TORIES CHALLENGED OVER REPORTED ATTEMPTS TO UNDERMINE DEVOLUTION
Patricia Gibson MP has challenged Tory Secretary of State for Scotland Alister Jack MP over his role, after a Conservative Home article linked him to a group of senior Tory ministers allegedly plotting another power grab to undermine devolution.
The article highlighted that so-called "muscular unionists," which includes Mr Jack, Jacob Rees-Mogg MP and others, have reportedly argued that the responsibility for health under devolved competence should now "fall to Westminster."
It was previously that Mr Jack was “dismissive of both the theory and practice of the Scottish Parliament," and since taking over the role of Scottish Secretary he has taken the Scottish Government to court over the UNCRC (Incorporation) Bill, despite it being backed unanimously by the Scottish Parliament.
"As his own official webpage states Alister Jack is in his role to represent Scotland and Scottish interests within the UK government as well as be the custodian of the devolution settlement; not sell them out as he has done time and time again.
"It’s staggering that this article highlights how the Scottish Secretary and Scotland Office are fighting to undermine devolution and increase Westminster control over devolved policy areas; the very areas he is in post to protect.
“It begs the question, if he’s not articulating to Cabinet colleagues what Scotland’s position is – as democratically represented and expressed in the Scottish Parliament – just whose interests is he representing when he argues for policies rejected by Scotland?
"Under Mr Jack’s watch there is a growing list of failures including, the power grab Internal Market Act, the UK government repeatedly disregarding Legislative Consent Motions, and ignoring the democratic will of the Scottish Parliament by taking the Scottish Government to court over children’s rights.
"It’s unacceptable for the person whose job description is to be Scotland's advocate within the UK Government to not only watch, but play an active role, in repeatedly undermining the express wishes of the Scottish Parliament which is democratically elected by the people of Scotland.
"Mr Jack should now come clean over these reports and explain how he is arguing unequivocally to protect the Scottish Parliament and devolution - and that he is not using his role to further erode devolution."
Conservative Home article:
Henry Hill: Another Cabinet clash with Gove over the Government's pro-Union approach | Conservative Home
A 2007 Scotsman article reporting that Alister Jack is "is dismissive of both the theory and practice of the Scottish Parliament:"
'You can sleep when you're dead' Alister Jack | The Scotsman