Motion of Thanks

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament at 12:53 pm on 29th March 2007.

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Photo of Ms Rosemary Byrne Ms Rosemary Byrne SG 12:53 pm, 29th March 2007

As colleagues have done, I pay tribute to the hard work of members who are retiring. I ask members to forgive me for making special mention of Lord James Douglas-Hamilton, who made me very welcome and was extremely supportive when I joined the Education Committee. I thank him for his courtesy and for giving me the information that I needed to get me started so that I could survive and thrive on the committee.

As co-convener of Solidarity, I am pleased to have an opportunity to thank George Reid for all his hard work during the past four years. One of my first tasks in Parliament was to be on the panel that was selecting Scotland's commissioner for children and young people. That was an honour, but I was somewhat nervous at what I thought was an onerous task. George made me feel comfortable and relaxed and his sincerity and commitment to making the right choice were very clear. I thank him for that.

You have done an excellent job as Presiding Officer. You have shared out the meetings fairly and, with your authoritative voice, I have sometimes thought that you should have been a teacher. My disappointment when I sometimes did not get to speak in debates was always offset by a nice little note from you, with your beautiful handwriting. As a teacher, I always noted your handwriting—I would have been proud of that if I had taught you.

You have represented Parliament well to the Scottish public and you have understood the importance of staying with public opinion, which is why Tommy Sheridan and I welcome your legacy paper on MSPs' expenses, particularly the Edinburgh allowance. As you have said, in politics, perception is everything. On behalf of myself and Tommy Sheridan, I wish you well for the future.