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All Speeches

  • Article: Mar 5, 2015

    4 March 2015


    Alison McInnes (North East Scotland) (LD): As Liberal Democrats we are pleased to have used our time in the chamber to debate privacy and the state. We welcome whole-heartedly the support of other opposition parties and hope that the SNP will reflect on the strength of feeling expressed. Willie Rennie, Richard Simpson, Liz Smith and Patrick Harvie have clearly and coherently set out the risks and what is at stake, which is more than can be said for Christian Allard in his contribution.

  • Article: Mar 5, 2015

    Thursday 26 February


    I, too, congratulate Mary Fee on securing the debate, which follows on from yesterday's joint meeting of the cross-party group on children and young people and the cross-party group on families affected by imprisonment.

    I thank the NSPCC and Barnardo's for their valuable contribution. Although their report builds on earlier work, including the Corston and Angiolini reports, the statistics and analysis still make stark reading, as other members have highlighted. Up to 4,600 children under the age of two are affected by parental imprisonment each year in Scotland, and two thirds of female prisoners and half of male prisoners report that they have children. Those children are at at least double the risk of developing mental health problems and are three times more likely to be involved in antisocial or delinquent behaviour.

  • Article: Feb 11, 2015

    Thursday 5 February


    Alison McInnes (North East Scotland) (LD): It is a crying shame that, in 2015, girls around the world are subjected to such brutal abuse. It is all the more shaming that it is happening to girls who were born in our country.

    It is hard to bear and to hear that young girls are in pain, isolated and frightened, and that women are living with the daily consequences of FGM, including difficulties with menstruation, pelvic and urinary tract infections, and painful intercourse. For some, there is infertility, and for others, there are difficulties with childbirth and an increased risk of stillbirth or haemorrhage, not to mention the psychological consequences of such a trauma.

  • Article: Feb 11, 2015

    Thursday 5 February 2015


    Alison McInnes (North East Scotland) (LD): I will be brief. On Tuesday, I asked Fergus Ewing why Aberdeen City Council's funding allocation was below the funding floor. He just recited the script that the finance minister has used for the past three years-that the Government made an adjustment three years ago and nothing more needs to happen. I have had to listen to John Swinney say for the past three years that it is important to him not to look again at the settlement.

  • Article: Jan 29, 2015

    Wednesday 28 January


    Alison McInnes (North East Scotland) (LD): I am so pleased that the Cabinet Secretary for Justice has reflected on the plan for HMP Inverclyde and listened to the progressive voices that were raised against it. The Howard League for Penal Reform, Families Outside and many others across civic Scotland played an important role in securing that outcome. His decision has presented us with another opportunity to do things differently and to redefine the experiences of women who come into contact with our justice system.

  • Article: Jan 19, 2015

    Tuesday 13 January 2015


    Alison McInnes (North East Scotland) (LD): The Justice Committee's report on the SSI is laden with provisos and caveats-in my view, far too many for comfort. Regular rigorous independent scrutiny of our prisons is essential in order to ensure that proper standards of care and decency are maintained. The proposals do not ensure that monitors will be truly independent; instead, independent prison monitors will sit in a hierarchy and their work will be directed by salaried co-ordinators who will, in turn, be overseen by Her Majesty's chief inspector of prisons for Scotland.

  • Article: Jan 19, 2015

    Thursday 15 January 2015


    Alison McInnes (North East Scotland) (LD): I gladly join members across the chamber in commending all those who work in many different ways to keep us safe.

    My Liberal Democrat colleagues and I are incredibly grateful for the work that the emergency services do for all our constituents around Scotland. Police officers, ambulance crews, firefighters, doctors, nurses and many more routinely put the needs of the public before their own. Each time that they start a shift, they are prepared to deal with unexpected, distressing and traumatic situations; incidents that the rest of us might never encounter at all-we certainly hope that we do not.

  • Article: Dec 4, 2014

    4 December 2014


    Alison McInnes (North East Scotland) (LD): SNAP has made an impact and good progress in its first year. It is good to have an opportunity to debate it today ahead of international human rights day on 10 December.

    Members have already spoken about SNAP's practical value in raising awareness of, understanding of and respect for human rights throughout the Government, public service and communities. The annual report notes that there is still a lack of understanding among decision makers and front-line workers about the value of human rights, so I welcome the cabinet secretary's announcement of an awareness-raising campaign on why rights matter and how to claim those rights. That is vital because, as the Scottish Human Rights Commission stresses,

  • Article: Dec 1, 2014

    27 November 2014


    Alison McInnes (North East Scotland) (LD): It would be remiss of me not to start with a mention of the recommendations of the Smith commission, which were unveiled just a few hours ago. Let us be clear: it is a bold package of new powers to give the Scottish Parliament the muscle that it needs to build a fairer society, with opportunity for all.

  • Article: Nov 20, 2014

    18 November 2014


    Alison McInnes (North East Scotland) (LD): The current drink-drive limit was set in 1965. Since then, I am glad to say, perceptions have changed. Public and scientific understanding of the risks has increased dramatically. However, for many folk there is still some confusion as to what the existing limit allows. Is it a pint or a glass of wine? What constitutes a unit, and how many can someone have and still drive legally?