GET HARDIE; Lord Advocate Under-Fire after Attack on Opposition
King, Dave, The Mirror (London, England)
SCOTLAND'S leading law officer was last night facing a storm of protest and calls for his resignation after he launched a savage political attack on opposition parties.
The Lord Advocate, Lord Hardie, stunned MSPs when he turned on the Tories and Nats during a debate on Kalashnikov killer Noel Ruddle.
"He is meant to remain impartial and above party politics. He isn't there to attack opposition parties in political speeches," said furious SNP front bencher Kenny MacAskill.
MacAskill claimed that the Government had known that Ruddle was to be recommended for release since April 1998 and had failed to act.
But Lord Hardie dismissed that claim as " hype and hyperbole" and said: "I don't accept this criticism. It is not the factual position.
"I wish he had bothered to attack the facts rather than the hyperbole."
And he even tried to blame Lord James Douglas Hamilton for failing to tact when he was Scottish Home Affairs Minister in the last Tory government.
He claimed Lord James had told the Scottish Grand Committee in July 1996 that an inquiry would be set up to look at such issues, but nothing had happened. …