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Newspaper Columns

SNP must distance themselves from the past to avoid doorstep troubles

  • First published in : Visit Website
  • First published on: 09th Feb 2024

Next week, it will be a year since Nicola Sturgeon’s surprise resignation as First Minister of Scotland and leader of the SNP. Let me be crystal clear. I don’t believe in kicking people when they are down, and I thought Alistair Jack’s nasty comments at the Covid Inquiry were mean, petty and beneath the dignity of a government minister. So, much as it is well known that Nicola and I had our differences and did not get on, this column is not really about her. 

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Women in Iran, in Afghanistan and beyond deserve our protection

  • First published in : Visit Website
  • First published on: 12th Jan 2024

Last weekend a young Iranian woman of Kurdish origin called Roya Heshmati was lashed 74 times for 'violating public morals' by refusing to wear the hijab. Her sentence together with a fine was court imposed. When she went to receive her punishment, she refused to wear the hijab and was threatened with 74 more lashes. She still refused. As she was lashed, she whispered 'in the name of woman, in the name of life'.

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Scottish Lord Advocate role needs reform. My bill will do it

  • First published in : Visit Website
  • First published on: 05th Jan 2024

Next week I will be introducing a private member’s bill at Westminster designed to give the Scottish parliament the power to amend the role of Scotland’s law officers including dividing the role of the Lord Advocate into two separate jobs. One as head of the Scotland’s prosecution service, and the other as a minister of the Scottish Government and its Chief Legal Advisor. 

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Alister Jack's gender reform block was no attack on devolution

  • First published in : Visit Website
  • First published on: 15th Dec 2023

Quite a few column inches have been expended in this newspaper since last Friday's court ruling on Alister Jack's block of the Gender Recognition Reform (GRR) Bill. Readers have heard from columnists who are male lawyers and trans rights activists but, as yet, we have had no commentary from the women whose concerns were validated by the judgment, the -'women who wouldn't wheesht'.

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