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ref date:25 Jul 1997 (SI)
Ancram attacks grand committee block on Tories

The Conservative (Tory) party were excluded from the Scottish Grand Commitee that debates issues pertinent to Scotland only. They have no MP's in Scotland and yet they still expect to interfere in Scottish issues because they are the opposition party in Westminster, London.

The devolution minister Henry McLeish said: "The official Opposition have no MPs from Scottish constituencies. They therefore have no place on the Scottish Grand Committee."

Michael Ancram, the Tories spokesman on constitutional issues, said this was "profoundly disturbing" - ironic considering the Tories imposed their will on Scotland and its people for 18 long years even though the Scosts had not voted Tory...

Mr Ancram also said: "There are political implications of a constitutional nature which go far beyond the idea of good housekeeping" and that "There are deeper constitutional matters which need to be debated." "The Scottish Grand Committee is, after all, a committee of this House and of this United Kingdom Parliament, in which we are the official Opposition.

"For the moment that constitutional reality cannot be given practical effect in the Scottish Grand Committee, hence this motion.

He pledged: "When we win back parliamentary representation at by-elections [in Scotland], today's motion will be reviewed."