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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 January, 2005, 17:42 GMT
MSP jailed after nuclear protest
Carolyn Leckie
The controversial MSP has been jailed for non-payment of a fine
Scottish Socialist MSP Carolyn Leckie has been jailed for refusing to pay a fine following an anti-nuclear protest.

Ms Leckie appeared at East Kilbride District Court on Thursday for non-payment of a 100 fine.

She was arrested during a demonstration at Faslane naval base in August 2004 and unsuccessfully appealed a breach of the peace conviction.

The MSP was jailed for seven days but it emerged that she would spend one night in prison.

The controversial MSP could also be struck off as a registered midwife following her conviction.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council said it has received allegations of "misconduct" against her as a result.

Political 'gag'

It now has to decide if her conviction amounts to "conduct unworthy of a registered midwife".

The MSP was given a week-long jail term for non-payment when she appeared in court on Thursday.

However, later in the day the SSP said it had been informed that Ms Leckie would be released from Cornton Vale Women's Prison on Friday morning.

Ms Leckie, who worked as a midwife before becoming an MSP, said it would be an "affront to democracy" for political activity to undermine her professional standing.

She said: "If the worst happened and I was struck off as a midwife, the message that sends to health professionals and public sector workers across the country is that they are not expected to express a view, protest or dissent.

"That effectively is a gag on public servants and an affront to democracy."

Carolyn has been criminalised for dissent and that is an outrage
Frances Curran MSP

A spokesman for the Nursing and Midwifery Council said Ms Leckie's court conviction would not automatically result in her being struck off.

"People get struck off the register for abusing patients or poor record keeping," he said.

"A lot of people get reported to us for speeding, traffic offences and minor things and they rarely ever come to a hearing."

The Scottish Socialists said they were proud that their members were prepared to stand up for their principles.

Frances Curran MSP said: "Carolyn is a woman in public life with principles who is prepared to risk her livelihood in order to take a stand in the best democratic traditions.

"She has been criminalised for dissent and that is an outrage."





SEE ALSO:
Midwife MSP could be struck off
19 Jan 05 |  Scotland
MSPs arrested at Faslane protest
23 Aug 04 |  Scotland
Protest at submarine base
22 Apr 03 |  Scotland


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