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Chamber and committees

Meeting of the Parliament [Draft]

Meeting date: Wednesday, December 20, 2023


Point of Order

Meghan Gallacher (Central Scotland) (Con)

On a point of order, Presiding Officer. I seek your guidance. The statement on the Scottish Government’s response to the section 35 order judicial review was sent to me at 3.16 pm this afternoon. Ministers’ statements are usually sent in sufficient time to allow MSPs to read them over and scrutinise them before arriving in the chamber. Sending a statement through four minutes before business is scheduled to begin is discourteous to elected members in the Parliament.

Can the Presiding Officer assist me in understanding why the Government is withholding statements from MSPs until the last minute? Does she believe that that is good practice, given that MSPs are restricted from being able to do their job in holding the Government to account?

The Deputy Presiding Officer (Annabelle Ewing)

I thank Ms Gallacher for her point of order. In terms of the guidance from the Presiding Officer, the provision of statements in due time is very important and is a mark of the Government showing courtesy and respect to individual members. Vis-à-vis the specifics of this case, I advise Ms Gallacher that the Presiding Officer, Alison Johnstone, who will take the chair for the next item of business, will address that issue further. Thank you.