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Sturgeon declines invitation to address MPs

Nicola Sturgeon FM at SCDI
Nicola Sturgeon: commitments (pic: Terry Murden)

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has declined an invitation to appear before the Scottish Affairs Committee at Westminster, citing her responsibilities and range of commitments.

Ms Sturgeon explained 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 2 March.

Her decision was greeted with disappointment by members of the Commons committee who pointed out that the First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford has appeared twice before the Welsh Affairs Committee during this parliament.

This was mentioned in the  original invitation sent to Ms Sturgeon on 1 November 2021.

In its response, the Scottish Affairs Committee said it is “therefore disappointed that the First Minister has declined the invitation and that it took so long to secure a reply to the invitation.”

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Scottish Affairs Committee chair, Pete Wishart, an SNP MP, added: “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 focused 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.”

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