MSP challenges Conservatives on policy incoherence

MSP Stewart Stevenson
MSP Stewart Stevenson

Banff and Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson has challenged the Conservatives to acknowledge their incoherence on civil liberties.

Mr Stevenson delivered the challenge to Tory spokesperson Liz Smith MSP during a debate in Parliament on the Scottish Government’s “Named Person” policy this week.

He said: “It is disturbing that Conservatives seek to paint the ‘Named Person’ policy as having a significant impact on parents’ relationship with their children. The highest court in the land has stated that there is no effect on the legal, moral or social relationship within the family.

“The Named Person policy is there for when and if families need it. If they do, they have a statutory right to approach someone for answers and support for their children. Parents cannot be compelled to accept advice or support.

“If the Conservatives were really worried about civil liberties, they would have resolutely opposed the actions of the UK Tory Government to pass the ‘Investigatory Powers Bill’. This act will have far reaching consequences, the very least being that the UK Tory Government will be allowed to gather information on the medical records of everyone in the UK and on children’s activities.

“Their opposition appears more motivated by the ideological opposition to investing in public services rather than a concern for anything else. The fact that Ms Smith failed to answer my question shows the reality of the Conservative position.”