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News round-up / Politics: parliament prorogation unlawful, new SNP branch convener, Wishart makes maiden speech

The UK parliament has been shut down for five weeks. Photo: Pixabay

ISLES MP Alistair Carmichael has welcomed the Court of Session’s decision to declare the prime minister’s decision to suspend parliament for an unprecedented five-week period as unlawful.

However, Scotland’s highest civil court stopped short of issuing an interdict that would order the UK Government to recall parliament. That decision has been deferred to the UK Supreme Court, which will hear the same case next week.

“Time is needed to consider the full terms of judgement and I would expect that further court proceedings are to come,” Carmichael said.

“This is a serious legal and political blow to Boris Johnson, who in recent weeks has shown an alarming willingness to act outside the law.

“The arrogance and self-entitlement at the heart of this government becomes ever more apparent, but no one is above the law. That includes the prime minister.”

Newly elected SNP Shetland convener Tom Wills. Photo: Shetland News

THE SNP candidate at last month’s by-election, Tom Wills, has been elected to head the local party branch.

He succeeds Iain Malcolmson, who is stepping down to concentrate on work and family commitments.

Wills’ rapid rise through the local party ranks comes on the back on his by-election campaign in which the SNP polled 32 per cent, its highest Shetland share in any Holyrood election.

At the SNP branch meeting on Tuesday evening members thanked Malcolmson for his “extraordinary efforts” on behalf of the branch over the many campaigns in recent years.

Paying tribute to his predecessor, Wills said: “Iain’s been a tireless campaigner for us. He’ll be a hard act to follow but I’ll do my best.”

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SHETLAND’s newly elected MSP Beatrice Wishart has called on the Scottish Government to act on connectivity, including ferries, to encourage more people to make the islands their home.

In her first speech in parliament on Tuesday, Wishart also made clear that Shetland wanted to remain connected to the global economy, and highlighted potential skills shortages that could adversely affect the isles following Brexit.

“We can all agree that we want to attract the brightest and best to come to Scotland. But UK immigration policies have already caused misery for those navigating the system and after the shambles and brutality of the last week in Westminster, I have no faith that this Tory government will introduce any kind of compassionate immigration system in the future,” she said.

“But the shambles in Westminster cannot be used as an excuse for complacency from the Scottish Government. The Scottish Government still has a day job to do.

“With the right support, Shetland can be at the heart of the growth industries like renewables and the space sector. To do that we need to improve our connectivity – that means better broadband, and better transport links.”

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