[What follows is an excerpt from a report published this afternoon by The Press Association news agency:]
A senior Scottish Government minister has backed Justice Committee
convenor Christine Grahame amid allegations that she made sectarian
The Electoral Commission is investigating the allegations made by Mark Hirst, a former senior political advisor in her office.
faced calls by Labour MSP Michael McMahon to "consider her position on
the Justice Committee until such times as any investigation into this
matter has been completed".
However, Justice Secretary Kenny
MacAskill said Ms Grahame has "rebutted these matters firmly" and the
allegations should be viewed "with the contempt they deserve".
MacAskill also said he will stand by the conviction of the only man
convicted of the Lockerbie bombing "until such time as that matter were
to be reviewed". (...)
Ms Grahame is also a member of the Justice for Megrahi campaign.
this week, she spearheaded calls to continue a petition by the group
calling for an independent inquiry into the conviction of Abdelbaset
al-Megrahi for his role in the Lockerbie bombing, which killed 270
people in 1988.
[Further details can be found here on the Herald Scotland website.
It lies, of course, within the powers of the government of which Kenny MacAskill is a member to have the matter of Abdelbaset Megrahi's conviction reviewed. That is precisely what is sought in the petition currently before the Justice Committee of the Scottish Parliament and is precisely what the Scottish Government has been assiduously obstructing.
The Official Report of Tuesday's meeting of the Justice Committee at which the petition was discussed can be read here (at pages 11 to 15 of the PDF document).]