Michael Gove has been accused of having “no shame” as Alba MP, Neale Hanvey, called out his “unlawful conduct” in Westminster today.
In a tense exchange, the Alba MP reminded the UK government that politicians have a commitment to uphold “the spirit and the letter of the law”. Answering his question, a visibly flustered Julia Lopez MP said that she disagreed with the Alba MP’s “characterisation” of Mr Gove, in an answer that Mr Hanvey described as “the type of faux outrage we’ve come to expect from UK ministers”.
The comments relate to a High Court ruling in June that Michael Gove broke the law by giving a Covid-contract to a communications agency run by long-time associates of his and Dominic Cummings.
Mr Hanvey’s question followed an earlier contribution from his fellow Alba MP, Kenny MacAskill, in which he remined Mr Gove about his use of emergency Covid-funding to commission anti-Scottish independence opinion polling.
There has been a marked shift in tone from the two MPs since joining Alba, with Mr Hanvey regularly rebuked by the chair for his forthright language in the House.
Commenting, Neale Hanvey MP said:
“This Tory government thinks it can misuse public money how it likes and be found by the High Court to have broken the law, and we’ll all just keep calm and carry on.
“Well, Kenny and I have a clear message from Alba – it’s not happening. We’ll continue to use the archaic procedures of Westminster to shine a light on the plots and schemes of this government.
“Ministers might not like it to be pointed out, but we’re talking about a UK government that has dished out contracts for PPE to small firms with absolutely no experience in manufacturing PPE, emergency Covid-money spent campaigning against Scottish independence, and borderline-useless rapid Covid tests imported from China while superior products are produced by UK-based manufacturers.
“Scotland can do so much better than this parcel of rogues. We must take real steps to regaining our country’s independence and choosing a different kind of politics – one where ministers serve the people, not their pals and party interests.”
Note to Editors
Neale’s contribution can be watched here at time 09:45:40
''Scandal' over Gove's use of pandemic research contract to test attitudes to the Union' - https://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/19391243.scandal-goves-use-pandemic-research-contract-test-attitudes-union/?ref=twtrec
High Court Judgement The Good Law Project vs Minister for the Cabinet Office: https://www.judiciary.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Good-Law-Project-v-Cabinet-Office-judgment.pdf