Business Motion

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament at 2:36 pm on 5th September 2007.

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Photo of Bruce Crawford Bruce Crawford Scottish National Party 2:36 pm, 5th September 2007

I am happy to respond.

It might have been helpful if the member had spoken to me about the issue beforehand. He may not be aware that the length of the debate that we will have this afternoon, and the length of the statement by the First Minister, were discussed at the Parliamentary Bureau on Tuesday and were unanimously agreed by the business managers. To be fair, the issue of additional time was raised. I said to the business managers at the Parliamentary Bureau that I was happy for the time that was being allocated to be extended and I pointed out that that would mean that members would have additional speaking time: back benchers would move from four-minute speeches to six-minute speeches but, in respect of members who would get to speak, the only gainers would be an additional Labour member and an additional Conservative member. The rest of the business managers accepted that advice and accepted the business motion that is before us. I guess that Iain Smith's fight is therefore not with the Government but with the internal mechanisms of his own party.