Scottish Liberal Democrats justice spokesperson Liam McArthur has today welcomed the move by the Scottish Government to have a MSP join the selection panel that will appoint the new chair of the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) but called on Michael Matheson to commit to meaningful longer term reform.
Justice minister Michael Matheson has confirmed that the Convener of the Justice sub-committee on Policing, Mary Fee MSP, will be offered a place on the selection panel. Opposition Justice spokespeople have previously called for MSPs to be allowed to appoint the new chair of the police watchdog, which has been dogged with controversy in recent months.
Commenting Mr McArthur said:
"While this move is a step in the right direction, the Justice Secretary must also now commit to meaningful longer term reforms that will build in more democratic accountability in future.
"Given the controversy surrounding the SPA since it's establishment, and particularly over recent months, it is important that ways are found to allow an enhanced role for Parliament and local authorities in oversight going forward. This may well require legislative change, but the sooner that process is initiated the better. For now, I welcome the decision to invite the Convener of the Sub Committee on Policing to participate in the recruitment of Andrew Flanagan's successor."