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Chamber and committees

Meeting date: Thursday, January 25, 2018

Meeting of the Parliament 25 January 2018

Agenda: General Question Time, First Minister’s Question Time, Electric Shock Training Collars, Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Repeal) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1, Presiding Officer’s Statement, Decision Time


Presiding Officer’s Statement

The Presiding Officer (Ken Macintosh)

Before we move to decision time, I want to say a few words following this afternoon’s First Minister’s questions. I was very disappointed by the behaviour that was displayed this afternoon at FMQs and I want to make it clear that it is never acceptable to use words such as “lies”, “liar” or “lying” in this chamber, particularly when describing another member.

I expect the best from every member in this chamber and I am rarely let down. I understand that passions sometimes run high and that in the heat of the moment, intemperate language can be used. I will not hesitate to do so when necessary, but I do not see my role as primarily one of rebuking or chastising members; rather, it is one of standing behind you and allowing you to be the best that you can be.

On these occasions, I try to allow members the opportunity to reflect on their behaviour rather than escalate matters. It was noticeable that the First Minister did exactly that and used the opportunity of her final answer to reflect on the importance and power of words. I would perhaps urge Mr Rennie to show the same maturity.