Michelle Ballantyne speaks on human rights

South Scotland MSP Michelle Ballantyne has called for less hostility from SNP MSPs during a heated debate on ‘Dignity, Equality, and Human Rights’.

Mrs. Ballantyne, Scottish Conservative spokesperson for childcare and early years, condemned the aggressive tone of last week’s debate on Housing during her speech on Tuesday. She criticised the use of expletives and accusations of false motives from several SNP parliamentarians.

The South Scotland MSP also condemned the SNP’s ‘assumptions of ignorance and contempt for those in greatest need based purely on where a Member sits in this Chamber’.

On the issue of human rights and enhancing equality in Scotland, Mrs. Ballantyne was unequivocal in her support for creating a fairer, more equal Scotland underpinned by respect for human rights. However, she urged the Scottish Government to do more to tackle deep inequalities in health and education.

Speaking in the Scottish Parliament, Michelle Ballantyne said:

“Members have a special responsibility and a public duty to show leadership and to show respect to each other in how we conduct debate.

“[Unparliamentary] conduct reflects negatively on all members, all political parties, and on this place as an institution of our democracy.

“It is the most vital role of the opposition to hold this Government to account wherever necessary. This Scottish Government must do better in its approach to tackling inequality.

“We do not draw attention to these issues for the purpose of political point-scoring, but rather to ignite a productive debate about the path we should be taking. It comes from a desire for cooperation, not condemnation.

“On issues of such fundamental importance as equality and human rights, let us disagree humbly, debate constructively, and work tirelessly towards a better, more equal Scotland.”