UK Government's 'respect agenda' is out the window

The UK Government’s ‘respect agenda’ towards Scotland faced another blow today – after it was revealed that representatives of the Home Office have refused to appear before the Scottish Parliament’s European and External Relations Committee.

As part of the Committee’s inquiry into independence, representatives of the Home Office were invited to give evidence on citizenship and immigration – but have since rejected the invitation.

This is just the latest snub to the Scottish Parliament from the UK Government – and follows the refusal of Employment Minister Esther McVey to formally meet the Scottish Parliament’s Welfare Reform Committee to answer for the impact her own policies are having on vulnerable people across Scotland.

This is despite the 2010 Tory manifesto stating that the “Prime Minister and other Ministers will go to Holyrood for questioning on a regular basis”.

Commenting, SNP MSP Christina McKelvie, who convenes the Committee, said:

“This latest snub to the Scottish Parliament from a UK Government department is yet another sign that Westminster has thrown its ‘respect agenda’ towards Scotland out of the window.

“In recent days we’ve had confirmation that David Cameron is to play a central role in the No campaign and that the UK Government is doing the No camp’s polling for them – it seems that the UK Government wants to direct the campaign against independence but won’t answer any questions about its role.

“If the Tory-led Government wants its views on Scotland’s future to be taken seriously, they can’t just take daytrips to Scotland to parrot the latest Project Fear scare story.

“They should engage in the respect agenda that they promised when they were elected.

Notes:

The Home Office sent a letter to the European and External Relations Committee declining the invitation to appear before the committee on 12th May.

Esther McVey’s refusal to formally meet the Welfare Reform Committee

The commitment that the “Prime Minister and other Ministers will go to Holyrood for questioning on a regular basis” can be found on Page 83 of the 2010 Conservative manifesto