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Chamber and committees

Meeting date: Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Meeting of the Parliament (Hybrid) 21 December 2021

Agenda: Time for Reflection, Business Motion, Topical Question Time, Covid-19, Point of Order, Rented Housing Sector, Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, Parliamentary Bureau Motions, Decision Time, Point of Order, Covid-19 Vaccines


Point of Order

Before we move to the next item of business, we have a point of order from Edward Mountain.

On a point of order, Presiding Officer. In a debate last week, I asked whether I could make an intervention virtually. It is not by choice but by necessity that I am participating virtually. I have notified the Presiding Officers that I feel marginalised, because I cannot intervene in debates.

I have now trawled through the minutes of Parliamentary Bureau meetings to try to identify where it was agreed that members who are participating virtually would not be able to intervene or take interventions in debates. I can find no reference to it. Presiding Officer, I ask you to guide me to the correct minute so that I can see where it has been agreed that members who are participating virtually cannot make interventions or join in debates if they are not making a speech. Thank you.

Thank you for your point of order, Mr Mountain. I can advise you that that point was made clear in the guidance on hybrid meetings that was circulated to all members. I can also advise Mr Mountain and the chamber that the bureau is looking very seriously and with a degree of urgency at the issue of being able to make or take interventions remotely. In fact, I understand that the Parliament’s chief executive updated the Finance and Public Administration Committee this morning on developments.

There is no imminent breakthrough in relation to this issue. I understand the frustration. Every step is being taken to try to address the concerns.