Edinburgh children's homes scandal: Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton should ask his party's councillors why they opposed council debate on violent abuse of vulnerable children – John McLellan

On the face of it, Liberal Democrat MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton’s letter to Scottish children and young people minister Claire Haughey demanding urgent action on the appalling physical and mental abuse of young people uncovered at Edinburgh Council’s secure units should be welcomed.

Wednesday, 23rd March 2022, 4:45 pm
Liberal Democrat MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton has written to the Scottish Government calling for urgent action over physical and mental abuse of young people at Edinburgh Council’s secure units (Picture: Tom Eden/PA Wire
Liberal Democrat MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton has written to the Scottish Government calling for urgent action over physical and mental abuse of young people at Edinburgh Council’s secure units (Picture: Tom Eden/PA Wire

All the city’s MSPs should work together to have the national disgrace that is Edinburgh Council fully debated in Holyrood, given this is just the latest scandal to be uncovered at an authority with a shocking management record of scandal going back decades.

But the sheer gall and opportunism of a Lib Dem diving in to grab attention is nauseating after Mr Cole-Hamilton’s colleagues opposed a debate on the issue at the full council meeting last Thursday because it was 5pm and time was up.

Mr Cole-Hamilton is not one to hide his light under a bushel, but the first people he should be questioning are his supine councillors who decided that no public light should be shone on where ultimate responsibility lies for what is one of the darkest episodes in the history of an authority characterised by darkness.

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There cannot be anything more serious for councillors to discuss than the violent abuse of highly vulnerable young people in the council’s care, but not even that was going to get between SNP, Labour, Green and Lib Dem councillors and their tea.

At least Green councillor Susan Rae understood the gravity of the situation and voted to have the debate. Those who blocked it should be thoroughly ashamed.

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