PACAC: Inter-Institutional Relations in the UK

Today the PACAC Committee held an oral evidence session on the inter-institutional relations in the UK. We heard from David Mundell MP; Secretary of State for Scotland, Theresa Villiers MP; Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and the newly appointed Alun Cairns MP, who is the new Secretary of State for Wales, replacing Stephen Crabb who is now Work and Pensions Secretary after Ian Duncan Smith resigned from the position on Friday.

I didn’t envy Alun Cairns who was expected to give evidence to the committee despite only being in the job for a few hours. While many people were interested in seeing how Alun Cairns would get on I was more interested in asking Mr Mundell about inter-institutional relations between the Scottish and UK Governments.

There was a resounding no when I asked him if he believed the majority party in Scotland should have a position on the cabinet. He reminded me that he was elected as part of the UK wide elections which delivered a Conservative majority and he serves the UK Parliament. A position I believe is symptomatic of Tory MPs currently is the complete unwillingness to acknowledge the SNP majority in Scotland.