Although it’s just over a week since the Euro elections no one wanted or expected, the Scottish Government is applying pressure on the UK Government to launch a public inquiry into its handling of the European elections, which saw thousands of EU nationals denied their right to vote. Opposition MPs will press UK ministers to come to Parliament and answer calls for a full investigation into the failures and mistakes that led to EU citizens being denied the vote.
An SNP Cabinet Office spokesperson said the UK government’s refusal to make ‘UC1’ forms available at polling stations, its failure to prepare for the elections until the last minute, its failure to publicise the requirements properly, and a series of administrative errors, had all contributed to voter disenfranchisement on a massive scale. No formal UK Government response has been given.
So far, less than half the 300+ Conservative MPs have declared support for the dozen plus candidates who have so far declared their interest in the party leadership. Scottish Secretary David Mundell MP has said he may not declare for any candidate as it is such a strong field (sic). Seen of the 13 Scottish Tory MPs have declared and, of those we know about: Paul Masterton is supporting Matt Hancock; John Lamont > Jeremy Hunt; Stephen Kerr, Luke Graham, David Duguid and Bill Grant > Michael Gove; and Colin Clark remains one of just three supporting James Cleverley. As things stand, Gove has more backers (24) than Boris (21) – and of Boris’s 21, none represent Scottish seats.
Former First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones AM, has given his backing to Scotland’s right to hold an independence referendum. The senior Labour Party politician took to Twitter to criticise Sajid Javid’s claim that he “won’t allow” an independence referendum if he becomes Tory leader, tweeting “Has he any idea how arrogant this sounds? The people of the UK had every right to have a referendum on EU membership. The people of Scotland and for that matter, Wales have every right to hold a referendum [on] independence if they support a party calling for it.”
Carwyn Jones, still a Labour Welsh Assembly Member, added: “In 2015 David Cameron got elected with a promise to hold an EU ref which he did. If a party gets elected to government in Scotland or Wales with a similar promise the same principles must apply. He has every right to campaign against independence but not stop a vote.”
Finally, Perceptive client Roger Kilburn, Chief Executive of Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC) and Chair of IBioIC’s Governing Board, Professor Dame Anne Glover welcomed Innovation Minister, Ivan McKee this week to discuss the impact and huge potential of industrial biotechnology. IBioIC aims to create 1500 new jobs, £140m of inward investment and £400m of sales across Scotland by 2020, using biological substances, systems and processes to produce materials, chemicals and energy for Scotland and beyond.If you or your organisation would benefit from our political insight and specialist knowledge and contacts at all political levels, please get in touch with Julie Moulsdale on 07734932578 or email@example.com