Green party picks nationalism over the climate emergency

Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has declared that the Green party has picked nationalism over the climate emergency and warned that on issues like education reform, the abolition of the council tax and the decarbonisation of our homes Green MSPs will not seek to trouble the SNP or subject it to effective scrutiny.

In a speech to the Scottish Parliament he said:

As a Liberal Democrat, I will always look for and appreciate consensus in our politics.

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Young people's mental health services a shadow of what they should be

Responding to Audit Scotland's blog on mental health services for children and young people, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader and health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP said:

"Scottish Liberal Democrats have championed the cause of Scotland's mental health for years now because we recognised that even before the pandemic services were a shadow of what they should be.

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Tens of thousands waiting for tests and treatment

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP today said “patients and NHS staff need new hope” after statistics revealed that more than 100,000 people are waiting for key diagnostic tests and Nicola Sturgeon’s Treatment Time Guarantee is being missed 200 times a day. 

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“Painful waits” for a quarter of A&E attendees

In response to another week of record A&E waiting times, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has criticised the Health Secretary for publishing a “limp” NHS Recovery Plan.

New figures show just 75.1% of those attending A&E were seen within the SNP’s four-hour target, leaving 6,633 people waiting longer.

This new record follows successive declines in recent weeks, and reports of hospitals under acute pressure. Last week, NHS Lanarkshire postponed non-urgent elective procedures in a bid to reduce strain.  

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Greta Thunberg says that Scotland is not a world leader on climate change

Responding to comments from Greta Thunberg that Scotland is not a world leader on climate change, Scottish Liberal Democrat climate emergency spokesperson Liam McArthur said:

“The world’s most famous environmental activist has a point.

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Cole-Hamilton sets out priorities for parliamentary term

Speaking ahead of the return of Parliament this week, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said:

"Over the coming months I want to set out proposals that will give people new hope after the division and disarray of the past decade.

"I want to draw a sharp contrast between the priorities of the Liberal Democrats: the climate emergency, the state of the NHS and opportunities for young people, and the priorities of the nationalist coalition. 

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Cole-Hamilton: New figures show Test and Protect 'struggling desperately'

Scottish Liberal Democrats have today revealed new figures showing the strain that Scotland’s contact tracing system, Test and Protect, has been under in recent months.

New figures, obtained through Freedom of Information legislation, show that in July this year Test and Protect required 7 days to complete contact tracing interviews in the top 1% of cases.

In mid-April the worst waits for an interview averaged 47 hours. By the start of July that had increased to 172 hours.

The Scottish Government introduced a raft of changes to Test and Protect procedure “as a result of rapidly increasing case numbers”. Since June, text messages have been used as the default.

This week, as the daily Covid-19 case rate breached 5,000 for the first time, the Scottish Government announced more amendments to Test and Protect procedures to cope, alongside another recruitment drive.

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

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Cole-Hamilton comments on another record day of Covid cases and vaccine passport proposals

Commenting on today's First Minister’s Covid briefing, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said:

“Today’s data is more than concerning. With 6,835 cases registered today and the potential for further increases ahead, it is hard to see the end of this horrific nightmare.

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Alex Cole-Hamilton announces the new Scottish Liberal Democrat spokespeople team

At the end of a busy first week as Scottish Liberal Democrat leader, Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has today unveiled his new spokespeople team and described it as “crackling with talent and ideas” to give Scotland new hope.

Mr Cole-Hamilton will remain as health spokesperson reflecting his personal commitment to help the NHS recover from the pandemic, as well as leading on the constitution and external affairs. Former leader Willie Rennie will become the party's spokesperson on education, economy and communities. Liam McArthur will lead for the party on justice and the climate emergency. Beatrice Wishart will be spokesperson for rural affairs and connectivity, as well as Deputy Convener of the Rural Affairs, Islands and Natural Environment Committee.

The full spokesperson team is as follows:

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Cole-Hamilton: Government must hit the accelerator on social security powers

Responding to the publication of the Scottish Fiscal Commission’s economic and social security forecasts today, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton commented:

“The improvement in the economic forecasts is testament to the game-changing vaccines which have established a route for us to escape this crisis. However, continuing business and job support must be built around the fact some sectors will need longer to rebound. The impact of restrictions and dependence on international connections isn’t equal.

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