A center-left, social-democratic party; the SNP is Scotland’s largest political party, and campaigns for Independence.

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SNP MSP Colin Beattie has written to Labour’s Education spokesperson and MSP for East Lothian, Iain Gray, to ask for clarity after the Labour leader of East Lothian Council criticised the Scottish Government’s extension of free childcare.

In an East Lothian Council Education Committee meeting, it has been reported that Labour leader Willie Innes said that he did not agree there should be a focus on early years funding as he believes that the Scottish Government should be looking at starting schooling later as in some other European countries.

Colin Beattie has written to Iain Gray to seek assurances that his party believes in extending free childcare.

Commenting, Mr Beattie, who is the MSP for Musselburgh and sits on the Education and Skills Committee at Holyrood, said:

“These remarks from the Labour leader of East Lothian Council are both concerning and confusing. Labour has previously supported the Scottish Government’s plans to extend early years funding – vital to children’s development in their formative years.

“To see such confused remarks from Mr Innes on this topic – calling for less of a focus on early years whilst increasing the age at which school starts seems rather irreconcilable to me.

“I look forward to Iain Gray’s response, which will provide clarity on Labour’s position on this – which is hopefully still in favour of the Scottish Government’s commitment to giving every child the best start in life.”
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