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Chamber and committees

Meeting of the Parliament (Hybrid) [Draft]

Meeting date: Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Agenda: Time for Reflection, Topical Question Time, Business Motion, Motion without Notice, Business Motion, Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3, Motion without Notice


Motion without Notice

I call Alexander Burnett for a point of order.


Alexander Burnett (Aberdeenshire West) (Con)

Presiding Officer, earlier today, I submitted a request to you under standing orders rule 17.2 to suspend rule 9.8.4A in relation to the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill stage 3 consideration of amendments—

Mr Burnett, I am accepting your motion. Please continue, and speak to and move the motion.

Do you want me to start again?

I have given consent for the motion without notice, so please speak to the motion.

Alexander Burnett

Thank you, Presiding Officer.

Earlier today, I submitted a request to you under standing orders rule 17.2, to suspend rule 9.8.4A in relation to the Gender Recognition Bill stage 3 consideration of amendments. That would result in no timetable limits to stage 3 amendments, with proceedings carrying on over multiple days if required.

The request also detailed the alternative provisions for considering stage 3, as is required by rule 17.2. Those were that every member who wishes to speak on any amendment grouping should be granted the opportunity to do so.

That request has been made necessary by the constant curtailing of scrutiny by the Scottish Government throughout the bill process, implemented through the Parliamentary Bureau and other means. I encourage members to support my motion so that the bill can receive the full scrutiny that it deserves.

I move,

That the Parliament agrees that for the purposes of consideration of the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill at stage 3, Rule 9.8.4A be suspended and that debate on each grouping of amendments continues until each Member who wishes to speak in a group has an opportunity to do so.

The Presiding Officer

No other member has asked to speak on the motion. The question is, that motion S6M-07325, in the name of Alexander Burnett, on the suspension of standing orders, be agreed to. Are we agreed?

Members: No.

There will be a division.

The vote is closed.

On a point of order, Presiding Officer.

I will take your point of order after the vote, unless it is on the vote.

I would have voted yes, but my vote has not registered.

The Presiding Officer

Thank you. We will ensure that that is recorded.


Baillie, Jackie (Dumbarton) (Lab)
Balfour, Jeremy (Lothian) (Con)
Bibby, Neil (West Scotland) (Lab)
Boyack, Sarah (Lothian) (Lab)
Briggs, Miles (Lothian) (Con)
Burnett, Alexander (Aberdeenshire West) (Con)
Cameron, Donald (Highlands and Islands) (Con)
Carlaw, Jackson (Eastwood) (Con)
Carson, Finlay (Galloway and West Dumfries) (Con)
Choudhury, Foysol (Lothian) (Lab)
Clark, Katy (West Scotland) (Lab)
Dowey, Sharon (South Scotland) (Con)
Duncan-Glancy, Pam (Glasgow) (Lab)
Findlay, Russell (West Scotland) (Con)
Fraser, Murdo (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Con)
Gallacher, Meghan (Central Scotland) (Con)
Golden, Maurice (North East Scotland) (Con)
Gosal, Pam (West Scotland) (Con)
Grant, Rhoda (Highlands and Islands) (Lab)
Greene, Jamie (West Scotland) (Con)
Griffin, Mark (Central Scotland) (Lab)
Gulhane, Sandesh (Glasgow) (Con)
Hamilton, Rachael (Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire) (Con)
Hoy, Craig (South Scotland) (Con)
Johnson, Daniel (Edinburgh Southern) (Lab)
Halcro Johnston, Jamie (Highlands and Islands) (Con)
Kerr, Liam (North East Scotland) (Con)
Kerr, Stephen (Central Scotland) (Con)
Lennon, Monica (Central Scotland) (Lab)
Leonard, Richard (Central Scotland) (Lab)
Lumsden, Douglas (North East Scotland) (Con)
Marra, Michael (North East Scotland) (Lab)
McCall, Roz (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Con)
McNeill, Pauline (Glasgow) (Lab)
Mochan, Carol (South Scotland) (Lab)
Mountain, Edward (Highlands and Islands) (Con)
Mundell, Oliver (Dumfriesshire) (Con)
O’Kane, Paul (West Scotland) (Lab)
Ross, Douglas (Highlands and Islands) (Con)
Sarwar, Anas (Glasgow) (Lab)
Simpson, Graham (Central Scotland) (Con)
Smith, Liz (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Con)
Smyth, Colin (South Scotland) (Lab)
Stewart, Alexander (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Con)
Sweeney, Paul (Glasgow) (Lab)
Villalba, Mercedes (North East Scotland) (Lab)
Webber, Sue (Lothian) (Con)
Wells, Annie (Glasgow) (Con)
White, Tess (North East Scotland) (Con)
Whitfield, Martin (South Scotland) (Lab)
Whittle, Brian (South Scotland) (Con)


Adam, George (Paisley) (SNP)
Adam, Karen (Banffshire and Buchan Coast) (SNP)
Adamson, Clare (Motherwell and Wishaw) (SNP)
Allan, Alasdair (Na h-Eileanan an Iar) (SNP)
Arthur, Tom (Renfrewshire South) (SNP)
Beattie, Colin (Midlothian North and Musselburgh) (SNP)
Brown, Keith (Clackmannanshire and Dunblane) (SNP)
Brown, Siobhian (Ayr) (SNP)
Burgess, Ariane (Highlands and Islands) (Green)
Callaghan, Stephanie (Uddingston and Bellshill) (SNP)
Chapman, Maggie (North East Scotland) (Green)
Coffey, Willie (Kilmarnock and Irvine Valley) (SNP)
Cole-Hamilton, Alex (Edinburgh Western) (LD)
Constance, Angela (Almond Valley) (SNP)
Dey, Graeme (Angus South) (SNP)
Don, Natalie (Renfrewshire North and West) (SNP)
Doris, Bob (Glasgow Maryhill and Springburn) (SNP)
Dornan, James (Glasgow Cathcart) (SNP)
Dunbar, Jackie (Aberdeen Donside) (SNP)
Ewing, Annabelle (Cowdenbeath) (SNP)
Ewing, Fergus (Inverness and Nairn) (SNP)
Fairlie, Jim (Perthshire South and Kinross-shire) (SNP)
FitzPatrick, Joe (Dundee City West) (SNP)
Gibson, Kenneth (Cunninghame North) (SNP)
Gilruth, Jenny (Mid Fife and Glenrothes) (SNP)
Gougeon, Mairi (Angus North and Mearns) (SNP)
Grahame, Christine (Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale) (SNP)
Gray, Neil (Airdrie and Shotts) (SNP)
Greer, Ross (West Scotland) (Green)
Harper, Emma (South Scotland) (SNP)
Harvie, Patrick (Glasgow) (Green)
Haughey, Clare (Rutherglen) (SNP)
Hepburn, Jamie (Cumbernauld and Kilsyth) (SNP)
Hyslop, Fiona (Linlithgow) (SNP)
Kidd, Bill (Glasgow Anniesland) (SNP)
Lochhead, Richard (Moray) (SNP)
MacDonald, Gordon (Edinburgh Pentlands) (SNP)
MacGregor, Fulton (Coatbridge and Chryston) (SNP)
Mackay, Gillian (Central Scotland) (Green)
Mackay, Rona (Strathkelvin and Bearsden) (SNP)
Macpherson, Ben (Edinburgh Northern and Leith) (SNP)
Maguire, Ruth (Cunninghame South) (SNP)
Martin, Gillian (Aberdeenshire East) (SNP)
Mason, John (Glasgow Shettleston) (SNP)
Matheson, Michael (Falkirk West) (SNP)
McAllan, Màiri (Clydesdale) (SNP)
McArthur, Liam (Orkney Islands) (LD)
McKee, Ivan (Glasgow Provan) (SNP)
McKelvie, Christina (Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse) (SNP)
McLennan, Paul (East Lothian) (SNP)
McMillan, Stuart (Greenock and Inverclyde) (SNP)
McNair, Marie (Clydebank and Milngavie) (SNP)
Minto, Jenni (Argyll and Bute) (SNP)
Nicoll, Audrey (Aberdeen South and North Kincardine) (SNP)
Regan, Ash (Edinburgh Eastern) (SNP)
Rennie, Willie (North East Fife) (LD)
Robison, Shona (Dundee City East) (SNP)
Roddick, Emma (Highlands and Islands) (SNP)
Rowley, Alex (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Lab)
Ruskell, Mark (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Green)
Slater, Lorna (Lothian) (Green)
Somerville, Shirley-Anne (Dunfermline) (SNP)
Stevenson, Collette (East Kilbride) (SNP)
Stewart, Kaukab (Glasgow Kelvin) (SNP)
Stewart, Kevin (Aberdeen Central) (SNP)
Sturgeon, Nicola (Glasgow Southside) (SNP)
Swinney, John (Perthshire North) (SNP)
Thomson, Michelle (Falkirk East) (SNP)
Todd, Maree (Caithness, Sutherland and Ross) (SNP)
Torrance, David (Kirkcaldy) (SNP)
Tweed, Evelyn (Stirling) (SNP)
Whitham, Elena (Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley) (SNP)
Wishart, Beatrice (Shetland Islands) (LD)
Yousaf, Humza (Glasgow Pollok) (SNP)

The result of the division on motion S6M-07325, in the name of Alexander Burnett, is: For 51, Against 74, Abstentions 0.

Motion disagreed to.

On a point of order, Presiding Officer. I am sorry to delay proceedings—[Interruption.]

Ms Hamilton, please continue.

Rachael Hamilton

I raise a point of order under standing orders rule 9.10, which says that members of the Parliament are allowed to speak in support of amendments that they lodge. Last night, after 10 o’clock, my colleagues Russell Findlay, Labour member Jackie Baillie and Scottish National Party member Michelle Thomson were sent a letter that asked them to withdraw their amendments to the bill at the 11th hour. The amendments in question all aim to provide protections for women’s rights. In particular, my colleague Russell Findlay’s proposal would introduce a crucial safeguard to prevent convicted sex offenders from changing their legal gender in order to potentially access vulnerable women’s and girls’ spaces. I consider that amendment to be one of the most important that we will hear today, but, instead of publicly debating that much-needed proposal, the SNP Government has attempted to shut down debate and silence colleagues from around the chamber.

Presiding Officer, do you agree that that was a blatant attempt by the Scottish Government to prevent MSPs from speaking in favour of their amendments and to avoid the scrutiny of the public and members of the Parliament? Do you also agree that, if the Scottish Government is opposed to amendments that have been lodged, it should set out its arguments openly and frankly in the chamber instead of using back channels to try to have them withdrawn?

Thank you, Ms Hamilton. In response to your point of order, the amendments to which you refer remain on the marshalled list, and they will be called and debated.

Oliver Mundell (Dumfriesshire) (Con)

On a point of order, Presiding Officer. In the light of the vote that has just taken place on motion S6M-07325, I am keen to understand, under rule 7.2 of the standing orders, how you plan to call members to speak to the amendments that are lodged in the business that we will shortly move to.

I thank Mr Mundell for his point of order. The next item of business is a timetabling motion, and we will discuss that issue under that item.

Graham Simpson (Central Scotland) (Con)

On a point of order, Presiding Officer. I have a similar point to make. I wish to understand the effect of the result of the vote on motion S6M-07325. Does it mean that any member who wishes to take part in a debate on an amendment, which would be the normal state of affairs, will now not be able to do so? If that were the case, that would be an outrage to democracy and scrutiny.

The Presiding Officer

I thank Mr Simpson for his point of order. The timetabling motion is the next item of business. It is, of course, up to the Presiding Officer who is in the chair to manage the debate as normal. The Deputy Presiding Officers and I will seek to do that.

Oliver Mundell

On a point of order, Presiding Officer. Under rule 7.2 of the standing orders, given the circumstances and the seriousness of the bill under consideration, it would be useful for Parliament as a whole—and certainly for me as a member—to understand your expectation of how members will be able to participate in the business. I seek your guidance on how you plan to select speakers on this occasion.

The Presiding Officer

I thank Mr Mundell for his point of order. I have just ruled on that point. The Deputy Presiding Officers and I will, of course, seek to call all members who have a right to be called and as many other members as we possibly can, to ensure that as many voices as possible are heard in the debate. That is something that we always strive to do.