MSPs meet Scottish Secretary in London

A DELEGATION of MSPs was today due to meet the new Scottish Secretary David Mundell in London to discuss their concerns about plans to extend Holyrood’s powers.

Picture: TSPL

The cross-party group from the Scottish Parliament’s devolution committee was due to hold talks with Mr Mundell after a report last week said the draft clauses that had been put forward by the previous UK government did not meet with “the spirit or the substance” of the Smith Commission’s recommendations.

Committee convener Bruce Crawford, a former SNP minister, is leading the delegation, which also includes nationalist MSP Linda Fabiani and Labour’s Lewis Macdonald.

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Mr Crawford, speaking ahead of the talks, which is taking place at the Scotland Office in London, said: “I am pleased that the new Secretary of State for Scotland has found time so early in his new role to meet with this cross-party delegation from the committee.

“I am looking forward to discussing our balanced and constructive report with him. Given the report was agreed by all five political parties represented on the committee, I am sure he will take our findings extremely seriously.”

The Smith Commission, which was set up in the wake of last year’s independence referendum, proposed giving a range of new powers to Holyrood, including greater control over income tax and some responsibility for welfare and benefits.

But Mr Crawford said last week the draft clauses would not be recommended for legislative consent by the Scottish Parliament in their present state, claiming that the “currently proposed legislation sells Smith short”.