Scottish Liberal Democrats: Put recovery first to reduce the attainment gap

Responding to Audit Scotland reporting that "the poverty-related attainment gap remains wide" and "progress on closing the gap has been limited and falls short of the Scottish Government’s aims", Scottish Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Beatrice Wishart MSP said:

"Reducing the attainment gap was supposed to be the SNP's number one priority, but this confirms they made precious little progress. The supposed defining mission of this government was failing even before the pandemic struck.

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Rennie responds to today's vote of no confidence

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie on today's vote of no confidence said:

“Liberal Democrats abstained in this vote as we were just not prepared to support a motion that undermined the integrity of the respected, independent investigator. But equally we could not back a First Minister who leads a government that let down the women who stepped up to complain.

“Scottish politics is ugly right now with incendiary language, leaking private testimony of women and cruel celebration in the midst of this tragedy. This must change.  The country deserves a progressive alternative to this poisonous, bitter SNP versus Conservative dynamic. The voters have the chance to make that happen in seven weeks.

 

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Stone to lead debate on government-backed insurance for live events

Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Digital, Culture, Media, & Sport and MP for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross Jamie Stone MP is set to bring a debate to Parliament on Tuesday 23rd March to press the case for Government-backed insurance for live events.

The UK Government is facing increasing pressure to underwrite contingency insurance for live events in a bid to prevent the cancellation of festivals and other live productions this summer. 

The Association of Independent Festivals claimed that 92.5% of its members say they cannot stage events without insurance. 

The Scotland Event Producers Independent Committee has led the charge in Scotland explaining that “coverage against cancellations is not available in the commercial insurance market. A Scottish cancellation fund would immediately address concerns and provide organisers of Scottish events with the confidence to keep planning for outdoor events in summer 2021 in Scotland.” 

Mr Stone said:

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Rennie responds to James Hamilton report

In response to publication of the James Hamilton report, the leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats Willie Rennie said:

“The judgement from James Hamilton does not make the First Minister’s resignation automatic but no-one can deny that her errors of judgement still make resignation a live consideration.

“James Hamilton does not give the First Minister a clean bill of health.  He says it is up to parliament to determine whether it has been misled over the help that the First Minister is said to have offered Alex Salmond in her home.

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Rennie: We must build momentum for change to win over SNP voters

On Saturday, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie will use his speech to the UK Liberal Democrat spring conference to make the case for working in partnership with others to deliver progressive change in Scotland and across the UK.

Mr Rennie is expected to say:

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Rennie: Holy moly, they've had people working on the referendum instead of dealing with the pandemic

Speaking in response to publication of the SNP's detailed referendum legislation the leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats Willie Rennie said:

"Holy moly, they've had people working on the referendum instead of dealing with the pandemic.

"Dozens of civil servants could have been planning to get cancer services running full speed but they've been ordered to do this instead. Or they could have been working on getting funds to business, better mental health services or support for schools.

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Rennie: Independence would be like Brexit on a rocket

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has today told the UK Liberal Democrat spring conference that independence would be like Brexit on a rocket and he warned that the SNP want an independence vote by Christmas.

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Compassionate care for children and young people who experience crime

Scottish Liberal Democrats have today committed to fully incorporating the Barnahus model for child victims and witnesses in the criminal justice system.

The Nordic model involves new child-friendly centres based away from the court around the country. These allow children and young people to be sensitively interviewed following an incident, and support children and young people to provide the best quality evidence possible. This helps reduce the need to repeatedly re-live the experience and further compound trauma.

Every year 12,600 children in Scotland require special support to give evidence in court.

Liam McArthur MSP, who personally visited Norway to see first hand how this approach has been implemented, said: 

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Lib Dems write to party leaders to set out plans for commission on violence against women

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie and equalities spokesperson Caron Lindsay have today written to the leaders of the other major parties to set out proposals for a commission to prevent violence against women to report back within a year of the new Parliament and called on the them to work cross party to make this a reality.

The letter is as follows:

Dear Nicola, Anas, Douglas, Patrick & Lorna,

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Cole-Hamilton calls for investigation into use of do not resuscitate orders.

Scottish Liberal Democrat Health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton has today backed calls from Age Scotland for an investigation into the use of Do Not Resuscitate orders during the Covid pandemic. 

Commenting after Age Scotland chief executive Brian Sloan wrote to Healthcare Improvement Scotland to call for an investigation, Mr Cole-Hamilton said 

"Our health service has faced an incredibly challenging period but it's absolutely unconscionable that older people could be pushed into making major decisions like this.  

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