“Nicola is a big part of the reason I am here today” Scotland’s youngest MSP pays tribute to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

Scotland’s youngest MSP, Emma Roddick, has paid tribute to the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, highlighting the political legacy she leaves behind and the inspiration she has given to women far and wide.

This afternoon, Nicola Sturgeon gave her official resignation speech in the Scottish Parliament and said it had been the honour of a lifetime to serve Scotland.

In response, Emma Roddick, who represents the Highlands & Islands, gave a speech on behalf of the Scottish National Party, highlighting Nicola Sturgeon’s legacy in office and expressing that the First Minister had played a large role in her own political journey.

She said:

“Nicola Sturgeon will be remembered for many things, not least the policies she has introduced to Scotland: the Scottish Child Payment, the Baby Box, the Promise all being emblematic of her progressive values.

“She has been a voice for the people of Scotland, earning trust and solidarity throughout Europe and across the globe with her internationalist outlook on issues like climate change and supporting refugees. She didn’t wait for independence to place Scotland on the world stage, as its own nation with its own ideas.

“The way she has spent her last few weeks in office, delivering a heartfelt apology for historic forced adoption, launching a memorial book for babies lost before they were born, and of course, spending time with the Care Experienced young people of Scotland, is a testament to the kind of leader Nicola Sturgeon has been.

“Her legacy, though, is not just in the policies she put in place, it’s also those she lifted up with her as she climbed – all the women she mentored, empowered and inspired. She made politics accessible, giving a voice to those previously shut out.

“Years ago, the soon-to-be First Minister came to Eden Court in Inverness and spoke about how she wanted to encourage young women into politics. For me, a 17-year-old girl from the Highlands, who often felt detached from national politics, this was a huge moment – one that has led me here.

“Her impact in that sense is immeasurable, but there is no doubt that we will see it for decades to come through the many women that will enter politics after seeing that it can be done – I know myself that Nicola is a big part of why I am here today.”


  • Full speech can be viewed here.

Emma Roddick MSP presses for update on new Nairn Academy – welcomes Scottish Government investment in Highlands & Islands schools

Highlands & Islands MSP Emma Roddick has welcomed investment into schools across her region as plans to replace Nairn Academy get underway.

Speaking in the Scottish Parliament, Ms Roddick asked the Cabinet Secretary for Education for an update on the Nairn Academy replacement project, as well as the new schools for Broadford in Skye, in the development stages with designs progressing, and the new 3-18 campus for Tain which is set to welcome pupils in early 2025.

Commenting, she said:

“I was glad to get an update on the Scottish Government’s continued commitment to Nairn’s new-build school, as well as other projects in the Highlands and Islands.  It is fantastic to see real progress being made on these exciting developments across my region.

“These brilliant new facilities will have such a positive impact on the education of our young people, and I look forward to seeing them come to life.

“The Scottish Government’s investment in education across the Highlands and Islands is a real testament to its commitment to children and young folk the length and breadth of Scotland.”


Highlands and Islands MSP Emma Roddick has welcomed the Scottish Government’s official apology to those affected by historic forced adoption practices, in one of Nicola Sturgeon’s final acts as First Minister. 

The SNP MSP, along with Monica Lennon, Miles Briggs, Maggie Chapman, and Alex Cole-Hamilton, was a signatory of a 2022 cross-party letter to the Scottish Government calling for such an apology to be made.

The apology comes after an estimated 60,000 unmarried women were forced into giving up their babies for adoption between the 1950s and 1970s in Scotland. Many of those adopted were never told the truth about their birth or provided with any assistance in contacting their birth parents. The practice of forced adoption has been consistently condemned by numerous international human rights organisations and apologies have already been seen in countries such as Australia, Canada and Ireland. 

 Following the First Minister’s statement, Ms Roddick commented: 

“It was an extremely emotional moment to hear the First Minister offer a sincere and heartfelt apology on behalf of the Scottish Government to all those who have suffered as a result of historic forced adoption. It was also heartening to be joined in the gallery by so many tireless campaigners on this issue, including the inspirational Marion McMillan. 

“Addressing historic injustices such as forced adoption practices is incredibly important. It sends a powerful message to those impacted by such a shameful chapter in Scotland’s collective past and I hope that this apology will provide them with some level of comfort. 

“For the tens of thousands of parents and children affected by forced adoption practices, an apology from their First Minister and Scottish Government is a momentous moment. Although we cannot right the wrongs of the past, it is vital that we recognise the heartbreak experienced by so many Scottish parents and children, and try to set the record straight by condemning such a cruel breach of their most basic human rights.

“I was pleased to have been able to ask the First Minister for an assurance that the Scottish Government will continue to place lived experience at the heart of its approach to helping those impacted by historic adoption practices and was reassured by her response that this will always be the case, no matter who succeeds her.” 

Highlands & Islands MSP backs transition to a wellbeing economy, says trickle-down economics is not working for communities in her region

Highlands & Islands MSP Emma Roddick has said that ‘community empowerment’ must be at the centre of Scotland’s economics as MSPs discuss the transition to a wellbeing economy.

During a debate in the Scottish Parliament, Ms Roddick expressed that the UK’s trickle-down economic framework and failure to redistribute wealth was not working for communities in the Highlands & Islands and was leading to greater inequality.

Ms Roddick emphasised the need to empower communities by redirecting wealth, control, and the benefits of local resources and efforts back into the local economy.

She said:

“Crisis like the coronavirus pandemic, and the cost-of-living crisis have really demonstrated the harsh inequalities in our society, but they have also shown just how resilient our communities are.

“I was privileged to be a part of the efforts of Inverness Foodstuff in delivering hot meals to those in need during the pandemic and I have been hearted to see so many community hubs and warm spaces pop up across the Highlands & Islands during this cost-of-living crisis.

“Supporting your community, volunteering, and looking out for your neighbours, is so embedded in the lives of so many of my constituents, but our communities need greater empowerment and greater support to tackle inequalities.

“Because trickle-down economics is not working for the people of the highlands.

“If you’re coming to me with policy, don’t talk to me about GDP, don’t talk to me about private growth, I want to know that you are going to end homelessness, tackle child poverty, and uphold basic human rights for everyone – the only party I see doing that unequivocally is the SNP.”

Highlands & Islands MSP tells Scottish Government its ‘resolute commitment’ to the dualling of the A9 south must come with more than words

Highlands & Islands MSP Emma Roddick has told the Minister for Transport that, if Highlanders are to believe that the Scottish Government remains committed to dualling the A9 south, and to them, they need action along with words.

Speaking in a debate on road improvements and the dualling of the A9, Ms Roddick welcomed the “resolute commitment” to complete the project, but said she joined her constituents across the Highlands in feeling let down by the delay.

She said:

“It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that I am bitterly disappointed by the delay to the dualling of the A9 south.

“There are obvious challenges that come with carrying out such a large-scale project, but we can’t blame a lack of bids and move on.  People need to have confidence that this will happen, and clarity on how long it will take.  I was very clear during the debate that the Scottish Government, whatever it looks like in a week’s time, has a big job to do in rebuilding that trust.

“As discussions are ongoing, people in the Highlands can have confidence that I will continue to stand up for them and press for action, not just words.”

Highlands & Islands MSP welcomes increase in Croft House Grant and urges crofters across the Highlands & Islands to apply

Highlands & Islands MSP Emma Roddick has welcomed the Scottish Government’s increase in its Croft House Grant and is urging crofters across the Highlands & Islands to apply.

The Scottish Government announced this week that it had increased the grant rate for home improvements within the Croft House Grant from 40% to 60% of the total project cost – with a maximum grant of £38,000 – to ensure that more crofters and their families are able to benefit from the support.

The grants scheme, which was launched in 2007, has supported 1,100 households across Scotland’s rural and island communities to upgrade or build new homes in their crofts.

Commenting, Ms Roddick said:

“I am delighted to see the Croft House Grant increased, offering more support to folk in my region to maximise the potential of their crofts.

“Crofting plays such an important role both culturally and economically across Scotland’s rural and island communities, but it does not come without its challenges and the cost-of-living crisis has taken a heavy toll on so many.

“I’m so glad that the Scottish Government is recognising these challenges and where additional support is needed to ensure that crofting as a way of life can not only survive but thrive in the future.

“This is just another example of how the SNP is standing up for rural and island communities across Scotland, with crofters and farmers already benefiting from receiving advance payment of the Basic Payment Scheme – brought forward by the Scottish Government – to support Scotland’s farmers with cash flow and the cost-of-living crisis.

“I strongly urge those eligible across the Highlands & Islands to read up on how the grant scheme can help them and apply.”


•            Farm payment dates to be brought forward – gov.scot (www.gov.scot)

•            More information on the Croft House Grant and how to apply can be found here.

Highlands & Islands MSP says children are being lifted out of poverty by Scottish Government’s progressive policies

Highlands & Islands MSP Emma Roddick has praised the Scottish Government’s progressive approach to its benefit and taxation policies, saying low-income families in Scotland will now be better off as a direct result.

Speaking in the parliament chamber, Ms Roddick highlighted a report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) which found that amongst the poorest 30% of households in Scotland, those with children will see their incomes boosted by £2,000 a year on average as a result of Scotland’s taxation and benefit policies.

Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Housing and Local Government, Shona Robison, welcomed the report’s findings, stating that they illustrated the positive impact that the government’s progressive choices are having for low-income families.

Commenting, Ms Roddick said:

“The IFS findings set out clearly how this SNP Government and its policies are working to deliver for the people of Scotland.

“Low-income families across the country will now be significantly better off as a direct result of this government’s fair and progressive approach to taxation and Scotland’s range of compassionate benefits, like the game-changing Scottish Child Payment which is unique in the UK, actively pulling children out of poverty and supporting families to get back on their feet.

“Here in Scotland, we are striving to be better: tackling poverty and inequality head on, despite limited powers and budget whilst tied to a Tory government down south, insistent on pushing its people further into hardship.

“With the full powers of independence, we could go so much further to fully protect our most vulnerable and thrive as a progressive nation.”


Highlands & Islands MSP says UK budget must reverse damage caused by Tory-made cost of living crisis

Highlands & Islands MSP Emma Roddick has said that tomorrow’s UK budget must deliver for households across the Highlands & Islands that have felt the ‘devastating’ impacts of the Tory-made cost of living crisis. 

Ahead of tomorrow’s UK budget announcement, Emma Roddick MSP has joined SNP colleagues in calling on the UK Government to deliver on her party’s 5-point plan – part of which calls on the government to cut the Energy Price Guarantee to £2000 and maintain the £400 Energy Bill Support Scheme to the summer, saving households around £1400 on energy bills.

She said:

“Tomorrow, the UK Government must step up and implement a plan that will see folk able to recover from the devastating impacts of the cost-of-living crisis.

“Pre-cost of living crisis, households across my region were already facing some of the highest levels of fuel poverty in the country, and they have now faced a long cold winter with ever-rising costs.

“With energy companies making record profits and the wholesale price of gas falling, there is simply no excuse for the UK Government’s failure to act.

“Folk should not be struggling to get by in a wealthy, energy-rich country like Scotland, but, under Tory rule, that is the reality for so many.

“The SNP Government is doing all it can to mitigate the damage being done by UK energy policy but with limited powers, households in my region and across the rest of Scotland are still suffering.

“While the UK Government fails to act, it’s clear that only with the full powers of independence will we be able to secure the real change needed to implement fairer policies and protect our people.”


  • The Scottish National Party’s five-point plan:

1. Saving families £1400 on energy bills – by cutting the Energy Price Guarantee to £2000 and maintaining the £400 Energy Bill Support Scheme to the summer.

2. Raising public sector pay and benefits by CPI – putting money into the pockets of millions of workers and delivering Barnett consequentials for Scottish spending.

3. Scrapping Tory plans to raise the pension age to 68, and reinstating the Triple Lock – so no one has to struggle in old age.

4. Re-joining the European Single Market – to boost economic growth and halt the multi-billion pound long-term damage being caused by Brexit.

5. Investing in green growth – by competing with EU and US subsidies to attract green investment.

  • European wholesale gas prices for 2023-24 are down 75 per cent from their summer peak.
  • As a consequence, the Energy Price Guarantee will now cost the government £26.8 billion – this is down from a forecast of £42 billion last November  (Cornwall Insights analysis and comparison).

Highlands & Islands MSP presents Scottish Countryside Alliance award to local butcher

Highlands & Islands MSP Emma Roddick has presented a Kingussie butcher with a Highly Commended award in the Butcher category from the Countryside Alliance.

D Gilmour Butchers, which prides itself on supplying locally sourced meat to Badenoch & Strathspey, were announced as the winners of the award at the Countryside Alliance Awards Reception in early February with Ms Roddick later presenting them with the award at their premises in Kingussie.

Commenting on the achievement, Ms Roddick said:

“It was an honour to be asked to present Donald and the team at D Gilmour with this highly-deserved award and it is really fantastic to see the business recognised in this way.

“The Scottish Countryside Alliance Awards celebrate rural businesses across the whole of the UK that are going the extra mile to support their local economy and community, so this award is a real testament to the brilliant service Donald and the team provides across Badenoch and Strathspey.

“I was very grateful to Donald for welcoming me in and chatting to me about all the brilliant produce they offer and explaining why sourcing locally wherever possible is so important.

“I left with some lovely locally sourced beef and I’m sure I’ll be back for more very soon!”

Emma Roddick MSP Calls on Parliament to Improve Evidence Experience for Gaelic Speakers

At a meeting of the Parliament’s Social Justice and Social Security Committee yesterday (2nd March 2023), Shona NicIIIinnein, Chief Executive Officer, Bòrd na Gàidhlig was prevented from answering MSPs’ questions in Gaelic. Shona had intimated to the committee in advance that she would like to give the evidence of Bòrd na Gàidhlig to the committee in Gaelic, but it was not possible to have the interpretation services for MSPs in place.

Commenting Emma said

“It was deeply disappointing that the Committee was not able to hear from Shona yesterday in Gaelic as she intended. The Scottish Parliament should be able to hear from folk in one of our national languages. I appreciate that there were operational difficulties for it on this occasion but I will be seeking assurances from the Parliamentary authorities that appropriate resources are in place to facilitate giving evidence in one of Scotland’s national languages.

“Too often we see the use of Gaelic interpretation only being provided when the topic itself is languages. But Gaelic doesn’t exist only in a silo or language learning apps. It is a living language and MSPs should be able to hear from Gaelic speakers on health, education, transport, and yes even the regulation of charities, in their own language. I’ve done what I can with the limited Gaelic I have to bring it into the committee’s work and it would have been fantastic to hear from Shona in Gaelic today. Sadly, this was not possible but I am hopeful that we can in future hear evidence in Gaelic.”