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Chamber and committees

Meeting date: Thursday, October 28, 2021

Meeting of the Parliament (Hybrid) 28 October 2021

Agenda: General Question Time, First Minister’s Question Time, Point of Order, Offshore Training Passport, Portfolio Question Time, National Health Service Endowment Funds, Covid Recovery Strategy, Points of Order, Business Motion, Parliamentary Bureau Motion, Decision Time


Point of Order

On a point of order, Presiding Officer. I apologise for the late notification of my point of order.

I seek your guidance in relation to comments that were made by Graeme Dey, the Minister for Transport, about future rail services in the south-west of Scotland. In responding to a question from Emma Harper in the chamber on 22 September, the minister stated that there would be six additional services operating on the Ayr to Stranraer line. When I asked a supplementary question about that information, Mr Dey responded:

“In his haste to jump up and ask a supplementary question, Finlay Carson was clearly not listening to my first answer, so I will repeat what I said. It is proposed that there will be an additional six Ayr to Stranraer services compared to the current timetable”.—[Official Report, 22 September 2021; c 14.]

Subsequently, I asked the Scottish Parliament information centre to confirm that the information that the minister provided was correct. SPICe has since told me that the minister spoke in error. In its response, SPICe stated:

“To confirm, Rail officials and the Minister are aware of the error below. The error resulted from the analysis of figures by Rail officials which were then provided to Mr Dey.”

Despite the fact that the minister has apparently been informed of the error, I have received no communication or apology from Mr Dey on the matter.

Therefore, Presiding Officer, I seek your guidance. As far as you are aware, has the minister made any attempt to correct the record, now that he must surely be aware of his error? If not, given how long the information in question has formed part of the Official Report, can you advise how the error should be addressed and whether there has been any code of conduct breach, ministerial or otherwise?

I thank Mr Carson for his contribution, which is now on the record. He will be aware that the content of members’ contributions is not a matter for me, as Presiding Officer. However, a mechanism exists whereby members can correct any contribution that they have made.