Scottish Political Press Releases — Section 28

Monteith backs 'courageous councillors'

Press release issued by the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, 18 February 2000


Brian Monteith, Scottish Conservative Education Spokesman today warmly welcomed the support of Labour and SNP in North Lanarkshire who have backed his stance that statutory safeguards must be in place before Section 2A (commonly known as Section 28) of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1986 is repealed. He said:

'The Council in North Lanarkshire has taken a brave decision to step out of line with the Scottish Executive and reflect public opinion on this issue. It is now time for Wendy Alexander and her politically correct cronies to listen to the people of Scotland.

'When Labour councillors, who are also teachers, are forced to state publicly that their own Ministers are behaving in an arrogant and intransigent way it shows exactly how out of touch the Labour leadership is. The SNP is no better. They claim to be Scotland's opposition but are simply cosying up to the Executive on this issue. Perhaps Alex Salmond should listen to his group leader in North Lanarkshire who recognises that the majority of people in Scotland are against this.

'The Executive has promised guidelines to replace Section 28 but this is simply not good enough as they are not enforceable. I have said all along that if Section 28 is to be replaced parents must have the final say in sex education. North Lanarkshire local councillors, who I am sure are much closer to their electorate than Scottish Executive Ministers, agree with this view.

'It is now time for the Executive to think again on this issue and concede that parents must be given the explicit legal right to withdraw their children and school boards must have the legal right to veto any materials or discussions that they believe are inappropriate.'

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