Motion of Thanks

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament at 12:40 pm on 29th March 2007.

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Photo of Annabel Goldie Annabel Goldie Conservative 12:40 pm, 29th March 2007

I, too, pay tribute to MSPs who will leave the Parliament today and I share in the sentiments already expressed. From our benches, we will lose Lord James Douglas-Hamilton and Phil Gallie. Lord James was the exemplar of courtly and articulate conduct in this chamber. I am not saying that Phil Gallie was not such an exemplar, but perhaps Phil will be best remembered for his robust contributions—I doubt whether the Parliament's sound system will ever be similarly challenged again. I thank them and all the others who are leaving for their contributions to the Parliament in the past eight years.

On behalf of the Scottish Conservatives, it is my pleasure to join in this tribute to our Presiding Officer, George Reid. George, I realise that your previous life required you to bind, heal and bring succour. That was no doubt an invaluable experience for anyone aspiring to be a Presiding Officer of this Parliament. We all realise that when you took on the job, there were probably more shoals of rock than there were channels of clear water. However, you navigated them with an assurance and quiet competence that won universal respect. There is no doubt that proceedings in the chamber have benefited from your authoritative and fair stewardship. A whole devolved institution has been enhanced by a canny ambassador and sage diplomat, and Scotland has been the wider beneficiary of such attributes.

Presiding Officer, we thank you for all that service and commitment, but also for being at all times and above all else a very decent gentleman. You gave us wise counsel when you said of this building, "Now we've moved in, it is time to move on." As you move on, we wish you and your family good health and happiness. [Applause.]