Due to changes made to the official Scottish Parliament website at the start of 2011, our parser that used to fetch their web pages and convert them into more structured information has stopped working. We’re afraid we cannot give a timescale as to when we will be able to cover the Scottish Parliament again. Sorry for any inconvenience caused.
First Minister's Question Time
Rt Hon Alex Salmond (Scottish National Party)
As it happens, Sir George Mathewson, to my personal knowledge, was the foremost opponent of the investment banking bonus culture spreading into retail banking.
Iain Gray should have had a mind to look at the evidence that the Financial Services Authority gave to the House of Commons committee this week. The FSA argued—admittedly, this might be self-serving—that the reason that it did not go in for the sort of regulation that would have uncovered the malpractices taking place throughout the financial sector was political direction from above. Who on earth might have been responsible for that political direction if not the long-standing chancellor who is now Prime Minister of the United Kingdom?
I know that it is difficult for the Opposition leader to respond to information that comes up during questions, but I take it that, despite his refusal to say so at any point, Iain Gray's initial premise that Sir George Mathewson was somehow responsible for Sir Fred Goodwin's pay-off has been revised in light of the information from the new RBS chief executive, who has said that Alistair Darling and the Westminster Government were fully involved in the process. When we on this side of chamber say that we do not think that Sir Fred Goodwin's pension level is justified, we are entitled to say that. It seems passing strange that the Labour Party is adopting that position now, given that last October it was fully implicated in making the arrangements.