Bruce slams Salmond ‘one-party state’

On the attack: Lib Dem MP Malcolm Bruce made his remarks in a newspaper article
On the attack: Lib Dem MP Malcolm Bruce made his remarks in a newspaper article

Gordon MP Malcolm Bruce has launched blistering attacks on Alex Salmond and Scottish Parliament Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick, describing Mr Salmond as running a ‘one party state’, and Mrs Marwick as lacking ‘the will and gumption’ to hold him to account.

Writing in a national newspaper to coincide with his party’s conference in Birmingham, Mr Bruce called for a second chamber for the Scottish Parliament to help hold the Government to account.

Mr Bruce went on to criticise what he described as a ‘malevolent’ attack by Ministers on the role of the UK Supreme Court, alongside the ‘centralisation’ of freezing council tax, abolishing hospital parking charges and the moratorium on school closures. Failure to deliver services with the powers already available to Holyrood, he said, could “reinforce the case for a revising chamber or constitutional court where citizens could seek protection against loss of rights or abuse of power by the Scottish Executive.”

Mr Bruce’s remarks drew a withering response from a spokesman for Mr Salmond. “It is a sad sight to see any politician in the twilight of their careers make personal and ridiculous attacks on not only Scotland’s First Minister and the non-party Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament, but also on the democratic decisions made by the people of Scotland and Aberdeenshire”, they said. “As we saw with the huge swing to the SNP from former LibDem voters in Aberdeenshire and across the country, it is clear people have not only rejected his party for allying themselves with the Conservatives but for indulging in such ill-mannered behaviour.”

A Scottish Parliament spokesperson said it was for opposition party leaders, rather than the Presiding Officer, to hold the First Minister to account.