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MURRAY QUERIES MOTIVES BEHIND STATEMENT TO PARLIAMENT ON DATA RETENTION

Dumfriesshire MSP Elaine Murray has questioned the motives behind Cabinet Secretary Kenny MacAskill's statement to the Scottish Parliament on data retention yesterday.

Speaking after the statement, Dr Murray said

 

" Having listened to Mr MacAskill's statement, I am puzzled why he brought this statement as a late addition to parliamentary business. It was so late that the normal courtesy of releasing statements to opposition front bench spokepeople and hour in advance of the statement was not followed for this or the preceding statement on armed police.

 

"I questioned the Cabinet Secretary regarding what an SNP Government in an independent Scotland would do differently in regard to the substance of the recent legislation. Despite his Westminster colleagues voting against the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill, Mr MacAskill was not able to provide any alternatives to the approach offered by the UK Parliament. All he seemed to want to do is complain about not being consulted by the UK Government.

 

"The UK Government did not handle this situation well and was widely cricitised, including by Labour colleagues at Westminister. However I would take Mr MacAskill's complaints about lack of consultation more seriously if his track record on consultation was any better. There was no consulation on the closure of the Dumfries police control centre for example, or on the use of armed police in routine operations. Pots and kettles come to mind!"

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