The first Leaders’ Virtual Question Time will take place tomorrow, Thursday 9 April, at 12:30, with arrangements set out in a message sent to all MSPs from the Scottish Parliament’s Presiding Officer, Rt Hon Ken Macintosh MSP, today.
The session has been organised in response to the unprecedented Covid-19 Coronavirus outbreak. The full text of the letter, including how to watch online, can be found below:
Further to my email earlier today, I am now pleased to be able to confirm arrangements for the Scottish Parliament’s first Leaders’ Virtual Question Time, where party leaders will have the opportunity to question the First Minister on the Scottish Government’s ongoing response to the Covid-19 outbreak. I know that Members share my view that it is more important than ever that our parliament continues to function during this public health crisis and that we create opportunities for it do so remotely, not least so that we do not put others at any undue risk. I want to thank party leaders, business managers and parliamentary officials for working with such speed and effectiveness to enable this important scrutiny session to take place tomorrow.
The session, which I will chair, is due to start at 12.30 pm tomorrow with a short opening statement by the First Minister on the latest developments, before opening to questions from opposition party leaders: Jackson Carlaw, Richard Leonard, Patrick Harvie, and Willie Rennie. We expect the question period to last for up to 25 minutes, with an absolute cut off of 30 minutes, and we have put in place arrangements for other members, staff, and members of the public to be able to watch it live on Scottish Parliament TV at the following link:
https://www.scottishparliament.tv/channel/virtual-meeting We also understand, the question session will be carried live by the BBC and potentially other broadcasters.
The Parliamentary Bureau will continue to take stock of ongoing developments and, learning from and building on tomorrow’s experience, will consider whether to put in place further virtual scrutiny arrangements involving other Members for next week. I am very conscious that many Members would welcome such an opportunity and I will of course keep you fully up to date on the Bureau’s decisions, next steps and future plans.
Thank you for the work you are doing on behalf of those you represent during this difficult time.
Rt Hon Ken Macintosh MSP