6 February 2020

Scottish Labour Party Leader, Richard Leonard MSP, today called for the First Minister to take decisive action on Derek Mackay after he admitted inappropriate contact with a schoolboy.

He said:

“Derek Mackay this morning described his behaviour as foolish, but Derek Mackay’s actions towards a schoolboy are beyond foolish, they are an abuse of power, they are nothing short of predatory.

"So, this is serious.

"And while his suspension from the SNP is welcome, he should go as a member of this parliament.”

Richard Leonard then used his time to ask the First Minister, whether her government would step in and escalate NHS Tayside to level 5 of special measures in light of Dr David Strang’s report released this week on the mental health services there.

He stated that the families who gave evidence to the inquiry were ‘vindicated’ by the publication of the report and called on the SNP government to have closer oversight of how the recommendations are implemented.

He said: “NHS Tayside has a history of evading scrutiny, deflecting criticism and resisting change.

"They have repeatedly ignored recommendations from Healthcare Improvement Scotland and the Mental Welfare Commission.

“And again this week David Strang revealed, that the one and only recommendation of his interim report has not been delivered.”

Having spoken to the families involved, Richard Leonard praised their courage but confirmed they have no faith in NHS Tayside in delivering on the recommendations.

He added:

“First Minister , now is the time for you to repay that courage.

"So will you commit today to give real teeth to Healthcare Improvement Scotland, to the Mental Welfare Commission and to Fatal Accident Inquiries so that their recommendations are enforceable?

“And will you today instruct your Cabinet Secretary to re-escalate NHS Tayside’s mental health services to Level 5, so that your Government steps in to drive the transformation of mental health services in Tayside?

“First Minister, will you do the right thing?”
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