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Westminster's fast-track law on mobile data snubbed Holyrood, says MacAskill

THE UK Government ignored proper processes and failed to respect Holyrood ministers when it rushed legislation through Westminster, Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill claimed.

Ministers in London recently fast-tracked legislation to ensure police and security services can access mobile and internet data.

The Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act received Royal Assent on July 17, exactly one week after Prime Minister David Cameron and his deputy Nick Clegg had announced their intentions.

Mr MacAskill told MSPs at Holyrood that the legislation would "extend to Scotland and have implications for justice in Scotland".

The Scottish Parliament was on its summer break when the legislation was passed by Westminster. "It is regrettable the Scottish Government was not given the opportunity it should have been afforded to consider and express views on this very significant piece of legislation," he said.

"In May 2010, the Prime Minister announced he wanted an agenda of respect 'about parliaments working together, governing with respect'. The level of respect appears not to have been afforded to the Scottish Government on this occasion."

Tory MSP Margaret Mitchell said: "In an ideal world all legislation and ministerial statements would be introduced at the appropriate time and as soon as possible.

"But as governments of all political persuasions know, this isn't always possible."

Contextual targeting label: 
Local government

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