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Chamber and committees

Meeting date: Thursday, January 19, 2017

Meeting of the Parliament 19 January 2017

Agenda: General Question Time, First Minister’s Question Time, Jobcentres (Glasgow), Draft Climate Change Plan, Rural Development (Funding), Decision Time, Points of Order


Points of Order

Gillian Martin (Aberdeenshire East) (SNP)

On a point of order, Presiding Officer.

Christina McKelvie (Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse) (SNP)

On a point of order, Presiding Officer.

The Presiding Officer (Ken Macintosh)

We will hear Gillian Martin’s point of order first.

Gillian Martin

This is a point of order under rule 1.6 of the standing orders. This afternoon, during questions to the Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform on her statement, Alexander Burnett asked a question relating to Government grants that are available for house builders. He did not declare that he is the director and chairman of a house-building company, the North Banchory Company, which has significant interests in house building in the north-east of Scotland.

Presiding Officer, given that that is yet another instance of Mr Burnett consistently using the chamber to deal with matters of importance to him personally, which is an issue that you may have seen in the Sunday Post last week, will you remind him that if he is asking such self-serving questions, he should obey Parliament’s rules so that his constituents are at least made aware of the fact that he is doing so and can draw their own conclusions?

The Presiding Officer

I thank Gillian Martin for alerting me to the fact that she was going to raise a point of order. It is up to all members to make a judgment as to whether to declare their interests.

Christina McKelvie

Forgive me for not alerting you to the fact that I was going to raise a point of order, Presiding Officer.

Earlier today, Ruth Davidson used First Minister’s question time to raise an individual business rates case on behalf of the Score Group. It is my understanding that that company and its chairman have given considerable support to a number of political causes that are close to Ruth Davidson’s heart, including the better together campaign and Scotland in Union.

Presiding Officer, will you give members guidance on whether it is appropriate for Ruth Davidson to use the weekly opportunity to hold the First Minister to account to advance the cause of her Tory cronies and, crucially, to do so while not declaring any interest?

The Presiding Officer

The political allegiance or otherwise of any organisation is certainly not a matter for me to rule on. That is not a point of order. With that, I suggest that I bring the meeting to a close.

Meeting closed at 17:07.