Bill Walker Refusing To Quit

An MSP who carried out a series of attacks on three of his wives is to defy calls to quit.

Politicians from across the spectrum have demanded Bill Walker stand down from Holyrood after the independent MSP was convicted of 23 assaults and one breach of the peace charge. 

A majority of MSPs at the Scottish Parliament have signed a motion calling on the 71-year-old to resign immediately. 

But Walker, of Alloa, Clackmannanshire, told The Courier newspaper he had no plans to do so. 

The Scottish Parliament is due to resume next week following the summer recess. Walker told the paper: ``I never had any plans to vacate my seat and that's it. I will just leave it at that.'' 

Walker is due to be sentenced next month after being found guilty of 24 charges spanning almost three decades following a trial at Edinburgh Sheriff Court. 

He carried out the attacks against his three ex-wives and a stepdaughter between 1967 and 1995. 

The former SNP MSP, who was ejected from the party when the allegations surfaced, denied the charges. 

The law states that any elected member jailed for more than one year will be disqualified. 

But in summary cases heard in sheriff courts in Scotland, the maximum sentence that can be handed down is one year, allowing Walker to remain as an MSP. 

First Minister Alex Salmond called on him to resign his Holyrood seat, saying: ``Someone convicted of these offences is not fit to be a public representative and therefore he should stand down from the Scottish Parliament and allow the people of Dunfermline to elect a new MSP.'' 

The Scottish Parliament website showed that 66 MSPs have backed a motion from Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie, stating: ``The Parliament believes that Bill Walker MSP should vacate his seat in the Parliament immediately.'' 

Politicians from all parties at Holyrood have signed this, including Labour leader Johann Lamont, Tory leader Ruth Davidson and her deputy Jackson Carlaw, Mr Rennie told BBC Radio Scotland it was time for Walker to stand down. 

``We cannot allow a wife-beater to take his place back in Parliament as if nothing has happened,'' he told the Call Kaye programme. 

``And that would be the message it would send to all these women who have been beaten up by their partner? What would they think about their Parliament acting in that way?'' 

Mr Rennie said he had already had people from Walker's constituency of Dunfermline contact him instead of their MSP ``because they believe that Bill Walker cannot represent them any more''. 

On that basis, the Liberal Democrat leader said Walker ``can't do his job, he can't function as an MSP''. While a majority of MSPs at Holyrood have backed his motion, Mr Rennie said he hoped more would sign it in the coming days. 

``I don't think I've met anybody who doesn't want to sign it,'' he said. 

``We're still in recess just now and I think by the time we get back next week we will have almost everybody backing it.''



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