Nicola Sturgeon disappoints MPs by declining committee invitation

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Pete Wishart, left, with Nicola Sturgeon and John Swinney on the campaign trail in Blairgowrie, Perthshire on May 22, 2017. Photo Jeff Mitchell, Getty.
Pete Wishart, left, with Nicola Sturgeon and John Swinney on the campaign trail in Blairgowrie, Perthshire on May 22, 2017. Photo Jeff Mitchell, Getty.

NICOLA Sturgeon has disappointed MPs by turning down a request to appear before a Westminster committee.

The Scottish Affairs Committee wrote to the First Minister in November last year with the invitation but she has declined citing her responsibilities and range of commitments.

She said in her letter that she is held accountable to the Scottish Parliament and pointed members of the Committee to her recent appearance before the Scottish Parliament Conveners' Committee on March 2.

However, as pointed out in the Commons' committee’s original invitation send on November 1, 2021, Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford has appeared before Westminster’s Welsh Affairs Committee twice so far during this Parliament.

In a statement to the press today the Scottish Affairs Committee said it was disappointed that the First Minister has declined the invitation and that it took so long to secure a reply to the invitation.

Scottish Affairs Committee Chair, Pete Wishart, the SNP MP for Perth and North Perthshire, said: “We first wrote to the First Minister in November inviting her to appear before our Committee, and we are surprised that her response did not arrive sooner.

“Our committee is focussed on reports and inquiries that are relevant to the people of Scotland, and it would have been helpful to have explored the issues with the First Minister.

"In this Parliament we have had inquiries and reports on universities, renewable energy and public sector broadcasting issues that cut across responsibilities of both Parliaments.

“The invitation remains open to the First Minister and we hope that some time in the future she may be in a position to reconsider her decision.”

The other members of the committee also: Mhairi Black, the SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire South, Andrew Bowie, Conservative MP for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine, Deidre Brock, SNP MP for Edinburgh North and Leith, Wendy Chamberlain, Lib Dem, North East Fife, Alberto Costa, Conservative MP for South Leicestershire, Jon Cruddas, Labour MP for Dagenham and Rainham, Sally-Ann Hart, Conservative MP for Hastings and Rye, John Lamont, Conservative MP for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk, Douglas Ross Conservative MP for Moray and Liz Twist, Labour MP for Blaydon.

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