Former youth parly boss in court no-show


By Paul Thornton

THE former chairman of the Scottish Youth Parliament has failed to appear at court in relation to claims he stole a laptop computer from the organisation.

Keiran Collins. 25, is charged with stealing the personal computer shortly before his departure from the SYP in October last year.

It is alleged he took the machine from the machine from the SYP’s headquarters in Edinburgh’s Rosebury House on September 29.

Mr Collins has previously denied the allegations and was due to appear at Edinburgh Sheriff Court for a hearing ahead of his trial next week.

But after he did not turn-up Sheriff Nigel Morrison QC issued a non-appearance warrant for him.

Mr Collins was suspended from the SYP last October following claims that he and another parliament member disturbed guests while staying at a hotel during a two-day SYP conference in South Lanarkshire from September 8, 2008.

The SYP announced Sam Kerr as new chair in February this year after Mr Collins resigned as both an MSYP and as chair of the parliament.

Last year the SYP received £250,000 in government funding and runs an 11-strong staff from their offices in Edinburgh.

The group has 150 members aged between 14 and 25 who are elected every two years at ballots held by local authorities.

They run committees to mirror everything that Holyrood does and meets around four times a year to help feed youth opinion into politics.

Mr Collins – a former Craigroyston Community High pupil – joined the SYP for the South Edinburgh constituency in June 2007.

A keen rugby player, he grew up in the Southhouse area of the capital and studied law at Edinburgh University.

He said his ambition is to work for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and also does volunteer work with children’s charities.

In 2005 Mr Collins was the Minister of Foreign Affairs on the BBC hit show “How to start your own country” which was presented by Danny Wallace and was aired across the world.