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23 March 2006

McConnell defends secret honours system

Today at First Minister's Questions, MSP for Banff and Buchan, Stewart Stevenson challenged First Minister Jack McConnell on the Scottish Executive's use of the honours system.

McConnell responded by revealing that over 1,700 honours had been awarded since 2003 on the recommendation of the Scottish Executive. But in response to questioning about the secrecy over the system of recommendation, McConnell defended the existing refusal to reveal any information how names were selected and put forward.

After First Minister's questions, Stewart Stevenson commented:

"With the morass of difficulty over honours into which the Tony Blair has walked in London, it is astonishing that the First Minister has refused to live up to Scottish Parliament principles of openness and accountability.

"McConnell's failure to give any information the process of recommendation for honour can only feed suspicion that the Labour party in Scotland have something to hide.

"Jack should should 'come clean' now and avoid the kind of accusations that engulf Tony Blair and his London cronies."
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