26 September 2019

Nicola Sturgeon is refusing for referendum questions to be scrutinised by the Electoral Commission, Richard Leonard has charged.

At First Minister’s Questions, Mr Leonard asked: “What have you got to hide, or are you simply trying to rig this process?

He noted Electoral Commissioner for Scotland Dame Sue Bruce’s evidence to the Finance and Constitution Committee: “We strongly believe that the Electoral Commission should be asked to test the question.”

"Dame Sue argued this on the grounds of “the integrity of the process, to establish that the question is clear, transparent and neutral in its setting.”

Constitution Secretary Mike Russell has said he is “against… retesting in circumstances that don't require it”, saying there is no need to test the question if it is the same as in the 2014 poll.

But the Electoral Commission argued that the question needs to be tested “regardless of whether the Commission has previously published views on the question proposed”.

Mr Leonard said: “This is not just about the integrity of this process.

"This is about the integrity of your government.

“The Electoral Commission and the Law Society both say this is the wrong approach.

"So what have you got to hide, or are you simply trying to rig this process?"
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