Bruce Adamson told BBC Scotland’s The Sunday Show at the weekend that former Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon “absolutely” failed to improve the lives of children in Scotland, pointing to a variety of what he saw as shortcomings in the record. from his government to back up his claims.
He cited Ms. Sturgeon’s failure to reduce child poverty rates and close the educational achievement gap between students from poorer and richer households. He was also highly critical of “a year and a half delay for trespass” by SNP ministers in submitting updated legislation to incorporate the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child into Scottish law.
MSPs passed a bill unanimously, but the UK Supreme Court found it to have exceeded Holyrood’s limits and it was not signed into law. The Scottish Government promised to change the legislation but almost two years later and has not done so.
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But Adamson’s criticisms did not stop at Sturgeon and his government.
She also directed her anger at her successor, attacking Humza Yousaf’s record since she became prime minister in late March.
The commissioner made it clear that he was strongly opposed to Yousaf’s plan to eliminate free school meals for all school-age children.
In an interview, the prime minister said, perhaps oddly enough, that people shouldn’t pay for his teenage daughter to have a free lunch, which seemed to suggest it was a justification for abandoning politics for all.
He later appeared to reverse his position a second time, insisting that his government remained “committed” to universal free school meal proposals.
On Sunday, Mr Adamson did not sound overly optimistic about Mr Yousaf’s potential to improve children’s lives, saying he was “hugely concerned” that “action does not follow words”.
He said: “I think the new Prime Minister may have made some big promises before he became Prime Minister, but we haven’t seen anything about it.
“I am really disappointed that you did not mention children’s rights in your statement on Scotland’s grand vision before Parliament; it is only mentioned very briefly in the written document.”
This morning, Yousaf was quick to defend the record of his predecessor and that of his own government.
Speaking to the PA news agency during a visit to the NHS 24 contact center in Dundee, the FM said: “I have the utmost respect for the outgoing children’s commissioner, but I fundamentally disagree with Bruce Adamson about what he said. about my predecessor or indeed what he is saying about the Scottish government.
He said “game-changing” policies such as Scottish Child Pay, free bus travel for under 22s and free school meals had been a defining legacy of Ms Sturgeon’s administration.
But looking at his own policies, he said: “I am the first to agree that more must be done to reduce our child poverty rates in Scotland, which are too high.
“And that is why I have made it a defining mission of the government that I lead.”
But was Yousaf quick to defend himself and his predecessor?
Yousaf has spent several weeks distancing herself from Sturgeon, whose legacy in the minds of many voters will be Operation Branchform, the long-running police investigation into the SNP’s finances that last month saw the arrest of her husband, former SNP CEO Peter Murrell. , and the then SNP Treasurer, Colin Beattie, and the seizure of a £110,000 motorhome outside the home of Mr Murrell’s mother in Dunfermline.
Both men were released without charge pending further investigation. Ms. Sturgeon has not been questioned in connection with the investigation and she has agreed to cooperate fully with the police.
By coming so quickly to his defense, Mr. Yousaf appears to be…
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