Scotland eight years ahead of the rest of the UK.
Sturgeon went on to deride Scottish Labour’s “annual leadership election” which has led to bitter blows between candidates Anas Sarwar and Richard Leonard.
She said: “Hypocrites, plotters, betrayers, barrel scrapers.
“No, that’s not what we’ve been calling the candidates. That’s what they’ve been calling each other.
“These days, ferrets in a sack distance themselves from Scottish Labour.”
Turning her attention to the UK Prime Minister, she said Theresa May should end the 1% public sector pay cap.
She said of Scotland: “Next year, we will seek pay deals that are affordable but also fair.
“The 1% pay cap will be lifted. We are the only government in the UK to make this unequivocal commitment.
“It is now time for others to do so too.”
Sturgeon also indicated Holyrood was eyeing tax rises in order to fund public services.
She said: “The prospect of more Tory austerity and the impact of Brexit pose growing threats to our public services and the most vulnerable in our society.
“That means it is right to consider how our limited tax powers might help us protect what we value most.”
She also confirmed other policies, including that the Scottish Government would deliver 30 hours a week free childcare by 2020 and that young Scottish people who leave care would be exempt from council tax.
Any settlement fee charged to EU nationals - which is expected to be £65 per person - post-Brexit would not apply in Scotland, she added.
He said: “It is a move that will give practical assistance to individuals.
“It will help us keep the doctors, nurses and other public sector workers that we rely on.
“And it will send a clear message to our fellow EU citizens, in actions not just words, that we welcome you, we value you and we want you to stay.”
Delegates finally heard Sturgeon was aiming for another decade in power in Holyrood.
She said: “Over the past ten years, we have led the way. We should be proud of what we achieved.
“Our focus now is on the next ten years and beyond. The world we live in today is changing at a faster pace than we have ever known.
“The challenges we face are generational. Our responses must be transformational.”
Jackson Carlaw, the Scottish Tories’ deputy leader, however, said Sturgeon was getting ahead of herself, adding: “What Nicola Sturgeon seems to forget is she’s already had more than ten years in power to do all the things she speaks of here. The SNP is on a slippery slope, and it’s unlikely the electorate will grant her another decade.
“Her presumption that she’ll be in power for 10 years is arrogant, and the voters will see it that way too.”
Interim Scottish Labour leader Alex Rowley added: “The SNP approached this conference in desperate need of fresh ideas, so Nicola Sturgeon and her cabinet did what they’ve been doing for some time – taking Labour policies, but watering them down and trying to pass them off as their own.
“From a not-for-profit energy company to teacher training bursaries, action on period poverty and promises on public sector pay, this conference shows that it is Labour which is setting the policy agenda in Scotland.
“Nicola Sturgeon is clearly worried about a Labour party offering radical change within the UK. The problem she has is that after a decade of broken SNP promises voters know that it’s only Labour which offers transformational change.
“Having attempted to photocopy Labour policies Nicola Sturgeon now faces the real test – outlining how she will pay for them. Only Labour is offering a progressive plan on tax that stops the cuts and allows us to invest instead.”