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Swinney expenses circulated by aggrieved lawyers over parliamentary confrontation with resigning Law Society Chief

30 Mar

The ‘hero’ of several campaigners for legal reform, John Swinney, who challenged the Law Society of Scotland’s Chief Executive Douglas Mill in front of the Justice 2 Committee of the Scottish Parliament over corruption in the way complaints and claims against lawyers have been dealt with by the Law Society itself, has seemingly ‘gone into silence’ on the issue, after, it has been alleged, the legal establishment have given him a warning over his conduct, with the waiving of certain documents to preferred sections of the media …

John Swinney v Douglas Mill at the Justice Committee – serious corruption revealed in Chief Executive’s own attempts to thwart claims, which led to Mill’s resignation.

You can read a lot more about the events leading up to Douglas Mill’s resignation, which began with the confrontation between Mill & Swinney at the Parliament here : Breaking News : Law Society Chief Executive Douglas Mill who lied to Parliament, pursued ‘personal vendetta’ against critics – to resign

Now that you have watched the above video, and read my earlier report on Mr Mill’s resignation, you should not be surprised to learn that earlier last week, documents were apparently being circulated by some aggrieved members of the Law Society, showing Mr Swinney’s mortgage claims on his Parliamentary expenses account. The documents currently doing the rounds show among other things, Mr Swinney receiving regular payments for mortgage interest at around £900, with, curiously enough, even a 19pence stamp making the claims book.

John Swinney mortgage allowance claims

John Swinney on mortgage payments

even a stamp …

John Swinney on stamps

The documents, apparently released by members of the legal profession, who clearly support Douglas Mill and the Law Society’s policy of beating down complaints against solicitors with a stick or anything higher, don’t particularly show anything we don’t already know, but I am slightly amazed myself at the size of the claims and seemingly attention to detail, while Mr Swinney’s constituent, and others mentioned by him not only in that confrontation with Douglas Mill, but also within the Parliamentary debate on the LPLA Bill, have not yet seen their cases achieve a measure of settlement.

I was in two minds whether to cover the story at all, but in the interests of fairness, and the expectation of Mr Swinney’s constituents and those he has helped over the issue of problems with regulation in the legal profession, the story does deserve coverage, also hopefully to limit the damage that certain forces may be trying to do to Mr Swinney’s reputation, as was seen in the early part of 2007 when several Labour & Lib Dem MSPS were caught in mortgage allowance expenses, apparently after leaks of documents from a few lawyers who were ticked off after the passage of the LPLA Bill in the Scottish Parliament in mid December 2006 …

John Swinney speaks in the Scottish Parliament on corruption within the Law Society of Scotland and interference with innocent people’s access to justice.

As you know, I am a supporter of Mr Swinney, particularly over his courage to take on Douglas Mill in front of the Justice 2 Committee in 2006, and really get to the heart of the issues which have been burning up the public over their poor treatment by the Law Society of Scotland when it came to making complaints and financial claims against either negligent or crooked lawyers. I simply don’t think that anyone else, with the exception of Phil Gallie, would have had the courage to ask those questions and take issue with Mr Mill, as John Swinney clearly did.

Surely Mr Swinney has been in government long enough now to ensure these cases attain a measure of settlement and closure, for the good of his constituents, the others he mentioned, and the interests of justice and the Scottish justice system as a whole.

It’s not too much to ask or expect I think, for people to be given closure and peace of mind over wrongs which were perpetrated against them by the legal profession itself, and if the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Mr Swinney, cant put this issue on the table now and get it fixed for all concerned, we are living in a very sorry state of affairs in Scotland.

How about it John ? Lets give the innocent some justice and allow everyone to get on with their lives again ? It’s time, and surely after you raised the subject, it’s time to live up to the duty of seeing it through, which you have the power to do, and give some help to innocent Scots who are caught in this never ending injustice …

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