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First Minister refuses to back Justice Secretary over corroboration debacle

March 6, 2014 2:58 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrats have said that the justice secretary isAlison McInnesAlison McInnes becoming increasingly isolated in his reforms to Scotland's justice system after the First Minister refused to back Kenny MacAskill during First Ministers Questions today.

During an exchange with the First Minister, leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats Willie Rennie asked if Alex Salmond was proud of the way Kenny MacAskill was handling plans to scrap the requirement for corroboration.

The question came as further concerns about the justice secretary emerged from the legal profession. At the weekend, SNP member and justice convenor Christine Grahame spoke out against the justice secretary's raucous closing statement during stage 1 of the Criminal Justice bill last week.

Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Alison McInnes said:

"The First Minister, when given numerous opportunities by Willie Rennie, sidestepped, refusing to put on record his unequivocal support for the justice secretary.

"And today we learnt that more voices in the legal profession have publicly noted their concerns over Kenny MacAskill's partisan and unnecessarily divisive approach towards his justice reforms. This follows the public disapproval from SNP member and justice committee convenor Christine Grahame. Kenny MacAskill is becoming increasingly isolated.

"Instead of burning his bridges, it is time he started building bridges. He should listen to the wise counsel being offered from those around him, remove his plans to scrap corroboration from the Criminal Justice bill and allow it the full and proper review it deserves."