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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Cole-Hamilton proposes new scheme to let everyone trial electric vehicles

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton will today use his speech to the federal Liberal Democrat conference to set out a series of eye-catching proposals to tackle the climate emergency and boost sustainable transport. 

In his speech Mr Cole-Hamilton will call for all new public sector vehicles to be electric, longer government-backed interest free loans to enable people to buy electric vehicles and a Transport Scotland scheme to enable everyone to try out an electric car for a weekend funded by the government. 

Alex will say: 

“Scotland’s new nationalist coalition is about one thing, and it’s not the environment. Its central mission is a constitutional one, threatening to utterly consume the precious little time left before our planet is irreparably damaged. 

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Cole-Hamilton urges swift military deployment after woman endures 15 hour and 8 hour waits for ambulances

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton today pressed for the military to be deployed after he challenged the First Minister on the experience of Catherine Whyte who waited 15 hours last month for an ambulance, only to fall last week and endure a further 8 hour wait despite serious injury.

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Cross party mental health group to hold Covid inquiry

Shetland MSP and Scottish Liberal Democrat, Beatrice Wishart has chaired the first meeting of the Cross Party Group (CPG) on Mental Health where it was agreed to hold an inquiry into the impact of Covid-19 on Mental Health.

Ms Wishart is a co-convener of the group which is made up of stakeholders and politicians across a range of political persuasions represented in Holyrood. She shares the convenorship with MSPs Oliver Mundell (Conservative) and Emma Harper (SNP).

Ms Wishart was a member of the CPG on mental health in the previous session of the Scottish Parliament. During the Scottish Parliament election Ms Wishart called for urgent action to prevent a ‘mental health tidal wave prompted by the pandemic’. Scottish Liberal Democrats have long campaigned for parity of care for mental health with physical health. 

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Universal credit cut shows PM is out of touch

Commenting on the Government cut to Universal Credit ahead of this afternoon's debate in Parliament, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Work and Pensions Wendy Chamberlain said: 

“The decision to rip support from millions of families across the country shows how completely out of touch the Prime Minister really is. 

“He claims that he wants people to live by their own efforts rather than welfare. So either he doesn’t know that almost half of those receiving Universal Credit are already in work or he doesn’t care.

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Health Secretary is reckless to warn Scots away from A&E

Responding to Health Secretary Humza Yousaf urging Scots to think twice before calling 999 for an ambulance, and warning that the NHS is facing an "extraordinarily difficult winter", Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP said:

“Humza Yousaf is proving a reckless Health Secretary. Encouraging people not to seek treatment is a huge gamble.

“Winter pressures come around every year. It is the job of health Secretary to ensure that the NHS has the resources it needs to cope with demand.

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