I am delighted to have been elected as the Convener of the Cross-Party Group on Co-operatives in the Scottish Parliament.

As a co-operator and as a Scottish Co-operative Party MSP, I am determined to do all that I can to promote the co-operative movement in our parliament.  We can go on about Scotland’s co-operative history, and it is important, but it is also crucial that we develop Scotland’s co-operative future.

The Cross-Party Group provides a place for the broader co-operative movement to make its voice heard and to showcase innovation as well as highlight areas where action is needed to promote the co-operative model.

I want to pay tribute to my predecessor as Convener of the Cross-Party Group, James Kelly.  James was the founding Convener of the Group and served the movement well as a champion of the co-operative ideal for over ten years.

In the last parliament, it was work by James and his colleagues that highlighted the need for more co-operative housing in Scotland and it was work by the Cross-Party Group which highlights the important role that co-operatives should play in the recovery from the pandemic.

I am looking forward to making the case for co-operative solutions over the next few years.  The Cross-Party Group will be looking to work with the Scottish Government and others to ensure that co-operative solutions are always considered.