Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton has today challenged SNP depute leader and face of his party's new "fact checking" service Keith Brown MSP to correct and confirm his own record.
Mr Cole-Hamilton pointed to a number of incidents which raise questions over Mr Brown's ability to identify and communicate the truth.
Scottish Liberal Democrats are asking Keith Brown to fact check the following statements:
- Keith Brown proclaimed the recent takeover of engineering firm BiFab by Canadian firm DF Barnes was “a very good day” for employees and assured Parliament the firm had no intention of shedding further staff. Only 21 days later the new Scottish Government endorsed owners announced staff cuts. (https://www.scotsman.com/business/companies/canadian-firm-takes-over-closure-threatened-bifab-yards-1-4725554, https://www.theyworkforyou.com/sp/?id=2018-04-17.8.0)
- In July 2018, Keith Brown was forced to admit that more than 12 times as much public money was handed to Highlands-based arms firms as he had previously stated. (https://theferret.scot/scottish-minister-sorry-arms-subsidies/)
- Keith Brown convinced the First Minister to sign a supposed £10bn agreement with two Chinese firms without any background checks, which would have revealed that one was linked to human rights abuses and the other only owned a pub. He was later forced to apologise to Parliament. (http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/15190405.Economy_Secretary_Keith_Brown_apologises_for_role_in_China_deal_collapse/)
- In March 2017 Keith Brown promised he would work to develop a "robust human rights impact assessment" process for companies the government was dealing with. This still hasn't been published. (https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/sturgeon-dogged-by-china-abuses-as-she-pushes-trade-lswtcbp7x)
- Keith Brown backed expansion of Heathrow and more short-haul flights without conducting any assessment of the impact on Scotland's environment, despite campaigners saying air travel is one of the worst offenders for emissions. (https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/heathrow-runway-snp-promised-16-000-new-jobs-in-exchange-for-backing-project-t2b8s5crl)
Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP commented:
"Rather than whinge when the media calls them to account, the SNP should be honest with the public about the state of our public services and the challenges that independence would bring.
"Perhaps the SNP depute and self-appointed factchecker can put his initiative to good use by taking a look at the occasions when his own relationship with the truth has been rather hazy."