This post covers the period 2012-2016 concentrating on the 2 prime movers in the Better Together campaign group (Mundell and Davidson).
Mundell and Davidson went off to London (not long after Davidson had settled into her new job as leader of the Scottish Conservative Party) to meet with their mentors David Cameron and George Osborne and Andrew Dunlop.
The coalition government was beginning to fall apart as parliament progressed.
It was decided that the agreement between the Tory and Lib/Dem parties providing for the Lib/Dems to take the lead in Scotland would be set aside. Better Together would be led by George Osborne. Labour objected to the change and proposed that Alistair Darling should take the lead and the new arrangements were subsequently put in place following a meeting at Darling’s house in Edinburgh.
Gordon Brown did not participate in discussions and briefed Miliband that campaigning with opposition parties was mistaken and bad things would happen. He also had his own treasure chest (courtesy of JK Rowling) and would engage with the public in Scotland representing the Labour Party.
24 January 2012: Westminster parties have begun to recruit top names in the political battle for Scotland
The detail of how and when a Scottish independence referendum will take place may yet to be agreed, but already the campaign teams are being put in place by the pro-UK parties. Symbolic of that was the arrival this week of Ramsay Jones, the veteran Tory spin doctor in Holyrood, as a special advisor for the UK government.
The move, apparently planned for months, will mean that the Tory part of the coalition will at last have a direct Scottish link between the lobby in Westminster, where many journalists for London-based titles are still playing catch up on the issue, and will be able to get their message across as opposed to the Lib Dem side of the coalition which was meant to run Scotland.
Tory Chancellor George Osborne has taken change of the Scottish question. So the arrival of Mr Jones is significant because it is clear that the Tories have decided that the Lib Dems cannot be allowed to deal with Scotland alone, not least because the Conservative approach is far more aggressive than the one Michael Moore first pursued.
Mr Jones, who knows the patch inside out, will be working out of Dover House, the Scotland Office in Whitehall, but it seems he will be floating between there and Downing Street. And, although the talk is working in partnership, it seems obvious that this is part of the process of the Conservatives taking control of the policy.
The change will be good for Mr Jones as well after a difficult few months. Despite giving long service for the party in hard times he was not flavour of the month among some of the defeated candidates in the recent Scottish leadership election and at one point asked to take gardening leave for allegedly supporting the eventual winner Ruth Davidson. The suggestion was that Mr Cameron wanted Ms Davidson as leader as well so if there was a transgression it has now been rewarded with a promotion.
10 April 2012: The Scottish referendum – Mundell in Chicago Ropes In the USA against independence
Scotland Office Minister David Mundell will use a keynote speech to American business leaders to warn that independence would weaken Scottish business interests overseas.
Mundell will tell a gathering in Chicago today, as part of Tartan Week in the United States, to claim that being part of Britain “opens doors for Scotland” and allows the country to “punch above our weight”.
The Tory minister will claim the UK’s muscle of 270 diplomatic posts, employing more than 14,000 people, would deliver a better deal in terms of promoting overseas investment opportunities for Scottish firms.
15 April 2012: Mundell states Scottish ministers will only be given permission to meet foreign businessmen and politicians with London’s support.
David Mundell made the remarks ahead of a visit to the Far East by Scotland’s ruling party’s Finance Secretary John Swinney which is aimed at promoting trade.
Mundell further claimed that Scottish ministers will lose the ‘possibility’ of meeting their counterparts in foreign visits if Scotland ever becomes independent from Britain as it is London which is “opening doors” for Scotland. “It is not possible for the Scottish Government to orchestrate a visit without the help of the UK government.
David Cameron has just been in Japan. The idea that John Swinney would make a greater impact than David Cameron is preposterous,” Mundell said.
His comments drew an angry reaction from Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond’s office where a spokesman said Mundell’s tirade on a Scottish government trade mission is “extremely ill-advised and ill-informed.
This narrow, partisan attack on a Scottish Government initiative to boost jobs in Scotland at a time when Mr Mundell’s government at Westminster is damaging jobs and recovery will backfire very badly on him.
It shows just how out of touch Scotland’s only Tory MP is,” the spokesman added.
14 May 2012: Extreme right winger Mundell is a founder friend of the “Cornerstone Group” a forum for MPs who wish to defend traditional British values – faith, flag and family. The group mission statement:
“We are a group of Conservative MPs dedicated to the traditional values which have shaped the British way of life throughout this country’s history.
We believe in the spiritual values which have informed British institutions, her culture and her nation’s sense of identity for centuries, underpinned by the belief in a strong nation state.
We stand for the Monarchy; traditional marriage; family and community duties; proper pride in our nation’s distinctive qualities; quality of life over soulless utility; social responsibility over personal selfishness; social justice as civic duty, not state dependency; compassion for those in need; reducing government waste; lower taxation and deregulation; our ancient liberties against politically correct censorship and a commitment to our democratically elected parliament.”
17 June 2012: Ruth Davidson fined by Electoral Commission for failing to Declare Donations in Time
The commission last week issued a report stating that Davidson twice broke electoral law by missing the 30-day deadline for registering two donations totalling £14,500 in October. The Glasgow list MSP was fined £400, with each offence punished by a fixed penalty of £200. Davidson paid the fine on May 11.
The fine is embarrassing for Davidson, as it raises questions about her experience and competence. A senior Tory source said: “This is just not what the party needs. It’s the latest in a long set of embarrassing moments for Ruth.”
Davidson, 33, a former BBC broadcaster, became Tory leader in November following a bitter and divisive contest triggered by the resignation of Annabelle Goldie in May 2011.
She was made leader just six months after becoming an MSP for the first time. Despite being the favourite of the Tory hierarchy, she failed to secure the support of association chairs in her Glasgow seat, and her campaign was dogged by a series of self-inflicted errors.
In the closing days of the campaign, the three other Tory MSPs vying for the job accused her of receiving an unfair advantage through covert backing from Conservative HQ.
After a fleeting honeymoon period, Davidson has been the subject of mounting criticism from the Scottish Tories, with a surge in complaints after the party lost 20% of its vote and its councillors in May’s local elections.
Last week, Alex Salmond taunted her at First Minister’s Questions by reading out critical comments from Toryhoose – a Scottish Conservatives website – which had previously acted as Davidson’s cheerleader, about the party’s poor showing in the election.
The latest setback concerns money given to Davidson’s leadership campaign last autumn. Electoral Commission records show Davidson accepted £29,500 in four lots in her capacity as a “regulated donee”, the term used when an individual MP or MSP accepts a donation.
Two donations were accepted on September 19 – a sum of £2000 from James Stewart, director of a private equity company who has also in the past given money to Scottish Tory MP David Mundell; and £12,500 from Glasgow-based property company Alchemist Estates Limited, owned by Conservative donor Brian Gillies.
By law, these should have been declared to the Commission by October 18, but Davidson failed to register them until November 21, when she also declared a further £10,000 from Stewart and £5000 from London-based donor Carolyn Ward.
In its enforcement report, the Commission said it had fined Davidson for “failure to deliver two donation reports within 30 days of acceptance of donations”.
Davidson’s main rival for the Tory leadership, Murdo Fraser, reported all of his donations on time.
SNP deputy leader Nicola Sturgeon said: “This is a humiliation for Ruth Davidson and another blow for her flagging leadership.”
A Labour spokesman said: “These rules are in place for good reason to ensure fairness and transparency in elections and it is appropriate this action is taken against Ruth .Davidson.”
3 April 2013: Mundell Dodges Angry Protestors
Tory minister David Mundell was last night accused of “running scared” after swerving a confrontation with victims of the bedroom tax.
The Under-Secretary of State for Scotland had been due to meet Renfrewshire Council leader Mark Macmillan to discuss the controversial under occupancy legislation. But he called it off at the last minute on Monday afternoon, just as Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith was getting a public mauling over other cuts.
And pressure group Bin The Bedroom Tax Renfrewshire, who had been planning a protest outside the meeting in Renfrew yesterday, claim he called off because he was afraid to tackle the issue head-on.
15 Aug 2013: David Cameron ducks questions on bedroom tax and other big issues as he makes sneak visit to Scotland
David Cameron chickened out of answering questions on the big issues when he sneaked into Scotland yesterday. The Prime Minister’s entourage of spin doctors prevented other journalists from entering the Emirates Arena in Glasgow. They simply wanted to ask him about issues such as the Bedroom Tax, ATOS and the Remploy job losses. But “Scotland Adviser” Ramsay Jones told us we would not get in.
Later, Cameron left by a side exit to see the Commonwealth Games village. Again, access was restricted to just the chosen few. But we did photograph the PM as he skulked into his Land Rover.
13 November 2013: Mundell, who very rarely speaks in the commons takes up a great whack of taxpayer’s money – Mundell’s 2012/2013 claims:
Constituency Office £19,991.45
Personal Accommodation, (London) £16,346.58
Staff’s expenses £3,960
Staffing Payroll £113,745.92
Parliamentary Assistant SPAD (his son Oliver Mundell). £25-20K
Total claim £173,474. plus on-costs, employers contributions.etc £200,000
5 year total approximately £1,500,000 (including Mundell’s salary etc.
Mundell was ranked among the worst performers in an analysis of MPs’ value for money. He came in 587th place for 2007/08 based on his contribution in parliament His attendance/speaking record in the Commons shows he attended only 47 per cent of votes, spoke in only 11 debates and submitted just 16 written questions in the year, much less than the overall average. Conversely his expense claims were in the top ten of over 600 MP’s.
18 December 2013: Westminster debate on Low Pay & Food Banks
Labour: “Will he tell the House what the percentage increase in the number of people using food banks in Scotland in the past year has been? Given that it is Christmas, I will offer him a hand. Is it (a) 100%; (b) 200%; (c) over 400%?”
Mundell (Conservative): “What the hon. Lady omitted to tell us was that under her Government the increase in people using food banks was 1,000%. Our Government are concerned about people needing to use food banks in a moment of crisis in their lives.
We support the development of food banks and those who operate them, and I was very proud to open the food bank in Peebles in my constituency.
But to pretend that these crises are of this Government’s making and that they have not been going on for a continuing period is to mislead the House.”
Labour: “The Minister should know that the increase in the past year has been 435%, which is more than 34,000 people, including more than 10,000 children, using food banks in Scotland. Those are shameful figures and all Members of this House should pay attention to them.
He has refused to be drawn on why this is happening. Citizens Advice, the Trussell Trust and the Child Poverty Action Group are all saying that this Government’s policies are driving people in Scotland to use food banks. Are they all wrong?”
Mundell (Conservative): “Of course the hon. Lady does not acknowledge the 1,000% rise in the use of food banks under the last Labour Government. We want to look at, and understand, why there has been an increase in the use of food banks.
That is why the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has committed to an extensive study on the use of food aid across the United Kingdom, and she will be able to read that when it is published.”
Comment: Labour, Tory and Lib/Dem parties are jointly complicit abusing the people of Scotland whom they are sworn to protect.
14 January 2014: Mundell accused of “bare-faced gall” over his claims the Scottish Parliament had sufficient powers to scrap the so-called ‘bedroom tax’.
Mundell was quoted as saying of the SNP government “It is the same as the childcare debate. It is a question of choices on where they want to spend their money.”
Housing and Welfare Minister Margaret Burgess responded “I was absolutely shocked to read Mundell’s comments. He is a member of the UK party, in government in Westminster, the place that imposed the bedroom tax on the people of Scotland.
Why should the Scottish government have to make up for the failings of Westminster and where, from an already much reduced national budget, the money should come from.”
Ms Burgess went on to explain that the Scottish government had already allocated the maximum amount of £20 million, this year and then again next, permitted under the Scotland Act, to mitigate some of the effects of the change to housing benefit.
She also called on the electorate to “vote yes” in the independence referendum claiming “there is only one solution – the Scottish Parliament should have control over welfare benefits and we could scrap the bedroom tax altogether.”
Scottish Labour MSP Jenny Marra asked Ms Burgess if Mundell “knows something the minister doesn’t, and had she instructed her officials to do a full audit to make sure that there might be a mechanism that could mitigate this bedroom tax now, rather than waiting for a vote in September?”
The minister replied “I don’t think he actually understands that the Scotland Act expressively reserves welfare spending related to an individual’s housing costs.”
Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone asked for “a commitment that these policies will be fully costed prior to the referendum in September”. The Minister replied “all the policies of this Scottish government are fully costed. I don’t think we’ll take any lessons from the Tories on budgets or costing”.
28 April 2014: Mundell creates mischief misquoting Alex Salmond about Scotlands fishery policy post referendum.
Mundell said “foreign fleets take a “very small proportion” of their catch from Scottish waters and in any accession negotiations, other member states would be more likely to press for improved access to Scottish fishing grounds in the North Sea than to make concessions for Scotland.
An independent Scotland would also be duty bound under international law to grant free passage to Scottish waters for vessels passing through en route to Norwegian waters.”
Salmonds response: http://www.sff.co.uk/sites/default/files/2014-05-30%20Response%20from%20The%20First%20Minister.pdf
27 June 2014: Mundell finally admits benefit cuts have forced poorest families into using food banks
Mundell finally admitted that the benefit sanction system is responsible for the sharp increase in the number of Scottish families relying on food banks.
In a humiliating climbdown he said there “isn’t any doubt” that the benefit sanctions system is responsible for the soaring numbers of Scots using food banks.
Defensively he added “Some of the increase in relation to the use of food banks may be down to more reporting of that use. Some is obviously down to the greater availability of food banks.
There is an increase in the use of food banks in other affluent countries. There isn’t any doubt that some people have gone to food banks because they have been subject, for example, to sanctions or a delay in getting benefits.”
Last night SNP MSP Annabelle Ewing blasted Tories for benefit cuts. She said: “A UK minister has finally faced up to the fact that Westminster’s attack on welfare is responsible for the growing number of people forced to rely on food banks, an admission that is long overdue.
For months, Westminster has ducked responsibility and had the audacity to blame the poor for the devastating impact cuts to benefits are having.
Mundell has said he would like to see a UK Government analysis on food banks – something that has not yet been produced, despite the fact reliance on food banks has grown 400 per cent.
Given we now have 22,387 children in Scotland relying on food banks, we desperately need a change of direction.” Mundell was facing the MSPs after Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael pulled out.
Committee member Annabelle Ewing went on to say “It is very disappointing that Alistair Carmichael did not attend the Welfare Reform Committee today.
While everyone understands the importance of the commemoration on World War 1, Alistair Carmichael has a duty to appear before the Scottish Parliament and explain why the UK welfare system is ‘fantastic’ as he has previously claimed, and it would be good if it could be rescheduled.”
Comment: Why the hell is he smiling? Appalling belated admission by Mundell. Only 6 months from the general election clearly putting a bit of distance between himself and Westminster.
Badly needed if he is to survive. As for Carmichael he couldn’t even be bothered to turn up, disgraceful but par for the course where he is concerned.
9 August 2014: Adviser to UK Prime Minister Says Scots to be Offered Devolution ‘Process’ if They Vote No
A special adviser to the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, said that the pro-UK Better Together campaign will later this week outline a “process” whereby Scotland could obtain more powers, but only if they reject independence in a referendum to be held in ten days’ time.
Speaking from the Prime Minister’s official residence in Downing Street, Ramsay Jones said that comments made by the Chancellor George Osborne at the weekend – in which he implied additional powers for Scotland would be announced later this week – did not represent the UK Government’s official position, but instead reflected those of the wider cross-party No campaign. “What the Chancellor was talking about is something the wider cross-party campaign plan to announce this week in terms of the future of devolution, It is no different from the First Minister talking about the future of independence,” said Jones.
There had been widespread speculation that the Chancellor’s comments over the weekend suggesting “additional powers” for Scotland constituted a breach of the ‘Edinburgh Agreement’. That document, signed in 2012 by the Prime Minister and Scottish First Minister, obliged both Governments to avoid making any additional commitments during the final 28 days of the campaign. “This was not the Government making an announcement, this was George Osborne simply flagging up that the parties will be making an announcement this week,” said Jones.
Following Osborne’s comments Alistair Darling, the leader of the Better Together campaign, which opposes Scottish independence, was quick to clarify that what would be announced was not additional powers for Scotland, but simply a restating of what the No side had already outlined several months ago. “The additional powers coming to the Scottish parliament were announced by the party leaders, north and south of the border, some time ago,” Darling told the BBC.
Ramsay Jones said that the new announcement would clarify the processes around how new powers might be devolved to Scotland in the event of a No vote. “What the Chancellor was announcing was a plan of action that will be unveiled about how the next stage of devolution will go forward so people can see the process and allow them to see the timetable for that to happen. So he and Alistair Darling are talking about exactly the same thing. Additional powers may well emerge from that process. All the parties have made their various proposals and there will be other ideas out there. The question is – as has always been the case with devolution – there has to be some kind of process for those kinds of ideas to come together. Scotland has to have a conversation for these ideas to come together. You don’t go into that with an absolute proscription on what the outcome should be. That is not the way it’s done,” said Jones.
Joan McAlpine, a Member of the Scottish Parliament representing the pro-independence Scottish National Party said “People of Scotland will not be fooled by the No campaign’s panicked attempts to bribe them into voting No. As the polls show the referendum is closer than ever, more and more people are waking up to the fact that only the full powers independence will enable Scotland to thrive – and that is why we are confident of a Yes vote next Thursday.”
18 August 2014: Mundell issues fraudulent election campaign literature only just a month before the country goes to the polls.
A page-long “better together” promotion sent out to all of his constituents purporting to air the views of a constituency family backing the campaign message for the forthcoming Independence Referendum has caused anger.
The profile piece entitled ‘Putting family first – why we’re voting No’ features Keith and Michelle. But nowhere in the article does it reveal the couple’s surname or that Keith is an elected Conservative councillor for Tweeddale West.
Local music tutor Sarah Northcott from Tweedsmuir said “I received Mundell’s campaign leaflet and it contains a section where a family explains why they will be voting “No” , “I thought they looked familiar – the family portrayed is that of local Tory councillor Keith Cockburn, but nowhere is it mentioned in the leaflet that he is a local politician.
This is, at best, highly misleading – could they not find a local family without Tory party ties to speak against independence?” Councillor Cockburn, a local businessman, won the Tweeddale West by-election last year.
Calum Kerr from Cardrona heads up the pro-independence “Yes” campaign in the Borders. And he believes the region’s MP should be more forthcoming with the facts. He said “This is the kind of disingenuous thing that puts people off politics and undermines trust. This is an elected official that is being portrayed as an ordinary member of the public.”
A question-and-answer section in the same pro-union publication features a question from former Conservative deputy leader of Scottish Borders Council, Neil Calvert. Mr Kerr added “The Better Together campaign are using the same format and wording for their publications across the country – just putting in names of local people to match each area.”
30 August 2014: At Westminster, Mundell expressed his great pride at being invited to open a foodbank in Peebles.
Interviewer: “How can anyone be proud to open a foodbank?”
Mundell: “I’m proud of the people who worked to make that happen .. providing support for people who are more vulnerable in the community. I very much regret the politicisation of food banks.”
Interviewer: “You told Holyrood’s welfare reform committee: There is no doubt some people have gone to food banks because they have been subject to sanctions or a delay in receiving benefits.”
Interviewer: “Are sanctions fair?”
Mundell: “We’re trying to ensure that they are …”I would rather see a situation where nobody felt that they needed to use a food bank. But I don’t believe that simply an increase in welfare payments or not having sanctions would lead to that.”
Interviewer: “Surely if folk had more money for food they would draw on food banks less?”
Mundell: “Well, you might make that supposition.”
Interviewer: “Is it a wild supposition?”
Mundell: “I don’t think it sounds a wild supposition. But in lots of wealthy countries people use food banks. It’s not straightforward. And it’s most certainly not the case that if Scotland became independent we wouldn’t have food banks and child poverty. That’s complete nonsense.”
10 November 2014: Mundell betrays his promise to meet food bank providers.
Mundell told the Welfare Reform Committee he would meet with representatives from food banks.
Committee convenor Michael McMahon said that, despite repeated attempts, officials had been unable to contact him.
He said “It is time David Mundell put his words into action and does what he has said he will do. The UK Government is in denial on the impact of its welfare reforms on some of the most vulnerable of our citizens. People deserve the opportunity to put their views and experiences directly to the minister.”
Deputy Committee Convener Jamie Hepburn MSP said “It is shocking that he and his Government continue to exist in a state of denial on the impact of its welfare policies.” David Mundell owes it to food bank providers and their users to hear their concerns directly.
Mundell was also asked to provide a response to the committee’s report on the link between the rise in the use of food banks and the UK Government’s welfare policies.
3 February 2015: If you wish to keep a cobra as a pet – First remove it’s fangs
There is no guarantee that a future UK Government could not hold up Holyrood decision-making indefinitely under Scotland’s new devolution settlement, according to a Scotland Office minister.
The Westminster establishment has repeatedly dismissed SNP claims that they have written a right of “veto” into the draft devolution law to prevent Holyrood making benefit changes that Westminster might find unacceptable.
But implementation of any proposed Scottish benefit change must be agreed beforehand with the UK Government, fuelling SNP accusations that Westminster could use this clause to hold up benefit changes unpalatable to Westminster for years.
David Mundell, Scotland’s only Conservative MP and junior minister in the Scotland Office, told Holyrood’s Welfare Reform Committee that he would personally make sure an agreement on benefits does not take years.
But he said he “couldn’t guarantee” he would be around after the 2015 general election. But, he said it would “not be feasible in terms of the political reality” for any future government to hold up Scottish benefits amid the inevitable outcry it would provoke from MSPs.
But he refused to commit to redrafting the “Scotland Bill” removing the SNP’s supposed “implication” of veto, saying only that the clauses “are out for discussion and consideration” and open to Scottish Government “feedback”.
Q & A Session
SNP MSP Kevin Stewart: “Could you give us some clarity on how long a consultation between the two governments could go on for?”
Mundell: “Over my period in the Scotland Office I found that sometimes these matters can be resolved in hours and sometimes they take considerably longer. But I am making it clear that there is goodwill on our part in terms of bringing these objectives about.”
Stewart: “Can you confirm to the committee that it would not be a matter of many years for one of these consultations to be dragged over?”
Mundell: “If it’s anything to do with me, which I can’t guarantee, it would not be a matter of years.”
Stewart: “As you say, you can’t guarantee that it will be you. Could you confirm that one of these consultations cannot go on indefinitely, which is effectively a veto?”
Mundell: “Nobody wants to see that happening. I think everybody also understands the politics of Scotland, the respect that the UK Government has demonstrated for the Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliament, and would not engage in that sort of subversive delay because it would simply not be feasible in terms of the political reality. I’m sure you (MSPs) and others would be making that point. There would be no intention to veto proposals put forward by the Scottish Government, either upfront or by some sort of behind the scenes way.”
Stewart: “So it would have been better if the language in the draft clauses had been put in a different way?”
Mundell: “The draft clauses are out for discussion and consideration. There is an opportunity for the committee, for individuals within the parliament, for the Scottish Government, and we’re in a very close dialogue with John Swinney who is leading for the Scottish Government in these matters in relation to the clause. If there is particular feedback in relation to the clauses then that can be given.”
Stewart: “But you can categorically say that although the implication in the language in the clause is of veto that there is no veto.”
Mundell: “Well, I wouldn’t have taken that implication of veto. I take the clear position of working together, but there is no veto.”
28 March 2015: Scotland’s only Conservative MP has been caught putting out election leaflets which leave out one important fact – he’s a Tory.
David Mundell has been branded devious and disrespectful by constituents for failing to mention the T-word.
Constituent John Hodgman says he thought Mundell was standing for the SNP after reading the leaflet which was delivered last week.
Retired John, 67, said: “The words Conservative or Tory don’t appear in his campaign leaflet at all. “There is no reference to Mundell being a member of the Westminster government and not a single line about its record nor policies.”
John, from Moniaive in Mundell‘s Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale seat, said “The leaflet is devious and disrespectful.
BBC Press Office (Scottish Referendum) ???
12 May 2015: Cameron Open to New Powers For Holyrood – Proposal Will Go Beyond the Vow
David Cameron is preparing to offer the Scottish Parliament powers in excess of of The Vow proposals agreed by the Smith Commission.
New Tory Scottish Secretary David Mundell has signalled that the Prime Minister is open to delivering full tax and spending powers to Holyrood.
Speaking in Downing Street after being appointed yesterday, Mundell – the sole Scottish Tory MP – said the all-party commission’s proposals for further devolution would be up for negotiation.
Echoing Nicola Sturgeon’s words after Scotland returned 56 SNP MPs, he added: “I can give the absolute guarantee it will not be business as usual.
11 June 2015: Tories Show Contempt for Scot’s Children
Scottish Secretary David Mundell was yesterday condemned for having a “contemptible” attitude to child poverty after claiming welfare cuts would have no effect on children.
He said there was “no evidence” there would be an increase in the number of children falling into poverty as a result of £12 billion of welfare savings due in the next few years.
During the first Scottish Questions of the new Parliament Mundell told MPs that there had been a “relative decrease” in child poverty in Scotland.
Davidson and Mundell giving it licks
The Spat – Davidson V Cameron
August 3rd, 2015 – Ruth Davidson, Scottish Tory leader tells Cameron not to stand in the way of a second referendum on independence.
Cameron, (without consulting Ruth Davidson) said last week the UK Government would stop another referendum. “It is important that a referendum is legal and fair and properly constituted. That’s what we had and it was decisive, so I don’t see the need for another one.” When asked if this meant he could rule another referendum out before the next UK General Election in 2020, he said: “Yes.”
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon reponded saying “David Cameron has no right to stand in the way” of a second poll, if it is supported by a majority of Scots.
Adding comment, Ruth Davidson, (Tory Party in Scotland Leader) warned Cameron that “such a move would put the party in a hellish position in Scotland. If the Nats won a majority having said in the manifesto that they would have a second referendum and the only thing standing in the way of having a second referendum was the UK Government, then that would be a pretty uncomfortable position for the Scottish Conservatives to be in.” http://www.thenational.scot/news/ruth-davidson-warns-david-cameron-not-to-block-a-second-independence-referendum.5903
5 October 2015 ; How do SNP vet their candidates?’: Scots Tory leader Ruth Davidson seeks explanation over suspended MP Michelle Thomson
Tory leader in Scotland Ruth Davidson last night called for an explanation over the SNP’s candidate selection and vetting procedures in light of the Michelle Thomson property scandal.
Davidson said there was a question over the integrity of the SNP’s MP candidate selection.
Scottish Labour said “real questions” had to be asked about the selection of the Edinburgh West MP.
Advice for Davidson and Dugdale:
Ruth Davidson should look to the recently catalogued breaches of peace, public nuisance and racist behaviour of members of her own party.
David Cameron, Mundell and the party in Westminster also overuled the Scots and ordered that Davidson would be included on the ballot for the Tory party in Scotland leadership effectively screwing poor Murdo Fraser whose ambitions were strangled at birth.
Labour needs to investigate their own officials. A serving Councillor of the Labour Party (Glasgow District Council) has reputedly bought up in excess of 300 ex-council properties purchased under the right to buy scheme.Unbelievable. Who vetted him??
13 January 2016: Scottish secretary Mundell comes out as gay
Scottish Secretary David Mundell wrote on his personal website that it was time to “acknowledge in public as well as in private, who I am”.
The 53-year-old MP said he hoped that coming out would not change anything about how he was treated. He is believed to be the first openly-gay Conservative cabinet secretary.
Mundell, who has three grown-up children, wrote in his online post: “New Year, new start! I have already set out my political priorities for the year and now I am setting out my personal one.
“Having taken one of the most important decisions of my life and resolved to come out as gay in 2016, I just want to get on with it, and now, just like that, I have said it.”
The MP said he “still cannot rationalise his feelings”, but said they were “not uncommon, particularly in men of my age”. and added of course, everybody who gets to this point, has had their own journey.
I have certainly been on mine – conflicting emotions, of doubts and fears, but ultimately positive and uplifting, with an unstoppable direction of travel.
Over time, I came to understand that, for me, the only way to be truly happy on a personal level is to acknowledge in public as well as in private, who I am.”
Mundell’s announcement brings the number of openly-gay MPs in the House of Commons to 33 – the highest proportion of any parliament in the world, according to a study by US academics – and means there are as many on the Tory as the Labour benches.