SNP MEP and Party President Ian Hudghton has criticised UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown for failing to apologise for his role in the economic downturn during a keynote speech at the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

Mr Brown had asked to address MEPs on preparations for the G20 Summit in London on 2 April where world leaders will seek to co-ordinate plans to tackle the global economic crisis. Mr Brown avoided taking responsibility for his part in the crisis and Mr Hudghton questioned his ability to broker a deal at the G20 summit.

Responding to the speech, Mr Hudghton said:

"Sorry seems to be the hardest word for Mr Brown at the moment. He presided over and promoted the now notorious 'light touch' regulation of the financial sector which contributed significantly to the economic hardship many are now facing. Rather than apologise for his poor judgement, he seems to be trying to rescue his reputation by playing the world statesman.

"But while Mr Brown indulges in this globe trotting, families across Scotland and beyond are feeling the effects of his economic mismanagement. He's putting Scotland's public services in jeopardy with his billion pound cuts over the next two years.

"He spoke of wealth being of no value to society if it only served the wealthy, yet he allowed such values to prevail in the banking system. He also talked about the risks of the unbridled free market, yet he seemed content enough to let the market run wild when the economic circumstances were more positive.

"Put simply, Mr Brown is part of the problem, not part of the solution. We need to see a co-ordinated response from the G20, but is Mr Brown really the person to take the lead?"

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