Following the Scottish affairs committee’s invitation to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to appear before the committee, she has declined citing her responsibilities and range of commitments.

The First Minister explained in her letter that she is held accountable to the Scottish Parliament and pointed members of the committee to her recent appearance before the Scottish Parliament Conveners Committee on 2nd March.

However, as pointed out in the committee’s original invitation send on 1st November 2021, Mark Drakeford has appeared before Westminster’s Welsh Affairs Committee twice so far during this Parliament.

The committee says it is therefore disappointed that the First Minister has declined the invitation and that it took so long to secure a reply to the invitation.

Committee Chair, Pete Wishart MP, said: “We first wrote to the First Minister in November inviting her to appear before our committee, and we are surprised that her response did not arrive sooner.

“Our committee is focussed on reports and inquiries that are relevant to the people of Scotland, and it would have been helpful to have explored the issues with the First Minister. In this Parliament we have had inquiries and reports on universities, renewable energy and public sector broadcasting issues that cut across responsibilities of both Parliaments.

“The invitation remains open to the First Minister and we hope that some time in the future she may be in a position to reconsider her decision.”