Lib Dems oppose constitution secretary and call for focus on recovery

Scottish Liberal Democrats have today opposed the appointment of Angus Robertson as the Scottish Government's constitution secretary and called for the next Cabinet to focus on recovery from the pandemic.

Speaking in the chamber Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP said:

"Liberal Democrats cannot support the appointment of a Cabinet Secretary for the Constitution.

“On Tuesday the First Minister signalled a welcome change in tone and in direction. Her first act was to create a ministerial office dedicated to the national recovery from Covid19, but that was immediately undermined by her appointment of a Cabinet Secretary, who exists first and foremost to advance the cause of independence.

“This country faces big, important questions over the coming years, on mental health, the drug deaths emergency, climate change and waiting times. For Liberal Democrats the answer to none of those lie in tired old arguments about currency and about borders. As such we believe that there should not be one minute of either ministerial or civil service time afforded to such a portfolio.

“This reshuffle has seen the vital and substantial issues of mental health and social care conflated into one junior ministerial role, when we would much rather both had been elevated to cabinet level given the gravity and severity of the problems in those areas.

“The First Minister offered the electorate a clear and unambiguous commitment in the election campaign that the national recovery would come first. Her appointment of such a ministerial office undermines that commitment."

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