Colin Boyd 'must lose Cabinet role'
LABOUR'S coalition partner is to call for Lord Advocate Colin Boyd to be removed from Scotland's Cabinet, claiming a blatant conflict of interest.
As well as sitting in the Cabinet as a government minister, the Lord Advocate is also Scotland's chief prosecutor, thereby occupying a unique political and judicial role.
Liberal Democrat leaders are now recommending that Boyd be stripped of his political functions, to ensure a clear separation of powers.
Party sources insist the move is not a slur against Boyd, but it comes with the Lord Advocate under massive scrutiny in the wake of the Shirley McKie fingerprint scandal.
Boyd, who is also a Labour party member, agreed to pay the former policewoman 750,000 in damages after she was falsely accused of leaving her prints at a crime scene.
He has since stood alongside Justice Minister Cathy Jamieson in defending the Scottish Executive's actions.
Last week Boyd was named among those being elevated to the House of Lords, where he will sit as a cross-bench member, despite his Labour affiliations.
A spokesman for the Liberal Democrats said that the party supported a reform of the Lord Advocate's role if and when Scotland's devolution settlement was reviewed.
The party wants to call a second 'Constitutional Convention' to consider ways of refining the Parliament.
The spokesman said: "It has been a long-standing view that there needs to be more separation. This is not anything personal against Colin Boyd. His role is written into the Scotland Act, but that needs to change."
Boyd sits in the Scottish Cabinet in his capacity as the Scottish Executive's chief legal adviser. As Lord Advocate, he is also the law officer who decides whether to bring prosecutions against accused members of the public.
The Crown Office was unavailable for comment.
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