Wishart: SNP/Green Government must ditch support for Heathrow

Responding to this afternoon's statement on Decarbonising Scotland's Transport , Beatrice Wishart MSP said:

“The transport minister said twice that demand for aviation must fall if transport is to do its part in meeting Scotland’s climate targets But that is incompatible with this Government's actions and their contract with Heathrow.

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Cole-Hamilton declares his support for Assisted Dying bill

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton has today backed Liam McArthur MSP’s Assisted Dying Bill. 

Mr Cole-Hamilton said: 

“I am proud of my colleague Liam McArthur who launches the consultation on his Bill to introduce Assisted Dying today.  

I want the choice, if I’m in agony and beyond the reach of palliative care, to say ‘this far and no further.’  

“Everyone should have the right to a good death.” 

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New mental health report must prompt changes to staff training

Scottish Liberal Democrats have today said that a new report from the Mental Welfare Commission which found differences in the ways the Mental Health Act is applied when people from ethnic minorities are detained for mental health care and treatment compared to white Scottish people, particularly between black women and white Scottish women, must prompt a new emphasis on training for staff and support for patients.

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Cole-Hamilton responds to life-expectancy fall

Commenting on the news that life expectancy fell in 2018 – 2020, reversing the trend of recent years, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton demanded that the SNP must “get a grip on the things that really matter”.

Life expectancy in Scotland has increased since the early 1980s but then remained virtually unchanged between 2012-2014 and 2017-2019. In the most recent year it has now dropped below the 2012-2014 figure.

The report published by the National Records for Scotland shows that COVID-19 and drug related deaths both had negative effects on the overall rate.

The deprivation gap has become wider over the past few years growing by 1.3 years for males and 1.6 years for females since 2013-2015. Scotland continues to have the lowest life expectancy of all UK countries and in western Europe.

Commenting, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP said:

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Cole-Hamilton: Lord Advocate's empty answer is not enough

Speaking after he responded to the Lord Advocate’s statement on diversion from prosecution, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP said:

“Scottish Liberal Democrat requested this statement back in June, and I was grateful to see her here today, despite the empty answer.

“The government has insisted for years that diversion has been an important response, but we’ve just discovered today that it only happened 57 times in 2017/18. 

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Covid ID cards face night time industries legal challenge

Responding to the Night Time Industries Association Scotland launching a legal challenge against the Scottish Government's Covid ID card policy, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said:

"Rather than recognise that Covid ID cards are not an effective or proportionate solution, the Scottish Government have expanded the scope of the policy sucking in a host of venues who did not expect to be included.

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McArthur presses Government on fatal accident inquiries practices

Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP has today demanded the Scottish Government respond to research stating that no recommendations to improve practice are made in nine out of ten fatal accident inquiries into deaths in prison.

Research by Scottish Liberal Democrats in 2019 previously found decade long delays to the investigations into deaths outside prisons. The Scottish Government and the Lord Advocate promised resources and improvements in response but still decade long delays occur.

Liam McArthur MSP highlighted the case of Jack Mackenzie who died awaiting trial, three years on from the deaths of William Lindsay and Katie Allen.

Mr McArthur said:

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Covid ID cards will lead to unfairness and inequalities

Responding to the First Minister’s Covid update to parliament, Scottish Liberal Democrat Leader Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP said:

I am grateful that the First Minister has answered my call to exempt under 18s from Covid ID cards but with only ten days to go, there are still too many unanswered questions around the scheme.

“The arbitrary distinctions being made for businesses and venues will lead to unfairness and inequalities, in a sector that already struggled enormously during the pandemic.

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A&E waits show Health Secretary must 'answer for his job'

Responding to the new record waits in A&E departments across the country, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has said that the Health Secretary must now come to parliament “to answer for his job”, and offer “seismic” changes.

During the week ending 12 September 2021, only 71.5% of those who attended A&E services were seen and processed within the target of four hours. This is significantly worse than the previous record low of 74.2%.

This amounts to a record 7,798 people waiting over four hours, alongside a record 1,895 waiting more than eight hours and a record 551 waiting more than 12 hours.

Commenting, Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP said:

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Cole-Hamilton calls for UN intervention over drugs death crisis

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton has today used his speech to the federal Liberal Democrat conference to propose that the World Health Organisation send a team of drug mortality experts to Scotland to help get the public health disaster under control. 

Mr Cole-Hamilton said: 

“Scotland has the worst drug mortality in the developed world. It is nearly four times the rate of England and Wales.   

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