• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

It is wrong that select committee is dominated by views of the chairman

I refer to the latest report by the House of Commons Select Committee on Scottish Affairs on the future of Scottish shipyards ("Nationalists hit back at claims Scots shipyards will die with independence", The Herald, January 21).

The official remit of this committee is to "examine the administration, policy and expenditure of the (UK) Scotland Office and relations with the Scottish Parliament". Under the dominating chairmanship of Glasgow Labour MP Ian Davidson, the committee is carrying out a series of investigations into what he insists on calling the referendum on "separation" for Scotland. Mr Davidson obviously detests the word independence and seems to have banned its use in all the committee's deliberations and reports.

The 12 MPs appointed to the Scottish Affairs Committee after the 2010 General Election include five Labour, three Conservative and two Liberal Democrat MPs, all of whom oppose Scottish independence. The single SNP representative was the newly elected MP Eilidh Whiteford, who has refused to attend recent meetings in protest at bullying behaviour and harassment she suffered from the chairman.

I have watched several live televised programmes of the committee's sittings, and it is obvious Mr Davidson dominates the other committee members. He monopolises the questioning of witnesses, often rudely interrupting to challenge statements he does not like. He makes no attempt to remain impartial or disguise his own bitter opposition to any question of Scotland deciding its own future. The published reports of the committee clearly reflect these personal views, sometimes omitting evidence contrary to Mr Davidson's predetermined views, and are of little assistance to Parliament in providing accurate information or assessments.

Mr Davidson's objectionable performance in the Commons chamber last week during the Section 30 debate has already been commented on by readers, and I am surprised and disappointed the Speaker did not insist that he and fellow Glasgow Labour MP Anas Sarwar withdraw some of their unpleasant and abusive remarks.

Iain AD Mann,

7 Kelvin Court, Glasgow.

Contextual targeting label: 
Local government

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

136732