HANVEY CALLS OUT SNP MPS FOR FAILING TO DEFEND SCOTTISH DEMOCRACY
IN DEFIANCE OF SNP CONFERENCE OVER DRACONIAN PROTEST POWERS
As the SNP gathers for its virtual conference ALBA Party Westminster Group Leader Neale Hanvey MP has written to SNP MPs expressing “disappointment” that they chose not to support the Early Day Motion (EDM) which would have allowed a debate and meaningful vote on the Home Office order which extends the scope of the Serious Crime and Police Act 2005 to include the Scottish Parliament building and grounds. The EDM to annual the law was tabled by him and his fellow ALBA MP Kenny MacAskill and supported by SNP MPs Douglas Chapman and Joanna Cherry.
In his letter Mr Hanvey points out that the motion reflected the views of the resolution, passed by the SNP Conference, by a significant majority in September.
In a statement Neale Hanvey MP said:
“As SNP delegates gather for their conference it is important that they know that, on the issue of draconian powers which limit demonstrations and protest at the Scottish Parliament building and grounds, it is ALBA MPs that have reflected their views as expressed in the SNP Conference resolution in September.
“When Scotland’s proud democratic traditions and civil liberties are under threat it is incumbent on SNP and ALBA MPs to work together to defend Scottish interests.
“While SNP delegates stood up for Scotland the vast majority of SNP MPs have sadly let Scotland down. It is a matter of deep regret that with the honourable exception of Douglas Chapman and Joanna Cherry all other SNP MPs refused to sign a motion that would have ensured a debate and vote on extending the scope of the Serious Crime Act 2005 to include our national Parliament.
“On two separate occasions I reached out to the SNP Group imploring them to work with ALBA to secure a Debate and to revoke this law in line with the views expressed by both ALBA and SNP Conferences.
“SNP MPs must explain to their own conference delegates why they were willing to ride roughshod over the views expressed by SNP Conference in September and why they have chosen to side with Pritti Patel rather than ALBA MPs.
“Despite this setback I continue to hope that as Scottish Nationalist members of a Unionist parliament ALBA and SNP MPs can work collaboratively in the future to protect, defend and advance matters of importance to the Scottish people.
“The group that I lead will always endeavour to place the interests of Scotland and the Scottish people as our primary focus and concern”.
LETTER TO SNP MPS
I am writing to you to express my sincere regret that you did not feel able to support Early Day Motion 441 in my name. As you may be aware the purpose of the motion was to annul the Serious Crime and Police Act 2005 statutory instrument laid before the House of Commons on the 9 September 2021.
The concerns held by many across Scotland have been set out in detail in recent months including in your own Party conference resolution noted below. Unfortunately, the deadline for triggering a debate and meaningful vote passed on 4 November 2021, so it is no longer possible to annul this pernicious attack on Scottish democracy.
I was particularly disappointed that you did not support the EDM as I had taken great care to ensure it reflected the unanimous instruction of my Party conference and was compatible with your own party conference resolution passed in September 2021 by a significant majority, if not by acclaim.
Your party motion reflects the centrality of the sovereignty of the people of Scotland in their democratic traditions which has meant that power has long been egalitarian and consensual in nature. Indeed, the architecture of the Parliamentary building itself was designed with accessible and participative democracy in mind and this is reflected through the many inscriptions in the walls.
I continue to hope that as Scottish Nationalist members of a Unionist parliament we can work collaboratively to protect, defend and advance matters of importance to the Scottish people. The group that I lead will always endeavour to place the interests of Scotland and the Scottish people as our primary focus and concern.
Neale Hanvey MP
ALBA Westminster Group Leader