Robertson suspended over spree
By ROSALIND GRIFFITHS
YOUTH campaigner Daniel Robertson has been suspended from the Scottish Youth Parliament after an alleged drunken spree.
Mr Robertson, 20, from Sullom, is said to have taken part in a noisy drinking session with SYP chairman Kieran Collins, 24, in a hotel in Hamilton, south Lanarkshire, during a conference last month.
The allegations appeared in a national newspaper on Saturday, and said guests and SYP members complained about the noise.
Mr Robertson, who is head of the SYP health committee, said he had been told not to comment to the media but said: “I deny all the allegations against myself.”
He confirmed he had been suspended from the SYP while the allegations were investigated. A hearing into the incident will take place today.
He said that the article was correct about the suspensions but wrong about everything else, which had been taken “out of context”. The pictures accompanying the article came from past fundraising events, and it had all been “blown out of proportion”.
The SYP has a no-alcohol policy while members are on SYP business he said, and therefore it was right that he was suspended while being investigated. He was confident the hearing, conducted by people “high up in the world of drinking and child protection” would come up with the right decision.
Drink is banned from all SYP events since an incident at Glenrothes two years ago when a door got kicked in.
Ironically, the SYP had been instrumental in opposing the Scottish government’s recent failed attempt to prevent those under the age of 21 buying alcohol in off-licences.
SNP MSP Michael Matheson said: “Given that the SYP fought so hard to oppose the idea of increasing the off-licence limit to 21, it seems very ironic two of its most senior members have been suspended on these charges.
“This is exactly the kind of unacceptable behaviour that the Scottish government is trying to address. It is a bit rich that people like this should be opposing these efforts when they can’t even control their own drunken behaviour.”
An SYP spokeswoman said: “Two members of our board have been suspended.”
Mr Robertson, who represents the mental health charity Penumbra in the SYP, stood for the council last year at the age of 18.
The SYP is a youth organisation of 150 members aged between 14 and 25. It is not party political but members are elected to represent constituencies and national voluntary organisations.