Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP, Angus MacNeil has welcomed a commitment of more powers for the islands from the Scottish Secretary of State – but points out the Tory MP’s position is in stark contrast to his previous stance on this issue when he actively opposed any such moves.
Ahead of a visit to Stornoway today (Thursday), Mr Mundell said in a statement that the UK Government had made a ‘major commitment to decentralisation of decision making’ across the UK – a position Mr MacNeil finds surprising given Mr Mundell voted against previous moves to make that happen.
Mr MacNeil said:
“Hopefully Mr Mundell has become a belated convert to decentralisation. If he had listened when I put this forward at the last Scotland Bill in 2011 we would be a lot further forward. He opposed moves for decentralisation and resisted a push to devolve the Crown Estate to Scotland.
“His position on this issue has now changed due to the strength Scotland has with the SNP making Tory Westminster listen a little more.”
Mr Mundell is meeting with representatives from Comhairle nan Eilean Siar to discuss the Our Islands Our Future campaign and will also visit several local businesses.
Mr MacNeil added:
“I hope Mr Mundell will see for himself during his visit to the islands what real benefits could come from more decentralisation of powers from London and that he will, from now on, be supporting me in fighting to ensure the islands voice is heard at Westminster.”