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Scotland’s political parties must pledge to remove asbestos from public buildings, urge campaigners and trade unions

SCOTLAND’S political parties must pledge to remove potentially deadly asbestos from all of the country’s public buildings, campaigners and trade unions have said.

They made the plea to party leaders ahead of next week’s Scottish Parliament election.

Action on Asbestos’s Phyllis Craig said research in 2017 had revealed the presence of the substance in more than 1,600 school buildings in Scotland.

“The question of asbestos in our schools, hospitals and public buildings must be addressed by the politicians before the May elections,” she insisted.

Action on Asbestos, formerly known as Clydeside Action on Asbestos, wants all parties standing in the election to commit to a phased removal programme, encompassing all the public buildings affected.

Before the Covid-19 pandemic hit Scotland, the charity had been campaigning on this issue with the support of trade unions.

Action on Asbestos chairman Gary Smith, who is also GMB Scotland secretary, said: “To leave asbestos in places such as schools is of grave concern.

“Asbestos has cost so many lives and damaged so many more, it’s outrageous that there is not a planned programme of removal.”

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