Strathkelvin and Bearsden MSP hits out at opponents determination to repeal anti-sectarian law

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Strathkelvin and Bearsden MSP Rona Mackay has challenged opposition counterparts to explain why they have voted in favour of repealing an anti-sectarian law which is supported by the vast majority of people across Scotland.

Opposition MSPs voted for a Tory motion calling on the Scottish Government to repeal the Offensive Behaviour at Football Act which, Ms Mackay says, has been important in tackling sectarianism, prejudice and discrimination.

The local MSP has questioned why the opposition parties view this issue as a priority over education, health, jobs, the economy and protecting Scotland’s interests in Europe.

Ms Mackay, deputy convener of the Scottish Parliament’s justice committee, said: “This vote shows that the priorities of Holyrood’s opposition parties are staggeringly skewed, with opposition MSPs across in the west of Scotland believing scrapping hate crime legislation is the top issue facing the country.

“The legislation is backed by 80 per cent of the population, and it is extraordinary for opposition MSPs covering Strathkelvin and Bearsden to be rallying behind the Tories in their efforts to repeal an anti-sectarian law.”

“People across East Dunbartonshire will now be asking – rightly – what on Earth the opposition are playing at. At a time when the SNP Government is focused on education, health, jobs, the economy and protecting Scotland’s place in Europe, other parties would rather see us remove legislation that tackles sectarianism, prejudice and discrimination, whilst offering no alternative in its place.

“It is time the opposition parties got their priorities in order, backed efforts to tackle sectarianism and other hate crimes, and focused on the other issues that really matter to people across my constituency.”