Scottish Daily Mail

We can unite to con­quer terror, in­sists Stur­geon

- By Alan Ro­den Scot­tish Po­lit­i­cal Ed­i­tor­den@dai­ly­

NI­COLA Stur­geon yes­ter­day took part in the UK’s Cobra emer­gency com­mit­tee meet­ing as she called on Scots to ‘unite as a com­mu­nity’.

The First Min­is­ter also chaired a meet­ing of the Scot­tish equiv­a­lent of Cobra, the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment Re­silience Room (SGORR), at­tended by her top min­is­ters, Lord Ad­vo­cate Frank Mulholland, QC, and se­nior po­lice chiefs.

SGORR meets reg­u­larly but it is un­usual for the First Min­is­ter to be in­vited to Cobra, chaired by Home Sec­re­tary Theresa May yes­ter­day. It is be­lieved Miss Stur­geon took part via a video link from Ed­in­burgh.

She has also met French Con­sul Gen­eral Em­manuel Cocher and signed a book of con­do­lence.

Miss Stur­geon said: ‘The ter­ror­ist at­tacks in Paris on Fri­day night have shocked and hor­ri­fied the na­tion.

‘I con­vened a sec­ond Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment re­silience meet­ing to en­sure that we are do­ing ev­ery­thing we can in Scot­land to pro­vide sup­port for those who may be af­fected by this sense­less at­tack.

‘Deputy First Min­is­ter John Swin­ney joined the Con­sul Gen­eral of France at a ser­vice at St Giles’ to pay trib­ute to the vic­tims of this ter­ri­ble tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers re­main with the peo­ple of France and all of those af­fected.

‘We are con­tin­u­ing to work closely with the For­eign Of­fice, Po­lice Scot­land and other part­ners to en­sure those who have been caught up in this at­tack or who may be con­cerned about rel­a­tives have all of the ad­vice, help and in­for­ma­tion they need. Scot­land is a di­verse,

‘Shocked and hor­ri­fied na­tion’

multi-cul­tural so­ci­ety and this di­ver­sity is our strength.

‘Ter­ror­ist at­tacks are in­tended to di­vide us and de­stroy the free­doms and way of life we value so highly. We must unite as a com­mu­nity here at home – and in sol­i­dar­ity with France – to make clear they will not suc­ceed.’

There is grow­ing talk at West­min­ster of UK air strikes in Syria, but the SNP still in­sists the case ‘has not yet been made’. The party’s 55 MPs will ar­gue that fur­ther mil­i­tary ac­tion would re­quire a UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil res­o­lu­tion and a strat­egy that in­cluded ‘a long-term so­lu­tion to the con­flict and a sub­stan­tial re­con­struc­tion pro­gramme’.

Na­tion­al­ist MP Natalie McGarry wrote on Twit­ter yes­ter­day: ‘Have to hope UK govt doesn’t re­spond to type and put air strikes in Syria on agenda as a re­sult of Paris atroc­ity. I’ll op­pose ve­he­mently.’

Mean­while, hun­dreds of peo­ple, in­clud­ing many from the French com­mu­nity, at­tended a ser­vice in Ed­in­burgh to re­mem­ber the vic­tims of the Paris at­tacks. The con­gre­ga­tion at St Giles’ Cathe­dral, in­clud­ing Mr Swin­ney and Mr Cocher, held a minute’s si­lence.

Mr Swin­ney said: ‘This is a solemn mo­ment for us to re­flect and re­mem­ber the tragedy that took place on Fri­day.

‘What I want to say to peo­ple from France who are with us in Scot­land is that our hearts are break­ing for them. They have en­dured tremen­dous suf­fer­ing and we want to ex­press, as we have done very clearly since Fri­day evening, our strong­est sol­i­dar­ity with the peo­ple of France at their time of need, and par­tic­u­larly for the peo­ple from the French com­mu­nity here in Scot­land – part of our coun­try, part of our so­ci­ety and very much part of our lives.’

St Giles’ min­is­ter, the Rev Calum MacLeod, who led the ser­vice, said: ‘Friends, let us stand in sol­i­dar­ity this day with the peo­ple of France and all those who re­ject vi­o­lent ex­trem­ism and seek con­struc­tive peace.

‘Our prayers this day are for all who suf­fer, es­pe­cially this day for the peo­ple of Paris in their pain and grief in the midst of evil.

‘We pray for par­ents griev­ing the loss of their chil­dren, chil­dren mourn­ing the loss of their par­ents, neigh­bours stricken by the loss of friends, lovers torn apart by shock­ing violence.

‘We pray for those who are deeply in­jured and fight­ing for their lives, those who have wit­nessed un­speak­able hor­rors, those who hero­ically sought to save lives and those al­ready work­ing to rekin­dle the em­bers of hope.’

The ser­vice fol­lowed a vigil in Glas­gow on Satur­day where 500 peo­ple lit can­dles, laid flow­ers and left mes­sages of sol­i­dar­ity with France.

Scots Land­marks, in­clud­ing Ed­in­burgh Cas­tle, the Hy­dro in Glas­gow and The Kelpies, were lit up in the colours of the French flag.

Speak­ing af­ter the ser­vice, Mr Cocher said the French com­mu­nity had been moved by the ex­pres­sions of sup­port from Scot­land.

He added: ‘Here in Scot­land we are really sup­ported by the way peo­ple see life. The sense of com­mu­nity is strong here and this up­lifts the feel­ings of the French.’

 ??  ?? Ser­vice: John Swin­ney, Em­manuel Cocher and Rev Calum Ma­cLeod The auld al­liance: Hun­dreds at­tended yes­ter­day’s ser­vice at St Giles’ Cathe­dral in Ed­in­burgh to re­mem­ber the vic­tims of the atroc­i­ties
Ser­vice: John Swin­ney, Em­manuel Cocher and Rev Calum Ma­cLeod The auld al­liance: Hun­dreds at­tended yes­ter­day’s ser­vice at St Giles’ Cathe­dral in Ed­in­burgh to re­mem­ber the vic­tims of the atroc­i­ties

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