Wednesday, February 21st 2018

New Anti Sectarian Strategy Needed, says Labour

The Scottish Labour party has announced that it plans devise a fresh anti-sectarianism strategy.

The plans include an assessment of the work undertaken as part of the SNP programme on anti-sectarianism and an assessment of where the work was in terms of the recommendations made in 2015 by the independent advisory group on tackling sectarianism led by Dr Duncan Morrow.

James Kelly MSP spoke about bringing together charities, campaign groups, faith leaders, local government, football clubs and police to develop a fresh approach. It will also consider new challenges from online sectarianism.

Mr Kelly was quoted as saying: “There should be no doubt that Labour is committed to ridding Scotland of sectarianism. “Religious bigotry existed long before the Football Act and it is still a problem we are shamed by today. Instead of unworkable laws, we must shift our focus to communities to tackle the root causes of bigotry, including through community groups and education, as recommended by experts at the Justice Committee. “I am deadly serious about using my role as an MSP to tackle this modern-day shame. That is why I will be developing an anti-sectarianism strategy fit for 2018, which I hope every party, including the SNP, will get behind.”

The Scottish Government responded with: “Ministers have been consistently clear that tackling the scourge of sectarianism requires a broad range of actions, including education and wider community-based projects - backed by unprecedented Scottish Government investment of £13 million since 2012 - alongside the work of the justice system in enforcing the law.

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