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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 November 2007, 16:54 GMT
MPs aim to quiz election expert
Ron Gould
Ron Gould published his findings into the election
MPs have criticised the man who conducted the probe into the Scottish elections fiasco.

The chairman of the Scottish Affairs comittee said the Canadian expert Ron Gould was "not very keen" to come to the Commons to answer questions.

Mohammed Sarwar said Mr Gould had so far failed to agree to answer various MP's questions.

The news came during an evidence session as Electoral Commission officials discussed their role.

Mr Gould's report caused controversy when his criticism of the elections seemed to suggest that Labour ministers put partisan political interests first and voters second.

He later clarified his remarks by saying that he meant all of the political parties were to blame not just one.

I really don't think there's any reluctance on Mr Gould's part to engage on the ongoing debate
Electoral Commission chief executive Peter Wardle

Mr Sarwar said: "Committee members are very keen to request him to come for an evidence session here, but unfortunately, he is not very keen to come here.

"So what do you think committee members should do to ensure that we are able to ask him the questions?"

Peter Wardle, chief executive of the Electoral Commission, said: "I know that he Mr Gould is very keen to be of whatever assistance he can give.

"I am sure there have been some logistical problems with this particular time and date but I'm quite sure he's willing to co-operate with any parliamentary inquiry. "I really don't think there's any reluctance on Mr Gould's part to engage on the ongoing debate."

The Scottish Affairs committee is now conducting its own inquiry and wants to question Mr Gould.

The committee is continuing to seek answers from Mr Gould, possibly by visiting Canada or establishing a video link.

Electoral Commission officials admitted it failed Scottish voters in part of its role in overseeing elections.

The committe heard the inquiry cost 300,000 to conduct.

SEE ALSO
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Probe says May poll failed voters
23 Oct 07 |  Scotland
Reliving the election night chaos
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May elections review at-a-glance
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