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MacAskill to face "no confidence" vote

7 October 2014

Kenny MacAskill, Cabinet Secretary for Justice in the Scottish Government, is to face a motion of no confidence at Holyrood tomorrow based on the controversy over armed police officers.

The motion has been tabled by Scottish Labour, which claims that he failed to ensure proper oversight of Police Scotland over the issue.

Last week the national force announced that it would restrict the number of occasions on which officers would carry firearms, in the wake of growing public concern over their display on routine patrol.

The Justice Secretary is accused of a failure to provide "effective governance" of the force. 

Other matters are also being cited, however, including the use of stop-and-search powers, and the controversy over the abolition of corroboration, in which Mr MacAskill came in for particular criticism following the stage 1 Holyrood debate when he was accused of bullying tactics.

Labour justice spokesperson Graeme Pearson said the Justice Secretary had "stumbled from crisis to crisis" and was "becoming a serious embarrassment" for the Government.

The other opposition parties are expected to support the motion.

A spokesperson for the First Minister described the motion as a "pathetic stunt", claiming that crime was at a near 40 year low and police recruitment at a record high.

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