Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Committee demands answers from Mr Swinney

"Education Secretary John Swinney has been asked to detail meetings between government officials and witnesses to a Holyrood committee regarding named person legislation."

"The written request comes after Mr Swinney was asked to provide assurances in November over questions on whether `the Scottish Government sought to directly influence evidence to the committee`."

"The Scottish Parliament's Education and Skills Committee has written to the Cabinet Secretary as some members are concerned his previous answers `did not fully address matters raised`."

"Now, the committee has set out 16 points for Mr Swinney to address with a `detailed timeline` including dates that witnesses providing evidence were approached by Scottish Government officials, ministers or special advisers and the `rationale` behind the contact."

"Further details requested are whether Scottish Government officials acted unilaterally regarding meetings with witnesses or if Mr Swinney or his advisers gave them instruction..."

"Labour's education spokesman Iain Gray praised the committee's actions, saying it is `demanding answers on the suspicion that Scottish government exerted pressure on their witnesses prior to evidence on Named Person Bill`."

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