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Language: English / Gàidhlig


Chamber and committees

Meeting date: Thursday, November 21, 2019

Meeting of the Parliament 21 November 2019

Agenda: Point of Order, General Question Time, First Minister’s Question Time, World Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Day, Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body Question Time, Portfolio Question Time, Television Licences (Over-75s), Motion without Notice, Decision Time


Point of Order

Stewart Stevenson (Banffshire and Buchan Coast) (SNP)

On a point of order, Presiding Officer. I know that you are aware that there are 10 questions for the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body this afternoon, because I have been in correspondence with you about the matter. Under standing order 13.9.3, it is permitted for only 15 minutes to be allocated for SPCB questions, and it is quite clear that we will not manage to get all the questions asked today.

My personal interest is that I have question 10, which draws the attention of members to a very serious matter, which is that there is no scheme in Parliament for people who are employed by MSPs who retire on the grounds of ill health. I can raise that matter on another occasion, but I want to ask whether any thought has been given under similar circumstances to having two sessions of SPCB questions. That would appear—imaginatively—to be within the rules but, equally, it may be time that the rules are revisited. I would be interested to hear your views on the matter.

The Presiding Officer (Ken Macintosh)

Thank you, Mr Stevenson. Thank you also for your note this morning, to which I have replied—I hope that you have received my reply. There is no procedure for what you ask. Standing orders make it very clear that SPCB question time will last 15 minutes, and to extend it at short notice would disrupt every other item of business this afternoon, which I do not think would be fair to other members.

Your point about whether there should be two question sessions is for the Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee to consider. I highlight that, although there are 10 questions this week, that is a very rare occurrence. We usually struggle for questions at SPCB question time, rather than having too many. However, that is a trend that we will encourage and see whether it develops.

I thank the member for raising that point of order. I highlight, as I did in my letter, that he will receive a written response to his SPCB question, which he has taken the opportunity to highlight now.