MSPs have made a cross-party plea for a full independent independent inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death of Craig McClelland in July 2017.
The request has been made in a letter sent to the Justice Secretary, Humza Yousaf, and signed by Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie, Scottish Labour's justice spokesperson Daniel Johnson MSP and Scottish Conservative justice spokesperson Liam Kerr MSP. It reads as follows:
We write to request that you order a full independent inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death of Craig McClelland.
We each met Craig's partner and father, Stacey and Michael, last week. They have rightly pursued answers about the events that led to his murder, doing so with both dignity and determination.
We welcome your personal commitment to ensuring lessons will be learned but it is impossible for this to be done until there is full transparency about what occurred. There is no such transparency at present.
As you know, the HMIPS and HMICS reviews of home detention curfew arrangements did not look at the events which culminated in Craig's death and the conviction of James Wright. Despite being launched in the wake of the sentencing of James Wright, they were asked to conduct wider reviews of the system. They therefore failed to answer the family's legitimate and serious questions. As they have said, "we are still in the dark as to why Craig’s murderer was free when he should have been behind bars".
We believe something clearly went very wrong and that it is incumbent on you to establish this. There must be clarity about the circumstances, in particular the grounds and process for releasing James Wright in the first place and how he was allowed to be unlawfully at large when he broke the rules and should have been returned to prison. Craig's family deserve to know and we believe that an inquiry would also undoubtedly be in the public's interest. As Stacey put it, Craig was by dreadful chance the victim but it could have been anyone.
We fully support the request made by the family in their letter to you and members of the Justice Committee. We urge you to immediately order a full independent inquiry. Without this, nobody can be assured that the solutions proposed will stop such an appalling series of events happening again.
Thank you in advance for considering this and we look forward to your reply.
Liberal Democrat Member of the Scottish Parliament for North East Fife
Scottish Labour Member of the Scottish Parliament for Edinburgh Southern
Scottish Conservative and Unionist Member of Scottish Parliament for the North East Scotland Region