THE SNP's Mhairi Black has challenged Alister Jack over his role in standing up for Scotland, after a Conservative Home article linked the Scottish Secretary as being part of a group of senior Tory ministers undermining devolution and plotting further power grabs over devolved areas.

The article highlighted that so-called "muscular unionists" - which includes Alister Jack, Jacob Rees-Mogg and others - have reportedly argued that the responsibility for health functions that fall under devolved competence should now "fall to Westminster."

On the back of this report, the SNP's shadow Scotland secretary Mhairi Black has questioned Jack’s commitment to devolution and his clear obligation as Scotland Secretary to represent Scotland in the UK Government and promote partnership between the UK Government and the Scottish Government, as well as relations between the UK and Scottish Parliaments.

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It has been reported previously that Alister Jack was “dismissive of both the theory and practice of the Scottish Parliament" and since taking over the role of Scotland Secretary has taken the Scottish Government to court over the UNCRC (Incorporation) Bill - despite it being backed unanimously by the Scottish Parliament.

In a letter to Alister Jack, the SNP's Mhairi Black called on the Scottish Secretary to confirm that he opposes any attempts to undermine the Scottish Parliament’s remit to legislate on devolved matters, any attempt to return powers from Scotland to Westminster, and opposes his government's failure to seek Legislative Consent Motions.


The National:

The National:

Black said: "As his own official webpage states Alister Jack is in his role to represent Scotland and Scottish interests within the UK Government as well as be the custodian of the devolution settlement - not sell them out as he has done time and time again.

"It is staggering that this article highlights how the Scottish Secretary and Scotland Office are fighting to undermine devolution and increase Westminster control over devolved policy areas - the very areas he is in post to protect.

“It begs the question, if he isn’t articulating to his cabinet colleagues what the position of Scotland is – as democratically represented and expressed in the Scottish Parliament – just whose interests is he representing when he argues for policies rejected by Scotland?

The National: Mhairi Black has highlighted Alister Jack's failures in standing up for ScotlandMhairi Black has highlighted Alister Jack's failures in standing up for Scotland

"Under Alister Jack’s watch, there is a growing list of failures including, the power grab Internal Market Act, the UK Government repeatedly disregarding Legislative Consent Motions, and ignoring the democratic will of the Scottish Parliament by taking the Scottish Government to court over children’s rights.

"It is not acceptable for the person’s whose job description is to be Scotland's advocate within the UK Government to not only watch but play an active role, in repeatedly undermining the express wishes of the Scottish Parliament which is democratically elected by the people of Scotland.

"Alister Jack should now come clean over these reports and explain how he is arguing unequivocally to protect the Scottish Parliament and devolution - and that he is not using his role to further erode devolution."