Ministers

– in the Scottish Parliament at 12:00 pm on 28th November 2001.

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Photo of Lord David Steel Lord David Steel Presiding Officer, Scottish Parliament 12:00 pm, 28th November 2001

Rule 4.8.2 of standing orders requires me to inform members—in case they had not noticed—that several people demitted office yesterday. They are Jackie Baillie, Sarah Boyack, Rhona Brankin, Susan Deacon, Angus MacKay, Tom McCabe and Alasdair Morrison.

We begin today by debating motion S1M-2488, in the name of the First Minister, on the appointment of ministers. That will be followed by motion S1M-2491, on the appointment of junior ministers, which will be followed by motion S1M-2493, to appoint a new Solicitor General. A revised business bulletin with all the amendments to the motions is available at the back of the chamber, in case members do not have it.

I have selected all six amendments that were lodged, for the simple reason that I believe that it is important in principle that the Parliament has the opportunity, if it so wishes, to vote on every ministerial appointment. However, I intend to hold only one debate. I will call the First Minister to move the motion on the appointment of ministers and call other speakers to move the amendments in turn. We will then have open debate for anyone who wishes to participate. There will be one wind-up speech from each party and the First Minister will reply at the end of the debate. I hope that that is clear.

Photo of Rt Hon Jack McConnell Rt Hon Jack McConnell Labour 12:07 pm, 28th November 2001

I thank very much Jackie Baillie, Sarah Boyack, Susan Deacon, Tom McCabe, Angus MacKay, Rhona Brankin and Alasdair Morrison for the excellent service that they have given to the Parliament and the Scottish Executive in the past two and a half years. I hope that all of them will serve the Parliament well, as I know they will their constituencies.

I said last week that in appointing a Cabinet for Scotland I wanted to focus on the delivery of public services, improved relations with the Parliament and closing the opportunity gaps, particularly for children and young people. Today, I recommend to the Parliament a team that will do just that.

We have the right jobs for Scotland. We have moved the transport portfolio, which is vital for business and even more vital for jobs in Scotland, into the work of the enterprise and lifelong learning department. People in Scotland have long clamoured for clearly identified Cabinet-level responsibility for tourism. With culture, sport and Gaelic, that responsibility is given new status today.

I also said that we would focus on public services. A portfolio is proposed for finance and public services, which will include ministerial responsibility for modernising government and for a quality focus, to ensure that throughout the Executive public service improvement is delivered. We have a particular focus for the young people of Scotland. We have a special focus in the Cabinet and a new minister to build opportunity for all into all that we do.

I am recommending the right people to Parliament. The people who are named in the motion have the relevant experience, the absolute commitment to the Parliament and to the objectives that we have set out, and the talent and ability to carry Scotland forward.

Patricia Ferguson has been a first-class Deputy Presiding Officer and has won the respect of all parties in the Parliament for the way in which she has conducted herself in the chamber and abroad, not least in the British-Irish Inter-Parliamentary Body and at the tartan day celebrations in Washington earlier this year. She has devoted two and a half years to promoting and encouraging respect for the Parliament. As Minister for Parliamentary Business, she will serve the Parliament well.

Cathy Jamieson has devoted her life to disadvantaged young Scots. She is much more respected in children's services than I ever was in teaching. She will put young people centre stage. She is a real-life person, with real life experience and real job experience. She will do a real job for Scotland.

Andy Kerr is one of the few politicians in Scotland who has a history of professional involvement with quality management in public services. That includes one year as the UK-wide secretary of a body that is known as the Association for Public Service Excellence. As a committee convener, known for having an independent mind and for his hard work, he has earned respect and admiration inside and outside the Parliament.

Malcolm Chisholm has been an excellent Deputy Minister for Health and Community Care. He is respected in the Parliament and in the service. His experience and wisdom will be up to the challenge of improving health services across Scotland.

Mike Watson has a history of involvement in sport, if we make allowances for the slight problem of his involvement with Dundee United. He also has a history of involvement in culture and in small business. Mike Watson can take forward the job of the new Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport in the way that over the past two and a half years he has taken forward the new financial responsibilities of the Parliament as a committee convener.

I have not heard anyone in the Scottish Parliament say that Iain Gray has done a bad job in the two deputy minister positions that he has held. Iain Gray is widely respected and was successful as Deputy Minister for Health and Community Care and as Deputy Minister for Justice with specific responsibility for drugs.

Six appointments have been made, on merit, of experienced people with talent and ability. They will serve the Parliament well in the Executive. They are not a collection of individuals, but a real team of people who will deliver for Scotland in public services. They are people who have a respect for the Parliament, politics and public service. They will listen to people, respond to their concerns and deliver opportunity for all.

I am extremely proud to recommend them to the Parliament—and confident in doing so.

I move,

That the Parliament agrees that Malcolm Chisholm, Patricia Ferguson, Iain Gray, Cathy Jamieson, Andy Kerr and Mike Watson be appointed as Ministers. [Applause.]

Photo of Lord David Steel Lord David Steel Presiding Officer, Scottish Parliament

I will call the amendments in the same order as the ministers are set out in the motion, which is alphabetically. Each mover of an amendment can speak only to that amendment and not generally. I call Nicola Sturgeon.

Photo of Nicola Sturgeon Nicola Sturgeon Scottish National Party 12:12 pm, 28th November 2001

The Government that Jack McConnell assembled yesterday has been almost universally described as a Cabinet of cronies. That said, at first glance I admit that it is not immediately obvious whether Malcolm Chisholm is a real crony. Attempting to stop Jack McConnell becoming First Minister is not the behaviour that is normally expected from one of your best buddies. It can also be said that Malcolm and Jack are hardly political soul mates. As we all know, Jack McConnell is an enthusiastic supporter of the private finance initiative, whereas when the Parliament debated PFI Malcolm Chisholm said:

"it is well known that I have serious reservations about PFI." —[Official Report, 24 June 1999; Vol 1, c 754.]

If Malcolm Chisholm is not a crony, what is the explanation for his elevation? It cannot be a reward for a job well done as Deputy Minister for Health and Community Care. In the year since Malcolm Chisholm has held that post, the national health service in Scotland has lurched from one crisis to another. In the past quarter alone, waiting lists have gone up by 1,500. In the year since Malcolm Chisholm became Deputy Minister for Health and Community Care, out-patient waiting times have gone up by an average of five days, in-patient waiting times have gone up by an average of three days and cancer services in the west of Scotland have hit crisis point, with staff leaving and services under threat of withdrawal.

A survey that was published earlier this week revealed that 29 per cent—almost one third—of our nurses feel burned out and that we have the unhappiest nursing profession in the whole wide world. That is hardly a glowing reference for the top job—more the kind of record that should have seen Malcolm Chisholm follow Susan Deacon out of the door and not promoted to the post of Minister for Health and Community Care.

That brings us back neatly to the crony Cabinet. The big question is, "What did Malcolm Chisholm do for Jack?" The one thing that unites all the ministers in Jack's Cabinet is that at some point they have all done a favour for Jack. What was the favour that Malcolm Chisholm did for Jack McConnell? [Interruption.] This may be uncomfortable, but it is true. Was it that he agreed to stand for leader when Jack wanted a third candidate to stop Wendy Alexander becoming leader of the Labour party and that he agreed to stand aside because Jack wanted the way cleared for an unopposed election?

In the murky world of Labour politics that is exactly the kind of behaviour that seems to attract reward. Malcolm Chisholm may be the kind of pliable ally who will suit Jack McConnell over the next few months, but on his record of the past year he is not the kind of minister whom we should be promoting to steer the NHS to the vital improvements that are needed for patients in Scotland.

Photo of Nicola Sturgeon Nicola Sturgeon Scottish National Party

No, thank you.

Of all the commentators on the Cabinet reshuffle, Ian Bell sums it up best in business a.m. when he says that yesterday's Cabinet reshuffle was

"personal not political, and therefore deeply depressing."

He goes on to say that this has happened because

"the Labour party still cannot tell the difference between its private affairs and the government of Scotland."

If we cannot trust Jack McConnell to make that vital distinction in the appointment of his Cabinet, how can we trust him to make it in Scottish public life in general? That is why Malcolm Chisholm is not the right man to be Scotland's health minister.

I move amendment S1M-2488.5, to leave out "Malcolm Chisholm".

Photo of Fiona Hyslop Fiona Hyslop Scottish National Party 12:16 pm, 28th November 2001

Yesterday was the day of the short dirks; it was not a day for Scotland and its leadership. It was a signal of weakness rather than strength. Either the Executive has been failing significantly or those who were in the right camp are being rewarded.

It is particularly sad that Patricia Ferguson has chosen the Executive over the Parliament because, as Deputy Presiding Officer, she played an important role as an ambassador for the Parliament. I have witnessed her efforts and commend her on her record. However, in accepting this appointment she is a gamekeeper turned poacher. It is a classic example of inside knowledge being deployed to the advantage of a third party. Some may see that as a wise or clever move, but others have observed the way in which the Executive has used the position of Minister for Parliament to stultify and stunt the Parliament. We groan with suspicion that the appointment is more about control freakery than anything else.

Jack McConnell talked about how he wants Patricia Ferguson to serve the Parliament, but if we have learned anything from yesterday's appointments it is what a centralised control freak Jack McConnell is. The issue is whether Patricia Ferguson will serve the Executive or the Parliament. I suspect that the whole point of her appointment is that she should serve the Executive.

We have seen an exhibition of cronyism and of the Labour party promoting its own people before the Scottish people. The Executive is scrambling around, discovering its briefs, when it should be serving the people of Scotland. Twice in recent months the Government has been paralysed by the actions of the Labour party and by its internal machinations, connections and cronyism. That happened initially with the Henry McLeish debacle, then with Mr McConnell's inability to command the respect of his former Cabinet colleagues and his need to shore up his power base within Labour party circles.

Scotland needs a First Minister who can rise above the Labour party bickering that is strangling Scotland. Scotland needs to breathe fresh air, untainted by the corrosive smell of the Labour in-fighting that dominates so much of Scottish political life. Either Patricia Ferguson's nomination is creative or it is a failure of government. There are two charges there. I challenge whoever wants to be minister responsible for Parliament to open up the Parliament, broaden the range and depth of debates and, rather than close the Parliament down, broaden what the Parliament can do. Indeed, I challenge anybody who wants to be First Minister to give opportunities to back benchers. That is a great challenge for Patricia Ferguson.

She should consider the range of back benchers and the opportunity that she has to give them more time and effort. We will have to keep those back benchers busy because otherwise they will be at her back, challenging her from within. Never mind what the Labour party has done internally, that would be dangerous for Scotland. [Interruption.]

Photo of Lord David Steel Lord David Steel Presiding Officer, Scottish Parliament

Order. The chamber must be quiet—I want to hear what is being said.

Photo of Shona Robison Shona Robison Scottish National Party

It just shows lack of respect for the Parliament.

Photo of Fiona Hyslop Fiona Hyslop Scottish National Party

Shona Robison puts it well—it shows a complete lack of respect for the Parliament.

The Presiding Officer made it quite clear that the Parliament has a role and a responsibility to challenge each and every one of the appointments, because that is the job that we were elected to do.

The First Minister used to be in charge of external affairs policy. Where is the Executive's external affairs policy now? There is no ambition. I challenge members of the Executive. They are not ambitious for others. They are not ambitious for Scotland. They are ambitious for themselves. It is quite clear that the appointment of Patricia Ferguson is not about the growth of the Parliament or about the respect that the Executive has for the Parliament. It has everything to do with the cronyism and culture of despair that is strangling Scotland and from which we have to be liberated.

I move amendment S1M-2488.6, to leave out "Patricia Ferguson".

Photo of Kenneth Gibson Kenneth Gibson Scottish National Party 12:20 pm, 28th November 2001

They say that revenge is a dish best served cold. It certainly appears to us that, in assembling his new team, revenge has been the central motive of a First Minister who seems to have a taste for the bizarre. We thought that it was a wind-up when we saw some of the names that were coming forward, but it was very much reality. Perhaps some of us will wake up tomorrow and find that it is not true, but I doubt it.

The cull of McLeishites means that some of those Caribbean holidays and trips to Ikea have been cancelled in favour of more time spent with their families. However, we should not shed too many tears for those who are now saying farewell to their ministerial cars and quaking at the thought of finding themselves in that new Labour gulag, the Subordinate Legislation Committee. [Laughter.]

Photo of Margo MacDonald Margo MacDonald Independent

On a point of order. [Applause.]

Photo of Margo MacDonald Margo MacDonald Independent

I shall make it short, Presiding Officer. What is wrong with subordinate legislation?

Photo of Lord David Steel Lord David Steel Presiding Officer, Scottish Parliament

That is not a point of order. It is a point of argument.

Photo of Kenneth Gibson Kenneth Gibson Scottish National Party

My colleague made her point of order short—just like the meetings of the Subordinate Legislation Committee, the last of which, I understand, lasted approximately seven minutes.

Of course, we should not be too sympathetic to Mr McLeish's acolytes. Where were they when he was being put through the wringer a few weeks ago? It is quite clear that, with one or two notable exceptions, they were invisible in the media, and they have paid the price.

What we have today is not a new ministerial team but a fan club. Perhaps the names of the McConnellites were just put in a hat and drawn out at random. After today, 29 Labour MSPs will have served on the Executive.

Photo of Lord David Steel Lord David Steel Presiding Officer, Scottish Parliament

Mr Gibson, it would be helpful if you were to mention the person named in the amendment that you are speaking to.

Photo of Kenneth Gibson Kenneth Gibson Scottish National Party

I know that you do not possess it, Presiding Officer, but patience is indeed a virtue. I am just coming to that point. The announcement of Mr Gray's appointment as Minister for Social Justice sees Mr Gray coming off the subs bench as Susan Deacon joins the ranks of the ministerial undead. To us, it appears that it was a panic appointment. Perhaps it was to balance the east of Scotland purge that saw three ministers and a deputy minister from Lothian given the boot and only Malcolm Chisholm promoted.

In his speech, Mr Eulogy talked about how wonderful Mr Gray was and said that he was widely respected. Well, Mr Gray is widely respected, but if he was so great why was he not Jack McConnell's first choice for the post? If it is not about cronyism, why ditch Jackie Baillie? Does the First Minister believe that she failed? We certainly believe that she failed. We believe that she failed to eliminate rough sleeping, to invest properly in housing, to reduce child poverty significantly and to spend £122 million of her budget last year. If she has failed, what will Iain Gray do differently? Will the policies be different, or will it just be the same old same old, albeit with a new face who is a devotee of the First Minister?

What we have today is not so much the best team for Scotland as the best team for Jack. The Executive takes the Forrest Gump approach to politics. We look at who is going to be in the Executive next, but we just never know which one we are going to get.

Photo of Kenneth Gibson Kenneth Gibson Scottish National Party

In the manner of Euan Robson, formally moved.

Motion moved,

As an amendment to motion S1M-2488 in the name of Mr Jack McConnell (Appointment of Ministers), leave out "Iain Gray".— [Mr Kenneth Gibson.]

Photo of Michael Russell Michael Russell Scottish National Party 12:24 pm, 28th November 2001

Section 47(3) of the Scotland Act 1998 says:

"A Minister appointed under this section-

(a) shall hold office at Her Majesty's pleasure,

(b) may be removed from office by the First Minister".

I suspect that the person who drafted that section could not and did not foresee the circumstances of today's debate. The First Minister has ensured that Her Majesty's pleasure has been forcibly withdrawn from three quarters of the entire Scottish Cabinet and more than a third of the Scottish ministerial work force.

In opposing the nomination of a minister, one factor that a member must take into account is the fitness for office of the person concerned. I do not question Cathy Jamieson's fitness for office. However, many in her party believe that she is no more or less fit than many other members who have not been preferred or catapulted from the very back bench to the very front bench in the time that it takes Jack McConnell to sack an enemy—in other words, in no time at all.

I question the process of appointment. Unfortunately, Cathy Jamieson's appointment is the result of a flawed and shabby process. Not a week ago, Jack McConnell promised his own group and the country that there would be no night of the long knives, that there would be an end to factionalism and that he would ensure that all those with a contribution to make were valued. Three promises were made and three promises were broken within 24 hours of his being sworn in. With 519 days to go to the Scottish Parliament elections in 2003, Jack McConnell is well on course for a place in "The Guinness Book of Records".

Cathy Jamieson has been appointed through a deeply divisive process. An arcane knowledge of the processes of the Labour party is required, but some things are clear—friendship with Jack McConnell is a clear asset and support for anybody else is fatal. There is an obvious attempt to get at somebody who is not even in the chamber—the king over the water, although the water is only the Firth of Forth. The reshuffle is designed to damage the Chancellor of the Exchequer. I am not against that. In the Sunday papers, he was described by someone on the front bench as a paranoid egomaniac. The reshuffle is about the war between Jack and Gordon—that is the background and the war has nothing to do with Parliament, policy or serving the people of Scotland. There is a tussle for place and a clash of personalities. Parliament is the victim.

Cathy Jamieson's appointment is the result of a demeaning process. It demeans those who are appointed, Parliament, our democracy and the First Minister, who has had the shortest honeymoon period in electoral history. Yesterday morning, he did not have one rival. Now, they are on the benches round the chamber. The process demeans Parliament because Jack McConnell understands exactly how cronyism works. It works not just by appointing one's friends, but by doing down one's enemies. Cronyism is not just about connections rather than talent taking one forward—it is about ensuring that despite talent, ability and determination an individual will not succeed. Cronyism is not just about favouring the less talented because they have pledged their loyalty—it is about disadvantaging the more talented because they have not pledged their loyalty.

On my way to the chamber this morning, I saw a billboard advertising The Scotsman. It said:

"First Minister rewards his friends".

In the past 24 hours, Jack McConnell has signalled to Scotland and the world that it is business as usual for a party whose time has passed and that is tainted by cronyism and abuse of patronage. He intends to raise those to an art form.

I am glad that I did not vote for him last week. I suspect that his benches are now full of those who wish that they had not voted for him either, although I hear them cackling.

We should not approve the Cabinet. The whole process is damaging to Scotland and deeply destructive. We should reject the Cabinet and reject Jack McConnell, too.

I move amendment 2488.3, to leave out "Cathy Jamieson".

Photo of David McLetchie David McLetchie Conservative 12:29 pm, 28th November 2001

My speech will be a welcome relief for the Parliament and a welcome change from the SNP's turgid efforts. The SNP is getting much-needed practice in the art of being in opposition. For the past month, they have been outdistanced by a country mile. I have to reflect that never, in the field of political conflict, have so many owed so much to so few.

It is my pleasure to move amendment S1M-2488.1, which objects to the appointment of Andy Kerr as Minister for Finance and Public Services. I have nothing personal against Mr Kerr; it is just that his appointment exemplifies the fact that we have not so much a ministry of all the talents as a ministry of all the toadies.

From Mr Kerr's activities over the past few weeks, it has been pretty clear that there are few things that he will not do for his political master. It is apparent that he is willing to act as Mr McConnell's political shield and, if necessary, to lay down his ministerial life for his new boss. Jack the knife has clearly decided that he needs the services of a bodyguard—small wonder, as his back benches are populated with the disappeared, the dispossessed and the disgruntled.

More important, from the standpoint of our country, Mr Kerr's appointment is a sure sign that there will be a continuation of one of the worst characteristics of the Executive—its inability and unwillingness to take responsibility for its actions. Despite all his brave words, the First Minister does not want to be in the firing line when the Scottish Executive fails to deliver on our public services. He has created a completely unnecessary gimmick of a position to provide himself with a convenient scapegoat—Mr Kerr is to be the carry-the-can minister. Mr McConnell has clearly learned much from the Prime Minister about the arts of self-preservation and meaningless gesture politics.

The First Minister's defence is that the new post shows how seriously he takes our public services and proves that he means to deliver on them. Pull the other one. It is the First Minister's responsibility to lead and oversee the performance of his ministerial team. If the First Minister is not happy with the way in which his Minister for Education and Young People, his Minister for Health and Community Care or—perhaps more pertinent—his Minister for Enterprise, Transport and Lifelong Learning do their job, he can sack them. As he does not seem to be particularly averse to doing that, he does not need an Andy Kerr to do his job for him. The appointment is hardly conducive to good relations around the Cabinet table.

Mr Kerr's appointment also tells us a lot about the nature of the new Administration. The man who is meant to oversee the much-needed reform of our public services is the same man who led the resistance to Sarah Boyack when she took the brave decision to award the road maintenance contracts to the private sector, saving the taxpayer £190 million over a five-year period. That decision was fully vindicated by the recent Audit Scotland report. Mr Kerr's approach certainly does not bode well for his role as Minister for Finance and Public Services or for the prudent management of our nation's finances. With tartan-tax-raising Lord Mike Watson at his side, the taxpayers of Scotland should certainly look out.

The idea that the troika of Andy Kerr, Cathy Jamieson and Malcolm Chisholm will overhaul our public services is simply laughable. They have built their careers on defending the interests of the public sector trade unions. They will continue to adhere to their outdated dogma and to put the interests of providers above the interests of the public.

The Scottish Conservatives have argued consistently from day one of the Parliament that the bloated Administration needs to be cut down to size, as the number of ministers is already four times the number that ran the Scottish Office under the most recent Conservative Government and its Labour successor. Instead of using his first reshuffle to cut the Cabinet down to size, however, Mr McConnell has used it as an opportunity to settle a few old scores with his political adversaries. He has sacked half his Cabinet—arguably the wrong half. That says all that we need to know about his priorities. He is more concerned with conducting petty feuds and settling scores than with delivering leaner, fitter and better government for Scotland.

Unlike the Mafia dons, Mr McConnell will find that he cannot just get rid of his enemies. They do not sleep with the fishes. They are on his back benches and he may come to rue the day that he put them there. I doubt that the code of omertà will last for long.

At least Mr McConnell has succeeded in proving Henry McLeish wrong. There are two parties in the coalition. It is unfortunate for Mr McConnell that they are both Labour.

I move amendment S1M-2488.1, to leave out "Andy Kerr".

Photo of Kenny MacAskill Kenny MacAskill Scottish National Party 12:34 pm, 28th November 2001

I put on record at the outset that, in moving amendment S1M-2488.4, I bear no animus against Mike Watson as an individual; my objection is to the manner in which he has been appointed and the portfolio with which he has been provided. Many of the points that I wish to make have been made by others. The creation of the portfolio of the Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport has demeaned the Executive and the Parliament. It reflects the worst of the municipal fiefdoms that Labour possesses in the west of Scotland. In coming in as First Minister and making this appointment, Jack McConnell reflects what has gone on in local government and what has brought it into disrepute. What he has done justifies the need for proportional representation in local government. What we have seen is simply on-going cronyism.

The appointment of a Cabinet is a matter of balance. The Cabinet has to reflect not simply one's friends—clearly a First Minister has a right to ensure that those who are closest to him are brought on board—but the wishes and aims of the political party. Most important, given that we are talking about the Government of our nation, the Cabinet has to reflect the talents that are available. If we take a broad view, we see that the appointments are not based on picking the right people to deal with the needs and wants of the Scottish economy, Scottish tourism, culture, art or sports; they are a matter of Jack McConnell rewarding his friends for supporting him this time, as they supported him last time. That is simply not good enough.

The First Minister talked about a minister for what he pronounced as "Gaylick". I hope that Mike Watson—if my amendment is unsuccessful and he is appointed—has more knowledge of Gaelic than the First Minister has. We had a minister who dealt with Gaelic. I had my criticisms of and run-ins with Mr Alasdair Morrison, but at least he had some knowledge of Gaelic and was conscious that it was a living language that we hope to preserve. Jack McConnell has appointed someone who, if he follows his First Minister—this may relate to their friendship—will consider his brief to be the language that is spoken on the other side of the Irish sea. We will be classifying Gaelic with classical Greek, as opposed to trying to support a language that may be spoken only by a small and diminishing number of our people, but that we are trying to retain and support. That is part of the Parliament's ethos.

The part of the previous portfolio that covered the Highlands and Islands has simply disappeared. Where is the representation of that area if we bring the Lanarkshire Labour group into the First Minister's private camp?

Another issue is tourism. The minister who previously had responsibility for tourism, Wendy Alexander, failed. The tourism industry clearly thought so, given the disgruntled representations and anecdotal evidence. Neither I nor anyone in my party went as far as to describe her as "an extremely stupid woman". That was said by someone who is close to the First Minister—perhaps even by someone who is now in the Cabinet. There are considerable difficulties. We support the concept of a dedicated tourism minister. The problem before was that the ministers had far too much on their plates.

How do we tie in tourism with transport? Where are the conduit and links if we are to bring in the necessary flights, whether from the United States or elsewhere? What is the Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport supposed to do when the VisitScotland board already contains many friends of the Minister for Enterprise, Transport and Lifelong Learning? How does the role of the Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport tie in with the appointment of a new chief executive and chairman of VisitScotland? What will happen when the new minister finds that he has no influence over two aspects that are fundamental to tourism in Scotland—transport and training?

We do not need a minister who will simply go round having cups of coffee, visiting bed-and-breakfast establishments and patting people on the back. We need a minister who has the power and clout to deliver what is necessary—bringing in foreign visitors. Given that Americans are deeply fond of titles, never mind our castles, it might be thought that, if the minister goes around as Lord Watson rather than as Mike Watson, that will boost the number of tourists in Scotland from North America. I think not. We need to improve the ways in which visitors from the United States can fly to Scotland and to make that cheaper, through sterling exchange rates.

It is for those reasons that I move amendment S1M-2488.4, to leave out "and Mike Watson".

Photo of Lord David Steel Lord David Steel Presiding Officer, Scottish Parliament

We have a few minutes for open debate before I call for wind-up speeches. I should remind members that the debate will be a general one on any of the motions or amendments.

Photo of Tommy Sheridan Tommy Sheridan SSP 12:40 pm, 28th November 2001

Most people in Scotland will be more concerned with the policies that the Scottish Executive implements than with the personalities involved. Over the next two years, the issues on which the Executive will be judged harshly will be poverty, inequality and the current mess in our health service.

As for the individuals concerned, Malcolm Chisholm has been given an important portfolio. Every member who listens to his or her constituents—to those in despair who come looking for help because of the absolute crisis that is permeating our health service or to the nurses and contractors who work in the service such as the porters and the medical secretaries—and is prepared to appreciate that morale in the service has reached rock bottom will know that the health and community care portfolio is vital. The situation must be sorted out.

For that reason, I am not prepared to vote against Malcolm Chisholm. He is probably one of the few individuals in the Scottish Labour party to have shown some principle by resigning over the disgraceful abolition of lone parent benefit. I hope that he brings such principles to bear on the health service and that he takes action to raise the morale of health service workers and to replace the corrosive private financing of our service with proper public investment.

I am not prepared to support Patricia Ferguson, not because I do not think that she is a capable individual, but because I think that she should see out her period of office as a Deputy Presiding Officer. As she has tackled that job with particular skill, she deserves the opportunity to finish her period in the post.

As for Mr Gray, I am sorry, but any Minister for Social Justice who was not prepared to vote for the abolition of warrant sales does not deserve the title.

I have some doubts about Cathy Jamieson. I hope that the politics that she talks about privately will be brought publicly to bear on the Scottish Executive's direction. As she now holds a position of influence, she deserves the benefit of the doubt. However, I was disappointed that she did not vote to implement the Abolition of Poindings and Warrant Sales Bill when it should have been implemented. Perhaps she will show in years to come that, as a minister, she is prepared to support genuine social justice.

I will abstain from voting on the amendment concerning Andy Kerr for reasons that are opposite to Mr McLetchie's. I thought that Mr Kerr was doing a great job in bringing the former Minister for Transport and Planning to account for the way in which she was privatising essential road maintenance services. However, he did not see things through to their just conclusion, which gives me cause for worry.

Mike Watson has shown the courage of his convictions by introducing a member's bill and sticking to his guns, despite the fact that the bill has caused a lot of opposition across the country. I just hope that, as with Cathy Jamieson, his private opposition to the privatisation of public services will signal a change in the Executive's public policies and that he will not simply keep that opposition private.

I will finish on two points. First, as an Opposition member, I welcome the fact that Jack McConnell has left out of the Executive one of the most capable individuals on the Labour benches—John McAllion. That decision will weaken the Labour party's defence of its handling of public services and public service trade unions.

Secondly, I appeal to the members who are now leaving the front benches to return some integrity to politics by refusing to take their £9,000 pay-offs. That pay-off is not deserved; they are going back to a £42,500 salary and do not need the extra money. I therefore appeal to them to show that politics has some credibility and to refuse the pay-off.

Photo of Dorothy-Grace Elder Dorothy-Grace Elder Independent 12:45 pm, 28th November 2001

I do not intend to make a speech; I just want to make one or two points. This is a particularly nasty and horrible day in politics, which is a pretty nasty business overall. I do not like to see individuals hurt and there are many hurt hearts here today. My comments are on the question of experience, rather than an attack on individuals.

I admit that I was deeply shocked yesterday, because the events were like "The Poseidon Adventure". I woke up to find that, overnight, the ship of state had overturned. In fact, "The Poseidon Adventure" had a happier ending, as a few people got out alive, whereas Captain Jack has sunk almost the lot of them. In welcoming the First Minister to the very worst job in Scotland, I ask him whether he would board the Arran ferry if he knew that it had a totally untried crew.

Photo of Alasdair Morgan Alasdair Morgan Scottish National Party 12:46 pm, 28th November 2001

I begin by echoing the Presiding Officer's words, although not in the hope of getting any job that may be vacant at the moment. It is right and proper that Parliament should scrutinise ministerial appointments. We should not be a rubber-stamp for the First Minister's decision. There is a case for ministerial appointments having to go before the subject committees for ratification, so that the ministers can explain their policies and how those policies will differ from those of their predecessors. I do not know whether Jack McConnell is beginning to rethink his appointments, given the support of Mr Sheridan for most of them, but we will no doubt find out in due course.

I shall talk about two posts in particular. We are now on the fifth transport minister since Labour came to power in 1997. The first was Malcolm Chisholm, who resigned and proved that there is life after death. Then came Henry McLeish, who has gone to the back benches by a circuitous route, and Calum MacDonald, who has gone to the back benches in another place. Now that Sarah Boyack has been sent to the back benches, too, Wendy Alexander will be the Minister for Enterprise, Transport and Lifelong Learning. Wendy Alexander was apparently too busy at the previous reshuffle to add the environment to her portfolio of enterprise and lifelong learning, but she now seems to have the time to add the transport brief to that portfolio. That is in the same week as a Government report said that Britain has the worst transport system in western Europe. To sort out the situation in Scotland, we need someone who will give the matter their full attention and not add it to two other tasks that were apparently a full-time job only a year ago.

Angus MacKay impressed the Finance Committee with his skill. He had the skill to explain away the record of the Executive and to defend the indefensible. For example, in explaining the Executive's £719 million underspend, he convinced himself, if not the committee, that the surplus was not the result of inefficiency, spin—making announcements when there was no possibility of spending the money that was allocated in those announcements—or building up a surplus to bribe the electorate at the 2003 elections. He also convinced himself that not being able to implement a budget that he decided on only 12 months before was a virtue. With a talent such as that, he should have gone far instead of making the short journey that he has just made.

Jack McConnell listed Andy Kerr's qualifications, but missed one out—the fact that he was his campaign manager. I am not sure whether that is much of a qualification, as there was no campaign. It was the kind of election of which the Politburo would have been proud. Nevertheless, running a campaign and ensuring that there is no competition is quite a skill, and we may see more such skills in the weeks to come.

The Scottish Parliament has suffered badly over the past few weeks. That has not been through its own fault; problems have been generated over the years at Westminster and in the Labour one-party states throughout Scotland. However, many members of the public think that we have not measured up. At the weekend, the First Minister had the chance to begin to change that and to restore the reputation of the Parliament. He has failed to do so. David McLetchie will secretly be pleased about that, but the Parliament and Scotland are poorer for it.

Photo of Margo MacDonald Margo MacDonald Independent 12:50 pm, 28th November 2001

I will not attempt to tell the new First Minister his job, as I will have 18 months in which to do that. I simply make a plea to him to appoint a member of his team to be answerable in this chamber for the goings-on at the foot of Holyrood Road. I have just learned that the Holyrood progress group has decided that the person who was named as the chief architect for the project, Benedetta Tagliabue, is no longer to be seen as the main person and that a person unknown to most people in this chamber will assume full responsibility. It is time that we knew what was going on and it is time that we had a minister whom we could question. I hope that the First Minister enjoys his term of office.

Photo of Lord David Steel Lord David Steel Presiding Officer, Scottish Parliament

That matter is, in fact, my responsibility, not the First Minister's. However, we will argue about the issue in due course.

Photo of Alex Johnstone Alex Johnstone Conservative 12:51 pm, 28th November 2001

The amendment in the name of David McLetchie was to remove Andy Kerr from the list of appointments. As David McLetchie pointed out, we merely picked Andy Kerr as an example around which to develop our arguments. However, we now have another reason for picking him: he is the only appointee of whom the SNP did not disapprove. If for no other reason, we disapprove of him for that.

Photo of Michael Russell Michael Russell Scottish National Party

On a point of order, Presiding Officer. In the interests of fairness, could you confirm that the SNP submitted an amendment identical to the one that David McLetchie lodged? We disapprove of Andy Kerr as much as we disapprove of all the others.

Photo of Alex Johnstone Alex Johnstone Conservative

I am content to accept that explanation.

The other amendments have targeted the other individuals who have been appointed to the Cabinet. At this point it would be appropriate for me, as a representative of rural interests, to raise the issue of the appointment of Mike Watson to the position of Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport. Mike Watson has spent a great deal of his time in the Scottish Parliament talking about issues that impact on people in certain areas and that those people consider to be pertinent to their culture and to the interests of sport and tourism. Will he make an early appointment to visit the constituency of his new deputy, Elaine Murray, to hear what people there have to say about the impact of his policies on culture, sport and tourism? I hope that he will also take the opportunity to visit the Borders, where the impact of his policies will be significantly greater.

It is interesting that the appointments have resulted in a change in the gender balance of the Cabinet. We are down to only two women on the front bench. [MEMBERS: "Three."] I am counting the ones that we can see. Had it not been for the deal that appears to have been struck with Wendy Alexander, we might have been down to even fewer.

Gender balance is not our greatest worry about the appointments. The motion to appoint new members to the Cabinet shows a distinct and sharp turn to the left, which will give the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Executive a different character. It makes the benches on the left so crowded that the competition on the right is becoming increasingly weak. We have been abandoned by those who ought to be defending the political neutrality of the Parliament and I am sure that we will be abandoned at decision time today when the Liberal Democrats, once again, sell their souls and support the Cabinet that has been proposed by the First Minister.

Photo of John Swinney John Swinney Scottish National Party 12:55 pm, 28th November 2001

One of Mr McCabe's difficulties this year arose when he miscounted on an occasion when we debated the fishing industry. It will be a great comfort to Patricia Ferguson in future divisions in the Scottish Parliament that she will not have to deal with a Conservative whip who can count.

We all know that the First Minister went to the Court of Session on Tuesday and received the great seal of Scotland. We did not expect that he would wield the sword of state soon afterwards on the same day. We have seen a set of decisive actions from the First Minister. Let us examine those first decisive actions in office.

The key and absolute qualification for any First Minister of Scotland is that that individual must be able to command the trust of the Parliament and the public. One First Minister had to go because he lost that trust. The current First Minister must have the Parliament's trust. However, his actions in the past 10 days raise the question whether he commands our trust. In the past 10 days, he has said that he would have a Cabinet of all the talents. He dumped five of his six Labour colleagues. He said that there would be no night of the long knives. Believe me, last night was a night of the long knives. He said that he would put an end to factionalism. All that he has done is to create an inferno of factionalism in the Labour group in the Scottish Parliament.

It goes some distance for even a Labour First Minister to break three promises on his first day in office as a result of his appointments. That is a record for the Labour party. As my colleagues have said in the various amendments that the SNP has lodged, the appointments have been all about ensuring that the First Minister can command the support in Cabinet of his cronies and buddies. We used to have team McLeish. Now we have faction Jack at the heart of our Government. It is not a Government for Scotland. It is a Cabinet of cronies. That is why we have decided to challenge the Cabinet of cronies in the debate.

Let us take the First Minister's actions at face value. They amount to an admission that the Labour-led Administration that has governed the country since 1999 has unreservedly failed the people of Scotland and that five of his six Labour colleagues therefore had to be shown the door. His actions are an admission of failure on waiting times, on waiting lists, on crime and unemployment, which are up, on tourism, which is in crisis, and on our small business start-up rate, which has collapsed. That is the Labour record that the First Minister had to confront. We want to know what his Administration will do to improve—in some form—on that appalling record of failure. The debate, especially the First Minister's contribution to it, has shed no light on that.

This morning, the former Minister for Finance and Local Government, Mr MacKay, was on the radio. He said that he was optimistic that the First Minister, being a moderniser, would take forward the modernising agenda by driving forward public-private partnerships and the private finance initiative. He also said that he would take the opportunity to find ways of challenging the Administration's position on free personal care for the elderly. We need to hear from the Administration and from the First Minister what, when all the dust has settled on the personalities, will happen to the Government's policy position.

The Government has failed to deliver on the expectations of the public. It has failed to deliver the public services that we require. We need to see behind the froth of personalities and hear whether the Government will abandon its obsession with PPP, which puts money from our schools and hospitals into the pockets of private financiers, and start investing that money in our country's infrastructure. Will the Government dramatically transform the handling of the health service or will the miserable record of failure with which Malcolm Chisholm and Susan Deacon are associated continue? We need to hear whether the Government will take Scotland forward or be resigned to the record of failure that Labour has delivered.

In the debate last week, we argued that it is essential that we move out of the murky swamp of Labour Scotland and be given some of the fresh air of independence. After yesterday's exercise in cronyism, the sooner that that day comes, the better for Scotland.

Photo of Rt Hon Jack McConnell Rt Hon Jack McConnell Labour 1:00 pm, 28th November 2001

We have discovered a few new things in the course of the afternoon's discussion, not least that Dorothy-Grace Elder was concerned about the day becoming a "nasty, horrible day". Those of us who remember her pleasant and caring descriptions of politicians in her newspaper columns will perhaps be surprised by her comment.

We have heard a degree of hypocrisy in the chamber this afternoon about the personalities who are taking up their new posts: people who are ready to serve Scotland in those positions. That hypocrisy knows no bounds and the chamber should reject it because the people who are being appointed to the Executive today will serve Scotland very well indeed.

Alex Johnstone gave a whole new meaning to the wind-up speech. He should perhaps think carefully about being in that position again. This team of ministers—not just the Cabinet ministers, but the deputies and the new Solicitor General for Scotland—will increase the number of women who will serve Scotland in ministerial positions. Members should get their facts right before they speak in the chamber on such matters.

Members should also address the issues. Almost every member who has spoken has focused on personalities and innuendo rather than dealt with the issues— [Interruption.] I have to say to Mr Russell, who regularly enjoys shouting out in the chamber when members from other parties are speaking, that he spoke for five minutes about the new Minister for Education and Young People without talking once about education or young people. When the new ministers get to work for Scotland, they will get to work on issues and not on personalities.

Fiona Hyslop, a business manager, criticised someone who has the respect of Parliament—as was admitted from her own side when Kenny Gibson said that Patricia Ferguson is one of the more respected members of the chamber. Fiona Hyslop demeans her position and the work of the Parliament when she condemns and criticises as she did the appointment of Patricia Ferguson as the new parliamentary business manager.

It is very wrong indeed for a party that uses the parliamentary committees as party political battering rams week after week, using its spokespersons on committees to push through party political positions, to criticise those, not least Andy Kerr and some of the deputies who will be appointed after the next debate, who have served the Parliament very well in committee positions. It also wrong to describe their experience as irrelevant to ministerial posts. If we in this Parliament are genuine about a partnership between the Executive and the parliamentary committees, we should not make the assumption that those who serve the Parliament well on parliamentary committees should not then use their experience to fill ministerial office.

I believe that this is an excellent team for Scotland. I believe that, when all the froth from the Opposition goes by the wayside, we will see that the members of this team are in the right positions—in the right jobs—for Scotland. I believe that it is right that we have a Cabinet minister who is clearly responsible for tourism, for culture and for sport; I believe that it is right that responsibility for transport should lie alongside responsibility for promoting enterprise and creating and defending jobs; I believe that it is absolutely right that the minister with responsibility for finance and local government should be responsible for the improved delivery of public services; and I believe that it will be absolutely right that health and community care should be given top priority and that we should have two deputy ministers rather than one.

This is setting the right priorities for Scotland. Over and above the others, the right priority for Scotland is to create new opportunities for our children and young people. For two and a half years, many have said that people in ministerial jobs should have real life experience. I said it in my opening statement and I will say it again: it is right to put someone with a lifetime's commitment into the job of defending the rights of children and young people in Scotland, of improving not just our education service but our social work services—about which many wrote to me to express concern over the past 12 months when I had ministerial responsibility for education—and of delivering improved and integrated children's services. That someone is Cathy Jamieson.

I believe that this team of ministers will deliver the improved public services, the respect for this Parliament and the new opportunities that Scotland badly wants. I hope that the debates that they will take part in over the coming months and years will be conducted in a better form and shape than this one.

Photo of Lord David Steel Lord David Steel Presiding Officer, Scottish Parliament

The first question is, that amendment S1M-2488.5, in the name of Nicola Sturgeon, to leave out "Malcolm Chisholm", be agreed to. Are we agreed?

Division number 1

For: Adam, Brian, Campbell, Colin, Crawford, Bruce, Cunningham, Roseanna, Elder, Dorothy-Grace, Ewing, Fergus, Ewing, Mrs Margaret, Fabiani, Linda, Gibson, Mr Kenneth, Grahame, Christine, Hamilton, Mr Duncan, Hyslop, Fiona, Ingram, Mr Adam, Lochhead, Richard, MacAskill, Mr Kenny, MacDonald, Ms Margo, Marwick, Tricia, Matheson, Michael, McGugan, Irene, McLeod, Fiona, Morgan, Alasdair, Neil, Alex, Paterson, Mr Gil, Reid, Mr George, Robison, Shona, Russell, Michael, Stevenson, Stewart, Sturgeon, Nicola, Swinney, Mr John, Ullrich, Kay, Welsh, Mr Andrew, Wilson, Andrew
Against: Alexander, Ms Wendy, Baillie, Jackie, Barrie, Scott, Boyack, Sarah, Brankin, Rhona, Brown, Robert, Butler, Bill, Chisholm, Malcolm, Craigie, Cathie, Curran, Ms Margaret, Deacon, Susan, Eadie, Helen, Ferguson, Patricia, Finnie, Ross, Fitzpatrick, Brian, Gillon, Karen, Godman, Trish, Gorrie, Donald, Grant, Rhoda, Gray, Iain, Henry, Hugh, Home Robertson, Mr John, Hughes, Janis, Jackson, Dr Sylvia, Jackson, Gordon, Jamieson, Cathy, Jamieson, Margaret, Jenkins, Ian, Kerr, Mr Andy, Lamont, Johann, Livingstone, Marilyn, Macdonald, Lewis, Macintosh, Mr Kenneth, MacKay, Angus, MacLean, Kate, Macmillan, Maureen, McAllion, Mr John, McAveety, Mr Frank, McCabe, Mr Tom, McConnell, Mr Jack, McMahon, Mr Michael, McNeil, Mr Duncan, McNeill, Pauline, McNulty, Des, Morrison, Mr Alasdair, Muldoon, Bristow, Mulligan, Mrs Mary, Munro, John Farquhar, Murray, Dr Elaine, Oldfather, Irene, Peacock, Peter, Peattie, Cathy, Radcliffe, Nora, Raffan, Mr Keith, Robson, Euan, Rumbles, Mr Mike, Scott, Tavish, Sheridan, Tommy, Simpson, Dr Richard, Smith, Elaine, Smith, Iain, Smith, Mrs Margaret, Stephen, Nicol, Thomson, Elaine, Wallace, Mr Jim, Watson, Mike, Whitefield, Karen, Wilson, Allan
Abstentions: Aitken, Bill, Davidson, Mr David, Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James, Fergusson, Alex, Fraser, Murdo, Gallie, Phil, Goldie, Miss Annabel, Johnstone, Alex, McGrigor, Mr Jamie, McIntosh, Mrs Lyndsay, McLetchie, David, Monteith, Mr Brian, Mundell, David, Scanlon, Mary, Scott, John, Tosh, Mr Murray, Wallace, Ben, Young, John

Photo of Lord David Steel Lord David Steel Presiding Officer, Scottish Parliament

The result of the division is: For 32, Against 68, Abstentions 18.

Amendment disagreed to.

Photo of Lord David Steel Lord David Steel Presiding Officer, Scottish Parliament

The second question is, that amendment S1M-2488.6, in the name of Fiona Hyslop, to leave out "Patricia Ferguson", be agreed to. Are we agreed?

Division number 2

For: Adam, Brian, Campbell, Colin, Crawford, Bruce, Cunningham, Roseanna, Elder, Dorothy-Grace, Ewing, Fergus, Ewing, Mrs Margaret, Fabiani, Linda, Gibson, Mr Kenneth, Grahame, Christine, Hamilton, Mr Duncan, Hyslop, Fiona, Ingram, Mr Adam, Lochhead, Richard, MacAskill, Mr Kenny, MacDonald, Ms Margo, Marwick, Tricia, Matheson, Michael, McGugan, Irene, McLeod, Fiona, Morgan, Alasdair, Neil, Alex, Paterson, Mr Gil, Robison, Shona, Russell, Michael, Stevenson, Stewart, Sturgeon, Nicola, Swinney, Mr John, Ullrich, Kay, Welsh, Mr Andrew, Wilson, Andrew
Against: Alexander, Ms Wendy, Baillie, Jackie, Barrie, Scott, Boyack, Sarah, Brankin, Rhona, Brown, Robert, Butler, Bill, Chisholm, Malcolm, Craigie, Cathie, Curran, Ms Margaret, Deacon, Susan, Eadie, Helen, Ferguson, Patricia, Finnie, Ross, Fitzpatrick, Brian, Gillon, Karen, Godman, Trish, Gorrie, Donald, Grant, Rhoda, Gray, Iain, Henry, Hugh, Home Robertson, Mr John, Hughes, Janis, Jackson, Dr Sylvia, Jackson, Gordon, Jamieson, Cathy, Jamieson, Margaret, Jenkins, Ian, Kerr, Mr Andy, Lamont, Johann, Livingstone, Marilyn, Macdonald, Lewis, Macintosh, Mr Kenneth, MacKay, Angus, MacLean, Kate, Macmillan, Maureen, McAllion, Mr John, McAveety, Mr Frank, McCabe, Mr Tom, McConnell, Mr Jack, McMahon, Mr Michael, McNeil, Mr Duncan, McNeill, Pauline, McNulty, Des, Morrison, Mr Alasdair, Muldoon, Bristow, Mulligan, Mrs Mary, Munro, John Farquhar, Murray, Dr Elaine, Oldfather, Irene, Peacock, Peter, Peattie, Cathy, Radcliffe, Nora, Raffan, Mr Keith, Robson, Euan, Rumbles, Mr Mike, Scott, Tavish, Simpson, Dr Richard, Smith, Elaine, Smith, Iain, Smith, Mrs Margaret, Stephen, Nicol, Thomson, Elaine, Wallace, Mr Jim, Watson, Mike, Whitefield, Karen, Wilson, Allan
Abstentions: Aitken, Bill, Davidson, Mr David, Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James, Fergusson, Alex, Fraser, Murdo, Gallie, Phil, Goldie, Miss Annabel, Johnstone, Alex, McGrigor, Mr Jamie, McIntosh, Mrs Lyndsay, McLetchie, David, Monteith, Mr Brian, Mundell, David, Scanlon, Mary, Scott, John, Sheridan, Tommy, Tosh, Mr Murray, Wallace, Ben, Young, John

Photo of Lord David Steel Lord David Steel Presiding Officer, Scottish Parliament

The result of the division is: For 31, Against 67, Abstentions 19.

Amendment disagreed to.

Photo of Lord David Steel Lord David Steel Presiding Officer, Scottish Parliament

The third question is, that amendment S1M-2488.2, in the name of Kenny Gibson, to leave out "Iain Gray", be agreed to. Are we agreed?

Division number 3

For: Adam, Brian, Campbell, Colin, Crawford, Bruce, Cunningham, Roseanna, Elder, Dorothy-Grace, Ewing, Fergus, Ewing, Mrs Margaret, Fabiani, Linda, Gibson, Mr Kenneth, Grahame, Christine, Hamilton, Mr Duncan, Hyslop, Fiona, Ingram, Mr Adam, Lochhead, Richard, MacAskill, Mr Kenny, MacDonald, Ms Margo, Marwick, Tricia, Matheson, Michael, McGugan, Irene, McLeod, Fiona, Morgan, Alasdair, Neil, Alex, Paterson, Mr Gil, Reid, Mr George, Robison, Shona, Russell, Michael, Sheridan, Tommy, Stevenson, Stewart, Sturgeon, Nicola, Swinney, Mr John, Ullrich, Kay, Welsh, Mr Andrew, Wilson, Andrew
Against: Alexander, Ms Wendy, Baillie, Jackie, Barrie, Scott, Boyack, Sarah, Brankin, Rhona, Brown, Robert, Butler, Bill, Chisholm, Malcolm, Craigie, Cathie, Curran, Ms Margaret, Deacon, Susan, Eadie, Helen, Ferguson, Patricia, Finnie, Ross, Fitzpatrick, Brian, Gillon, Karen, Godman, Trish, Gorrie, Donald, Grant, Rhoda, Gray, Iain, Henry, Hugh, Home Robertson, Mr John, Hughes, Janis, Jackson, Dr Sylvia, Jackson, Gordon, Jamieson, Cathy, Jamieson, Margaret, Jenkins, Ian, Kerr, Mr Andy, Lamont, Johann, Livingstone, Marilyn, Macdonald, Lewis, Macintosh, Mr Kenneth, MacKay, Angus, MacLean, Kate, Macmillan, Maureen, McAllion, Mr John, McAveety, Mr Frank, McCabe, Mr Tom, McConnell, Mr Jack, McMahon, Mr Michael, McNeil, Mr Duncan, McNeill, Pauline, McNulty, Des, Morrison, Mr Alasdair, Muldoon, Bristow, Mulligan, Mrs Mary, Munro, John Farquhar, Murray, Dr Elaine, Oldfather, Irene, Peacock, Peter, Peattie, Cathy, Radcliffe, Nora, Raffan, Mr Keith, Robson, Euan, Rumbles, Mr Mike, Scott, Tavish, Simpson, Dr Richard, Smith, Elaine, Smith, Iain, Stephen, Nicol, Thomson, Elaine, Wallace, Mr Jim, Watson, Mike, Whitefield, Karen, Wilson, Allan
Abstentions: Aitken, Bill, Davidson, Mr David, Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James, Fergusson, Alex, Fraser, Murdo, Gallie, Phil, Goldie, Miss Annabel, Johnstone, Alex, McGrigor, Mr Jamie, McIntosh, Mrs Lyndsay, McLetchie, David, Monteith, Mr Brian, Mundell, David, Scanlon, Mary, Scott, John, Tosh, Mr Murray, Wallace, Ben, Young, John

Photo of Lord David Steel Lord David Steel Presiding Officer, Scottish Parliament

The result of the division is: For 33, Against 66, Abstentions 18.

Amendment disagreed to.

Photo of Lord David Steel Lord David Steel Presiding Officer, Scottish Parliament

The fourth question is, that amendment S1M-2488.3, in the name of Mike Russell, to leave out "Cathy Jamieson", be agreed to. Are we agreed?

Division number 4

For: Adam, Brian, Campbell, Colin, Crawford, Bruce, Cunningham, Roseanna, Elder, Dorothy-Grace, Ewing, Fergus, Ewing, Mrs Margaret, Fabiani, Linda, Gibson, Mr Kenneth, Grahame, Christine, Hamilton, Mr Duncan, Hyslop, Fiona, Ingram, Mr Adam, Lochhead, Richard, MacAskill, Mr Kenny, MacDonald, Ms Margo, Marwick, Tricia, Matheson, Michael, McGugan, Irene, McLeod, Fiona, Morgan, Alasdair, Neil, Alex, Paterson, Mr Gil, Reid, Mr George, Robison, Shona, Russell, Michael, Stevenson, Stewart, Sturgeon, Nicola, Swinney, Mr John, Ullrich, Kay, Welsh, Mr Andrew, Wilson, Andrew
Against: Alexander, Ms Wendy, Baillie, Jackie, Barrie, Scott, Boyack, Sarah, Brankin, Rhona, Brown, Robert, Butler, Bill, Chisholm, Malcolm, Craigie, Cathie, Curran, Ms Margaret, Deacon, Susan, Eadie, Helen, Ferguson, Patricia, Finnie, Ross, Fitzpatrick, Brian, Gillon, Karen, Godman, Trish, Gorrie, Donald, Grant, Rhoda, Gray, Iain, Henry, Hugh, Home Robertson, Mr John, Hughes, Janis, Jackson, Dr Sylvia, Jackson, Gordon, Jamieson, Cathy, Jamieson, Margaret, Jenkins, Ian, Kerr, Mr Andy, Lamont, Johann, Livingstone, Marilyn, Macdonald, Lewis, Macintosh, Mr Kenneth, MacKay, Angus, MacLean, Kate, Macmillan, Maureen, McAllion, Mr John, McAveety, Mr Frank, McCabe, Mr Tom, McConnell, Mr Jack, McMahon, Mr Michael, McNeil, Mr Duncan, McNeill, Pauline, McNulty, Des, Morrison, Mr Alasdair, Muldoon, Bristow, Mulligan, Mrs Mary, Munro, John Farquhar, Murray, Dr Elaine, Oldfather, Irene, Peacock, Peter, Peattie, Cathy, Radcliffe, Nora, Raffan, Mr Keith, Robson, Euan, Rumbles, Mr Mike, Scott, Tavish, Sheridan, Tommy, Simpson, Dr Richard, Smith, Elaine, Smith, Iain, Smith, Mrs Margaret, Stephen, Nicol, Thomson, Elaine, Wallace, Mr Jim, Watson, Mike, Whitefield, Karen, Wilson, Allan
Abstentions: Aitken, Bill, Davidson, Mr David, Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James, Fergusson, Alex, Fraser, Murdo, Gallie, Phil, Goldie, Miss Annabel, Johnstone, Alex, McGrigor, Mr Jamie, McIntosh, Mrs Lyndsay, McLetchie, David, Monteith, Mr Brian, Mundell, David, Scanlon, Mary, Scott, John, Tosh, Mr Murray, Wallace, Ben, Young, John

Photo of Lord David Steel Lord David Steel Presiding Officer, Scottish Parliament

The result of the division is: For 32, Against 68, Abstentions 18.

Amendment disagreed to.

Photo of Lord David Steel Lord David Steel Presiding Officer, Scottish Parliament

The fifth question is, that amendment S1M-2488.1, in the name of David McLetchie, to leave out "Andy Kerr", be agreed to. Are we agreed?

Division number 5

For: Adam, Brian, Aitken, Bill, Campbell, Colin, Crawford, Bruce, Cunningham, Roseanna, Davidson, Mr David, Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James, Elder, Dorothy-Grace, Ewing, Fergus, Ewing, Mrs Margaret, Fabiani, Linda, Fergusson, Alex, Fraser, Murdo, Gallie, Phil, Gibson, Mr Kenneth, Goldie, Miss Annabel, Grahame, Christine, Hamilton, Mr Duncan, Hyslop, Fiona, Ingram, Mr Adam, Johnstone, Alex, Lochhead, Richard, MacAskill, Mr Kenny, MacDonald, Ms Margo, Marwick, Tricia, Matheson, Michael, McGrigor, Mr Jamie, McGugan, Irene, McIntosh, Mrs Lyndsay, McLeod, Fiona, McLetchie, David, Monteith, Mr Brian, Morgan, Alasdair, Mundell, David, Neil, Alex, Paterson, Mr Gil, Reid, Mr George, Robison, Shona, Russell, Michael, Scanlon, Mary, Scott, John, Stevenson, Stewart, Sturgeon, Nicola, Swinney, Mr John, Tosh, Mr Murray, Ullrich, Kay, Wallace, Ben, Welsh, Mr Andrew, Wilson, Andrew, Young, John
Against: Alexander, Ms Wendy, Baillie, Jackie, Barrie, Scott, Boyack, Sarah, Brankin, Rhona, Brown, Robert, Butler, Bill, Chisholm, Malcolm, Craigie, Cathie, Curran, Ms Margaret, Deacon, Susan, Eadie, Helen, Ferguson, Patricia, Finnie, Ross, Fitzpatrick, Brian, Gillon, Karen, Godman, Trish, Gorrie, Donald, Grant, Rhoda, Gray, Iain, Henry, Hugh, Home Robertson, Mr John, Hughes, Janis, Jackson, Dr Sylvia, Jackson, Gordon, Jamieson, Cathy, Jamieson, Margaret, Jenkins, Ian, Kerr, Mr Andy, Lamont, Johann, Livingstone, Marilyn, Macdonald, Lewis, Macintosh, Mr Kenneth, MacKay, Angus, MacLean, Kate, Macmillan, Maureen, McAllion, Mr John, McAveety, Mr Frank, McCabe, Mr Tom, McConnell, Mr Jack, McMahon, Mr Michael, McNeil, Mr Duncan, McNeill, Pauline, McNulty, Des, Morrison, Mr Alasdair, Muldoon, Bristow, Mulligan, Mrs Mary, Munro, John Farquhar, Murray, Dr Elaine, Oldfather, Irene, Peacock, Peter, Peattie, Cathy, Radcliffe, Nora, Raffan, Mr Keith, Robson, Euan, Rumbles, Mr Mike, Scott, Tavish, Simpson, Dr Richard, Smith, Elaine, Smith, Iain, Smith, Mrs Margaret, Stephen, Nicol, Thomson, Elaine, Wallace, Mr Jim, Watson, Mike, Whitefield, Karen, Wilson, Allan
Abstentions: Sheridan, Tommy

Photo of Lord David Steel Lord David Steel Presiding Officer, Scottish Parliament

The result of the division is: For 50, Against 67, Abstentions 1.

Amendment disagreed to.

Photo of Lord David Steel Lord David Steel Presiding Officer, Scottish Parliament

The sixth question is, that amendment S1M-2488.4, in the name of Kenny MacAskill, to leave out "and Mike Watson", be agreed to. Are we agreed?

Division number 6

For: Adam, Brian, Campbell, Colin, Crawford, Bruce, Cunningham, Roseanna, Elder, Dorothy-Grace, Ewing, Fergus, Ewing, Mrs Margaret, Fabiani, Linda, Gibson, Mr Kenneth, Grahame, Christine, Hamilton, Mr Duncan, Hyslop, Fiona, Ingram, Mr Adam, Lochhead, Richard, MacAskill, Mr Kenny, MacDonald, Ms Margo, Marwick, Tricia, Matheson, Michael, McGugan, Irene, McLeod, Fiona, Morgan, Alasdair, Neil, Alex, Paterson, Mr Gil, Reid, Mr George, Robison, Shona, Russell, Michael, Stevenson, Stewart, Sturgeon, Nicola, Welsh, Mr Andrew, Wilson, Andrew
Against: Alexander, Ms Wendy, Baillie, Jackie, Barrie, Scott, Boyack, Sarah, Brankin, Rhona, Brown, Robert, Butler, Bill, Chisholm, Malcolm, Craigie, Cathie, Curran, Ms Margaret, Deacon, Susan, Eadie, Helen, Ferguson, Patricia, Finnie, Ross, Fitzpatrick, Brian, Gillon, Karen, Godman, Trish, Gorrie, Donald, Grant, Rhoda, Gray, Iain, Henry, Hugh, Home Robertson, Mr John, Hughes, Janis, Jackson, Dr Sylvia, Jackson, Gordon, Jamieson, Cathy, Jamieson, Margaret, Jenkins, Ian, Kerr, Mr Andy, Lamont, Johann, Livingstone, Marilyn, Macdonald, Lewis, Macintosh, Mr Kenneth, MacKay, Angus, MacLean, Kate, Macmillan, Maureen, McAllion, Mr John, McAveety, Mr Frank, McCabe, Mr Tom, McConnell, Mr Jack, McMahon, Mr Michael, McNeil, Mr Duncan, McNeill, Pauline, McNulty, Des, Morrison, Mr Alasdair, Muldoon, Bristow, Mulligan, Mrs Mary, Munro, John Farquhar, Murray, Dr Elaine, Oldfather, Irene, Peacock, Peter, Peattie, Cathy, Radcliffe, Nora, Raffan, Mr Keith, Robson, Euan, Rumbles, Mr Mike, Scott, Tavish, Sheridan, Tommy, Simpson, Dr Richard, Smith, Elaine, Smith, Iain, Smith, Mrs Margaret, Stephen, Nicol, Thomson, Elaine, Wallace, Mr Jim, Watson, Mike, Whitefield, Karen, Wilson, Allan
Abstentions: Aitken, Bill, Davidson, Mr David, Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James, Fergusson, Alex, Fraser, Murdo, Gallie, Phil, Goldie, Miss Annabel, Johnstone, Alex, McGrigor, Mr Jamie, McIntosh, Mrs Lyndsay, McLetchie, David, Monteith, Mr Brian, Mundell, David, Scanlon, Mary, Scott, John, Tosh, Mr Murray, Wallace, Ben, Young, John

Photo of Lord David Steel Lord David Steel Presiding Officer, Scottish Parliament

The result of the division is: For 30, Against 68, Abstentions 18.

Amendment disagreed to.

Photo of Lord David Steel Lord David Steel Presiding Officer, Scottish Parliament

The final question is, that motion S1M-2488, in the name of the First Minister, on the appointment of ministers, be agreed to. Are we agreed?

Division number 7

For: Alexander, Ms Wendy, Baillie, Jackie, Barrie, Scott, Boyack, Sarah, Brankin, Rhona, Brown, Robert, Butler, Bill, Chisholm, Malcolm, Craigie, Cathie, Curran, Ms Margaret, Deacon, Susan, Eadie, Helen, Ferguson, Patricia, Finnie, Ross, Fitzpatrick, Brian, Gillon, Karen, Godman, Trish, Gorrie, Donald, Grant, Rhoda, Gray, Iain, Henry, Hugh, Home Robertson, Mr John, Hughes, Janis, Jackson, Dr Sylvia, Jackson, Gordon, Jamieson, Cathy, Jamieson, Margaret, Jenkins, Ian, Kerr, Mr Andy, Lamont, Johann, Livingstone, Marilyn, Macdonald, Lewis, Macintosh, Mr Kenneth, MacKay, Angus, MacLean, Kate, Macmillan, Maureen, McAllion, Mr John, McAveety, Mr Frank, McCabe, Mr Tom, McConnell, Mr Jack, McMahon, Mr Michael, McNeil, Mr Duncan, McNeill, Pauline, McNulty, Des, Morrison, Mr Alasdair, Muldoon, Bristow, Mulligan, Mrs Mary, Munro, John Farquhar, Murray, Dr Elaine, Oldfather, Irene, Peacock, Peter, Peattie, Cathy, Radcliffe, Nora, Raffan, Mr Keith, Robson, Euan, Rumbles, Mr Mike, Scott, Tavish, Simpson, Dr Richard, Smith, Elaine, Smith, Iain, Smith, Mrs Margaret, Stephen, Nicol, Thomson, Elaine, Wallace, Mr Jim, Watson, Mike, Whitefield, Karen, Wilson, Allan
Against: Adam, Brian, Aitken, Bill, Campbell, Colin, Crawford, Bruce, Cunningham, Roseanna, Davidson, Mr David, Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James, Elder, Dorothy-Grace, Ewing, Fergus, Ewing, Mrs Margaret, Fabiani, Linda, Fergusson, Alex, Fraser, Murdo, Gallie, Phil, Gibson, Mr Kenneth, Goldie, Miss Annabel, Grahame, Christine, Hamilton, Mr Duncan, Hyslop, Fiona, Ingram, Mr Adam, Johnstone, Alex, Lochhead, Richard, MacAskill, Mr Kenny, MacDonald, Ms Margo, Marwick, Tricia, Matheson, Michael, McGrigor, Mr Jamie, McGugan, Irene, McIntosh, Mrs Lyndsay, McLeod, Fiona, McLetchie, David, Monteith, Mr Brian, Morgan, Alasdair, Mundell, David, Neil, Alex, Paterson, Mr Gil, Reid, Mr George, Robison, Shona, Russell, Michael, Scanlon, Mary, Scott, John, Stevenson, Stewart, Sturgeon, Nicola, Swinney, Mr John, Tosh, Mr Murray, Ullrich, Kay, Wallace, Ben, Welsh, Mr Andrew, Wilson, Andrew, Young, John
Abstentions: Sheridan, Tommy

Photo of Lord David Steel Lord David Steel Presiding Officer, Scottish Parliament

The result of the division is: For 67, Against 50, Abstentions 1.

Motion agreed to.

That the Parliament agrees that Malcolm Chisholm, Patricia Ferguson, Iain Gray, Cathy Jamieson, Andy Kerr and Mike Watson be appointed as Ministers.

Photo of Lord David Steel Lord David Steel Presiding Officer, Scottish Parliament

The result of the vote is valid. Parliament has agreed the First Minister's recommendation. He may now invite Her Majesty to approve the appointment of Malcolm Chisholm, Patricia Ferguson, Iain Gray, Cathy Jamieson, Andy Kerr and Mike Watson as ministers. [Applause.]