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About the Scottish Parliament

'There shall be a Scottish Parliament': text version

News stories often use ‘Holyrood’ as a shorthand for the Scottish Parliament or the Scottish Government.

However, the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government are separate organisations based in separate buildings.

In an election, the people elected to represent the regions and constituencies become the 129 Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs).

MSPs elect one MSP as First Minister to lead the Scottish Government. The First Minister then appoints certain MSPs as Ministers. Together they form the Scottish Government. Scottish Government Ministers hold two separate positions: one as an MSP and one as a member of the Scottish Government.

The Scottish Government runs the country by proposing laws and implementing policy on devolved matters. It also proposes the Scottish budget.

The Scottish Parliament makes laws for Scotland on devolved matters and holds the Scottish Government to account.

MSPs question the First Minister and the Scottish Government on their actions.

Both the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government work for you.


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