Sheku Bayoh

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 12th November 2019.

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Photo of Humza Yousaf Humza Yousaf Scottish National Party

Yes. Donald Cameron’s question eloquently articulated what the challenge will be. We will need to ensure that there is no unnecessary delay, because, frankly, the family has suffered enough. In addition, I am certain that other stakeholders who have an interest in the inquiry will want it to get under way and take place quickly. At the same time, there will be a need to ensure that we are thorough.

I think that this will be a public inquiry unlike any other that we have had in Scotland.

On the questions that will be asked, there will be a need to build in either a panel or special advisers—I think that it will probably be a panel of expertise—to inform and sit alongside the chair in order to ensure that all the questions that need to be answered are, indeed, answered. At this stage, I do not want to commit to what the remit will look like. I will take some time—albeit not unnecessary time—to have a conversation with stakeholders around remit. Ensuring that the remit is focused and not too unwieldy, so that it can address still systemic issues, will be a challenge, but one that I am sure that we will be up to. Getting that balance right will be important. Clearly, whatever remit is decided on will have an effect on the timescales that are involved, as is the case in any public inquiry.

I give the absolute assurance that there will be no unnecessary delay on the Government’s part. Equally, I hope that members understand—I am sure that they do—that it takes a bit of time to make sure that we get these things right.