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Alex Cole-Hamilton apologises after being caught swearing at minister in meeting

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A LIBDEM MSP has apologised after being caught using offensive language while on mute during a Scottish Parliament committee meeting this week.

Alex Cole-Hamilton, the MSP for Edinburgh Western and the deputy convener of the Equalities and Human Rights Committee, can be seen in the clip appearing to mouth “f*** you”.

WATCH: LibDem MSP appears to swear during virtual committee meeting

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Hamilton said sorry after Maree Todd responded to a tweet about The National’s article on the issue, saying: “Those who spotted this at the time at committee thought it was directed at me. Having seen the footage I’m inclined to agree. The swearing is appalling but the face contorted with anger also requires some explanation. Be grateful to hear it @agcolehamilton @scotlibdems”

Hamilton responded: “Hands up, I lost my temper here. I was frustrated by your government backsliding on children’s rights once again (as long-grassing UNCRC incorporation would have been). Nevertheless I muttered something under my breath that I shouldn’t have and I apologise.”

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Hands up, I lost my temper here. I was frustrated by your government backsliding on children’s rights once again (as long-grassing UNCRC incorporation would have been). Nevertheless I muttered something under my breath that I shouldn’t have and I apologise. <a href=”https://t.co/xNrUJayMLa”>https://t.co/xNrUJayMLa</a></p>— Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP🔶 (@agcolehamilton) <a href=”https://twitter.com/agcolehamilton/status/1360690305046097931?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>February 13, 2021</a></blockquote> <script async src=”https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>

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Members of the committee were meeting to consider the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill at stage 2. The legislation will incorporate the UNCRC into Scottish law, legally protecting children’s rights.

During the meeting MSPs discussed what would be an appropriate time between royal assent and commencement of the bill.

Cole-Hamilton pushed for a shorter commencement period of six months, while SNP members backed a commencement period of one year.

The LibDem MSP said children have waited long enough for this legislation. He told the committee: “The minister [Maree Todd] states that we need to give authorities, public authorities time to get their systems in place and to get a line of sight on what this means for them, but they’ve had that time, they’ve had that time and then some.

“Because public authorities have seen the direction of travel on children’s rights and they’ve been required to act compatibly with the UNCRC since 2011.”

Scottish Labour’s Mary Fee agreed that the Government should be “ambitious” with commencement and aim to start it within six months. Tory MSP Alexander Stewart added it should be actioned “sooner rather than later”.

Concluding the discussion, Todd, the Minister for Children and Young People, said: “The Scottish Government remains absolutely committed to ensuring that momentum continues and the bill is commenced as soon as possible.

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“It’s in no-one’s interest, particularly those of children and young people, if we get this wrong. As a responsible government it’s incumbent upon me as minister to ensure that I listen to those public authorities who are saying that they require time to get this right.

“Commencing a bill within one year of royal assent would be one of the fastest approaches to commencement and implementation of legislation of this legal and constitutional significance.”

As convener Ruth Maguire paused proceedings to confirm votes on the amendment, Cole-Hamilton could be seen making an angry face and appearing to mouth “f*** you”.

The LibDems were contacted for clarification on what Cole-Hamilton was mouthing, but they did not respond.

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