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Lord Keen charged with failing to secure shotgun following police find

27 February 2017

Lord Keen of Elie QC, who as Advocate General for Scotland advises the UK Government on Scottish legal matters, has been charged with committing a firearms offence at his Edinburgh home.

A former Dean of the Faculty of Advocates, who was chairman of the Conservative Party in Scotland before his appointment to Government, Lord Keen is alleged to have failed to secure a shotgun kept in his house, contrary to s 2 of the Firearms Act 1968, which requires such weapons to be stored securely to prevent them being acquired by unauthorised persons.

Police made the find when investigating a break-in at Lord Keen's home on 31 December last year.

A statement issued for Lord Keen said that he "deeply regrets this inadvertent breach of licence conditions, which was a one-off error. He has held a lcence for many years and has always adhered strictly to the licence conditions".

The case will call at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Wednesday this week, 1 March.

A UK Government spokesperson said: "Having considered the issue carefully, we are satisfied that this matter has no bearing on Lord Keen's ability to carry out his ministerial duties to the highest standard."

The Advocate General has spoken for the UK Government on wider legal issues and recently represented it before the UK Supreme Court in the appeal to determine whether Parliament required to authorise the article 50 notice to withdraw from the European Union.

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