Motion of Thanks

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament at 12:38 pm on 29th March 2007.

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Photo of Nicola Sturgeon Nicola Sturgeon Scottish National Party 12:38 pm, 29th March 2007

Like the First Minister, I pay tribute to those members of all parties who will not be standing for re-election. Each and every one of them has made their own distinctive but important contribution to the Parliament and we wish them every success in the future.

It gives me particular delight to pay tribute on behalf of the Scottish National Party to George Reid. I know that I speak on behalf of everyone in the chamber—and, I suspect, in the nation—when I say that George Reid has been an outstanding Presiding Officer. He has done so much to enhance the reputation of our young Parliament. As the First Minister said, the past four years have been the crowning glory in a remarkably distinguished career.

George has presided over our proceedings in Parliament with wisdom, fairness, impartiality and, at times, an almost saintly measure of patience. As the First Minister said, he played the pivotal role in bringing the Holyrood project—and, with it, a very difficult time in the short life of this Parliament—to a close. For that, we all owe him a great debt of gratitude.

In my opinion, George's tenure as Presiding Officer will and should be remembered most for his role as an ambassador at home and abroad for Scotland, for Scotland's people and for Scotland's Parliament. George has opened the doors of this building to people from across Scotland and across the world. He has brought people to the Parliament and he should be very proud of that. George has also put Holyrood on the map as a model of modern democracy and that really is a remarkable achievement.

George Reid leaves a lasting legacy in the shape of the parliamentary futures forum. I think that he will be an incredibly hard act to follow in the next session of Parliament.

Deputy Presiding Officer, on behalf of my party, I thank George Reid sincerely for his service and contribution and take this opportunity to wish him and Dee all the very best for the future. [Applause.]