NUS Scotland, Scottish Women’s Aid and Zero Tolerance call for action by Scottish Parliament to remove Bill Walker from Parliament.
NUS Scotland Women’s Campaign, Scottish Women’s Aid and Zero Tolerance will call on Bill Walker MSP to resign at a demonstration outside the Scottish Parliament at 1pm on Tuesday, September 3. Organisers of the rally will also call on the Scottish Parliament to take action to remove Walker should he not immediately step down.
This joint call by Scotland’s leading campaigning organisations against domestic abuse comes as the Parliament returns from its summer recess and just days after Walker, who was convicted by a Scottish Court of 23 domestic abuse charges against three former wives and a step daughter, was quoted in press reports as stating he would not vacate his seat.
The organisers of the rally back the motion by Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie, which has been signed by over half of MSPs in the Scottish Parliament: "The Parliament believes that Bill Walker MSP should vacate his seat in the parliament immediately".
NUS Scotland Women’s Campaign, Scottish Women’s Aid and Zero Tolerance have asked members of the Scottish public young and old who oppose domestic abuse to join them in sending a clear message to Bill Walker that it is never acceptable to abuse women, and to the Parliament that it must act to remove Walker should he not step down immediately.
Stacey Devine, NUS Scotland Women’s Officer, said:
“It’s disgraceful that Bill Walker refuses to let the people of Dunfermline replace him with a representative that hasn’t been convicted of domestic abuse. The man has no shame, and needs to resign now.
“It’s deeply concerning that the Parliament has so far been unable to send Walker packing. Should Walker not resign voluntarily, the same MSPs from across the political spectrum who have rightly condemned Bill Walker’s decades-long violence against women should take immediate action to remove him from office.”
Jenny Kemp, Coordinator for Zero Tolerance, said:
"Bill Walker must resign as an MSP. Making laws and policies for Scotland is a privilege, and one that a man who's been convicted of 23 crimes against women does not deserve.
“Perpetrators of domestic abuse are not fit to hold public office, especially in a Parliament that has been so progressive on violence against women."
Lily Greenan, Manager of Scottish Women’s Aid, said:
“Bill Walker MSP is a serial offender against women, with 23 convictions for assault over a 30 year period. Scottish Women’s Aid believes he is therefore not suitable to hold public office, and calls on the Scottish Parliament to use any means at its disposal to remove him.
“There are also questions to be answered as to why this case was heard at summary trial. We will continue to press for these answers to ensure that all women who experience domestic abuse receive appropriate and meaningful justice from the courts.
For more information, contact:
Mike Heffron, NUS Scotland’s Press and Policy Officer, on 07554 451 941
Kirsten Smith, Zero Tolerance’s Information and Communications Officer, on 0131 248 2410
Heather Coady, Scottish Women’s Aid’s Policy Officer, on 0131 226 6606
1) Radio/television should contact Scottish Women’s Aid to arrange interviews ahead of the rally. Spokespersons from each organisation will be available for interviews at the event