31 Jan 2013


Scottish Labour has called on the Education Secretary Mike Russell MSP to apologise for misleading Parliament, after failing to put the record straight in today's Further Education debate at Holyrood. The Education Secretary, originally claimed that college waiting lists were a “false concept” and that there were “no waiting lists”, and now today he has started referring to them as "so called waiting lists".

Speaking after the debate on Further Education, Shadow Education Secretary Hugh Henry MSP said:

“Mike Russell told the Scottish Parliament that waiting lists were a “false concept” and that “there are no waiting lists of that nature”, but now we know these statements to be false.

“The interim report on the waiting lists has confirmed that waiting lists actually do exist. They might not be as high as the figures quoted by Colleges Scotland, but they are real, they are a fact.”

“Mike Russell tried to belittle those who asked the simple question “how many are on waiting lists” now his own Scottish Government officials have conceded that there are waiting lists.

“This Cabinet Secretary has form in trying to cover up things. He is prepared to play fast and loose with the truth until he is caught out. He thinks that weasel words are a substitute for the facts.

“He is now talking about “so called waiting lists”; all we want the so called Cabinet Secretary to do is confirm that waiting lists exist. He is now busy trying to manipulate the facts to come up with an answer which suits him.

“He should apologise immediately to the Scottish Parliament and the staff and students in Scotland’s Colleges.”