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Yousaf must clear up ‘blatant contradictions’ on Horizon scandal

Humza Yousaf has been urged to clear up “blatant contradictions” in his government’s stance over the Post Office Horizon scandal.

The Scottish Conservatives have written to the First Minister seeking clarity after he again expressed outrage that UK Government legislation to exonerate victims would not apply to Scotland, despite his Lord Advocate having said she opposes the blanket exonerations which lie at the heart of it.

In his letter, Douglas Ross asks Humza Yousaf whether Dorothy Bain KC has U-turned on blanket quashing of convictions and calls on the Lord Advocate to make a statement to parliament setting out her position. 

The Scottish Conservative leader insists Humza Yousaf is “shamelessly stoking constitutional grievance” instead of getting on with legislating to provide redress for Scottish sub-postmasters wrongly convicted as a result of the IT scandal.

He highlighted recently released correspondence showing that in 2020, as justice secretary, Humza Yousaf was told that the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission were writing to 73 people regarding concerns over their convictions.

 

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said: “Humza Yousaf must urgently clear up the blatant contradictions in his government’s stance on the Horizon scandal.

“He professes to be outraged that UK Government legislation won’t apply in Scotland, yet his Lord Advocate told the Scottish Parliament that she opposed the blanket exonerations which underpin it.

“The First Minister must clarify whether the Lord Advocate has changed her mind or he has over-ruled her. Either way, Dorothy Bain must come to parliament and explain her position and that of the Scottish Government.

“Humza Yousaf is shamelessly stoking constitutional grievance again rather than legislating to ensure the Scottish victims of this appalling scandal don’t have to wait a moment longer for justice than those in the rest of the UK.

“As justice secretary he was made aware of this scandal back in 2020, and he knew that under Scotland’s legal system Horizon prosecutions were the responsibility of the Crown Office, rather than the Post Office.

“Instead of the increasingly hysterical outbursts and buck-passing, Humza Yousaf needs to finally take responsibility and act.”

 

 

Notes to editors

 

Email thread revealing that then justice secretary Humza Yousaf was made aware of concerns over the safety of convictions of Scottish victims of the Horizon scandal in 2020: https://x.com/staylorish/status/1782837263191203944