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FMQs: Sack Alex Neil over NHS ‘deception’ - Lamont

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  • by ANDREW WHITAKER
 

LABOUR leader Johann Lamont called on Alex Salmond to sack health secretary Alex Neil over allegations that he “deceived” the Scottish Parliament over his role in a controversial shake-up of NHS services in his constituency at First Minister’s questions today.

The row came after it was reported that Mr Neil asked NHS Lanarkshire to scrap previously agreed plans for health services and retain acute mental health beds at Monklands hospital in his Airdrie and Shotts constituency.

The Labour leader said that Mr Neil removed himself from the formal decision making process in a bid to avoid claims he faced a conflict of interest, which would breach the ministerial code of conduct. Mr Neil later told MSPs he was not involved, Ms Lamont said.

Ms Lamont said that Mr Neil had “deceived this parliament and the people of Scotland”.

She said: “If Alex Neil will not resign will the First Minister sack him.”

However, Mr Salmond insisted that Mr Neil had “acted perfectly properly” as a minister and as a constituency MSP.

Mr Salmond said that Ms Lamont was just promoting “an argument to get at SNP ministers” as he rejected the Labour leader’s call to sack Mr Neil.

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