Speaking in response to the resignation of Moi Ali from the Scottish Police Authority and today’s tweet by HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary Derek Penman critical of the lack of published meeting papers, the justice spokesperson for the Scottish Liberal Democrats Liam McArthur MSP said:
Scottish Liberal Democrat deputy leader Alistair Carmichael MP has today congratulated Labour on their “long, slow walk to federalism” after the Scottish Labour conference passed a motion in favour of a federal UK and a constitutional convention.
Following the announcement by the Defence Secretary that Leuchars will become the main hub for army activity in Scotland, Willie Rennie, Scottish Liberal Democrat Leader and North East Fife MSP, commented:
"This announcement is good new for Leuchars. It means that the military base can be the major focus for the army in the whole of Scotland.
"It also means we can bring the Black Watch 3 Scots home to its traditional recruiting grounds and, potentially, be a new home for other Scottish Battalions.
"I will be pressing the Ministry of Defence to accelerate the investment programme so that the army can be settled into east Fife as soon as possible."
Responding to reports that a Scottish Police Authority board member has resigned after believing she was punished for raising concerns about transparency at the watchdog, Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Liam McArthur said:
Scottish Liberal Democrats have condemned a report published today which recommends the end of the real governance board of Highlands and Islands Enterprise.
The Scottish Government’s Finance Minister has signalled that the Scottish Government are minded to re-open submissions on the public consultation to the Barclay Review Of Business Rates in Scotland.
In today’s Budget Debate in the Scottish Parliament, North East MSP Mike Rumbles called for the consultation to be reopened, following the government U-turn earlier this week, and the Minister spoke positively and said would seriously consider the proposal.
Mr Rumbles said:
“Hundreds of North East and Scottish industries have been told that their rates could double and only this week the Scottish Government has pulled a huge U-turn by capping rates increases for many medium sized businesses.
“It is no wonder many employers don’t know whether they are coming or going and it is only right that they have the chance to express their views on these dramatic changes.
“The Barclay Review has been set up for that very reason, to gauge the reaction to the government’s proposed changes, but the consultation period closed in October last year. Long before the Minister announced his punitive rates hike.
“I would like to thank the Minister for responding so speedily in considering my proposal to re-open the consultation. Businesses in the North East and across the country should be allowed to have their say.”
In a response to questions lodged by North East MSP Mike Rumbles the Scottish Government Finance Minister has refused to say whether the Scottish Government has made any assessment of how many businesses could fail as a result of the proposed business rates revaluations.
Scottish Liberal Democrat deputy leader and MP for Orkney and Shetland, Alistair Carmichael has today called for the UK Government to clarify whether it will support Guantanamo Bay remaining open.
Willie Rennie has criticised the First Minister for continuing confusion on whether the SNP have dropped their policy of 1000 extra police officers.