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Get the latest from Lothian MSP Alison Johnstone

Scotland should become the first rewilding nation

Alison Johnstone MSP Tue 23 Feb, 2021

While more of our work and leisure has moved online, there also seems to be a growing awareness of the importance of our natural world.

I can’t have been the only person to notice the loud birdsong in recent days, heralding a Spring we all hope will bring renewal and a path out of the pandemic.

I was also heartened by an important discussion happening in cyberspace about how our nature can recover from an economy that has caused far too much damage for far too long.

School return priority must mean school staff vaccinations

Tue 16 Feb, 2021

The phased return of schools should be kept as safe as possible, including prioritising teachers in the next vaccination phase, the Scottish Greens have said.

The First Minister announced P1-3 pupils will return to school on Monday, as well as some senior phase students, with further pupils expected to return in March.

Responding, Scottish Greens parliamentary co-leader Alison Johnstone said: “The progress on the vaccination programme is most welcome, as is the commitment to regularly test school staff, as proposed by the Scottish Greens last year.

Scottish Child Payment not enough to recover families from the pandemic, Greens warn

Mon 15 Feb, 2021

The Scottish Child Payment, which has started to be paid today, will not be enough to support families recovering from the pandemic, the Scottish Greens have warned.

The payment, a £10 top-up of existing benefits, has begun rollout, but poverty groups have urged the First Minister to at least double it. It is also estimated that thousands will miss it because of low take-up

Scottish Green Mountain Hare protections begin in March

Wed 27 Jan, 2021

Protections for Mountain Hares hard-won by the Scottish Greens will come into force in March, it has been confirmed.

According to regulations introduced to Holyrood today, it will be illegal to intentionally kill, injure or take mountain hares at any time unless a licence is obtained from 1 March 2021.

This is because Scottish Green MSP Alison Johnstone forced the Scottish Government’s hand to accept licensing in last year’s Wildlife legislation.

Save Murrayfield Ice Rink

Alison Johnstone MSP Sun 6 Dec, 2020

I was saddened to hear of the recent closure of the Murrayfield Ice Rink. For decades, the rink has hosted many and varied events, from professional ice hockey to disco skating to the closing ceremony of the first Commonwealth Games to be held in Scotland and has brought much joy to those who live in Edinburgh and further afield. Until the pandemic hit, people could flock to Murrayfield to watch sporting events but also take skating lessons or learn about the building’s fascinating history.

Greens: Abused women must be able to access help

Thu 26 Nov, 2020

Scottish Greens health spokesperson Alison Johnstone has supported calls for all health services to be able to respond to and support women suffering from domestic violence, after the UN called violence against women the

Greens hail routine testing of healthcare workers

Wed 25 Nov, 2020

Moves to regularly test all public facing healthcare workers in Scotland has been welcomed by the Scottish Greens.

Greens call for evidence after Christmas warnings from experts

Wed 25 Nov, 2020

The Scottish Greens have reiterated the call for Nicola Sturgeon to publish the risk assessments associated with lifting restrictions over Christmas, after a number of experts have raised concerns about the decision.

The BMA has warned that plans to remove social distancing for three families together and removing travel restrictions for five days over Christmas will “almost certainly” lead to a rise in the infection rate.

Both UK and Scottish Government advisors have also commented.

Scottish Government must reveal cost of Christmas easing

Tue 24 Nov, 2020

The Scottish Government must publish its assessment of the human cost in preparing to relax restrictions around Christmas, the Scottish Greens have said.

As the First Minister announced the latest local tiers across Scotland, Scottish Greens health spokesperson Alison Johnstone pointed to the fact that figures show positive cases are still well above the World Health Organisation’s threshold of five per cent.

Confusingly, the First Minister responded by suggesting she would advise people to stick with restrictions even when she lifts them for Christmas.

Scottish Greens response to suicide statistics

Tue 24 Nov, 2020

Commenting on new statistics revealing that there were 833 probable suicides registered in Scotland in 2019, which is an increase from 784 in 2018, Scottish Greens health spokesperson Alison Johnstone MSP said: