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Blacklisting

Volume 565: debated on Wednesday 26 June 2013

1. What recent discussions he has had with Ministers in the Scottish Government on blacklisting in Scotland. (160884)

I regularly meet Scottish Government Ministers to discuss a wide range of issues. I commend the work of the Scottish Affairs Committee on investigating the deplorable activity of blacklisting. The Committee’s final report will be given careful consideration by the Government when it is published.

I thank the Minister for his response. Perhaps the most ridiculous case of blacklisting that I am aware of is that of the late great Dundonian, Mr Syd Scroggie. He lost a leg and the sight in both his eyes serving his country during the second world war. He found himself on a blacklist. What was his crime? He had written to The Scotsman newspaper to commend the then Dundee district council for buying a portrait of Nelson Mandela. Will the Minister liaise with the Scottish Government to ensure that the odious practice of blacklisting is wiped out?

When the Scottish Affairs Committee report is published, I will undertake to discuss its recommendations with the appropriate Scottish Government Ministers.

As someone who has been blacklisted three times in the past, I can tell the Minister that it is an obnoxious way of going about business. Will he ensure that legislation is put in place to ensure that people like me and many others in Scotland do not have to face such a practice in future?

The Government take this matter very seriously. As the hon. Gentleman will know, legislation is already in place in the form of the Employment Relations Act 1999 (Blacklists) Regulations 2010. We await the Scottish Affairs Committee report to see whether it proposes any further measures.

The practice has clearly been going on for decades, and the law is not working. Has the Minister looked at the legislation to see whether further action is required to ensure that we bring the practice to an end?

We have looked at the regulations, which were brought in by the previous Government. We very much respect the work of the Scottish Affairs Committee and if it finds that the current legislation is not working, we will of course look at the matter.