Decision Time

– in the Scottish Parliament on 11th November 2020.

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Photo of Kenneth Macintosh Kenneth Macintosh Labour

The first question is, that amendment S5M-23296.3, in the name of Jeane Freeman, which seeks to amend motion S5M-23296, in the name of Monica Lennon, on routine Covid-19 testing for all health and social care workers, be agreed to. Are we agreed?

Members:

No.

The Presiding Officer:

There will be a division. We will have a short suspension to allow all members online and in the chamber to access the voting app.

18:02 Meeting suspended.

18:06 On resuming—

We move to the division on amendment S5M-23296.3. Members may cast their votes. This will be a one-minute division.

The vote is closed. If any member believes that they have not voted, please let me know through a point of order.

Division number 1 Decision Time

Aye: 116 MSPs

No: 5 MSPs

Ayes: A-Z by last name

Nos: A-Z by last name

The Presiding Officer:

The result of the division is: For 116, Against 5, Abstentions 0.

Amendment agreed to.

The next question is, that amendment S5M-23296.1, in the name of Donald Cameron, which seeks to amend motion S5M-23296, in the name of Monica Lennon, on routine Covid-19 testing for all health and social care workers, as amended, be agreed to.

Amendment agreed to.

The next question is, that motion S5M-23296, in the name of Monica Lennon, on routine Covid-19 testing for all health and social care workers, as amended, be agreed to.

Motion, as amended, agreed to,

That the Parliament notes the ongoing threat to life and health posed by COVID-19 and the warnings of extreme winter pressures on the NHS; recognises the need for the Test and Protect system to be able to provide rapid turnaround contact tracing and cope with increasing demand during the winter months, and calls on the Scottish Government to introduce routine weekly COVID-19 testing for all health and social care workers immediately, with prioritisation of staff groups to be guided by expert clinical advice.

The next question is, that amendment S5M-23299.2, in the name of Fergus Ewing, which seeks to amend motion S5M-23299, in the name of Richard Leonard, on additional support for Scotland’s tourism and hospitality sectors during the Covid-19 pandemic, be agreed to. Are we agreed?

Members:

No.

The Presiding Officer:

There will be a division.

The vote is closed. Members should let me know if they have a point of order. I call Gil Paterson.

Photo of Gil Paterson Gil Paterson Scottish National Party

Hello, Presiding Officer. Can you hear me? I do not see you.

I see you now. [

Inaudible

.]—at all, and I would have voted yes.

The Presiding Officer:

Thank you, Mr Paterson. I will ensure that your yes vote is noted and that your name is added to the voting roll.

Division number 2 Decision Time

Aye: 60 MSPs

No: 63 MSPs

Ayes: A-Z by last name

Nos: A-Z by last name

The Presiding Officer:

The result of the division is: For 60, Against 63, Abstentions 0.

Amendment disagreed to.

The next question is, that amendment S5M-23299.1, in the name of Oliver Mundell, which seeks to amend motion S5M-23299, in the name of Richard Leonard, be agreed to. Are we agreed?

Members:

No.

The Presiding Officer:

There will be a division.

The vote is closed. If any members have had difficulty voting, please let me know.

Division number 3 Decision Time

Aye: 57 MSPs

No: 66 MSPs

Ayes: A-Z by last name

Nos: A-Z by last name

The Presiding Officer:

The result of the division is: For 57, Against 66, Abstentions 0.

Amendment disagreed to.

The next question is, that motion S5M-23299, in the name of Richard Leonard, on additional support for Scotland’s tourism and hospitality sectors during the Covid-19 pandemic, be agreed to. Are we agreed?

The Presiding Officer:

There will be a division.

The vote is closed. I call Keith Brown, who wishes to make a point of order.

I again call Keith Brown to make his point of order, if we can hear him.

We will try to restore the connection to Mr Brown. In the meantime, Shona Robison also wishes to make a point of order.

Photo of Shona Robison Shona Robison Scottish National Party

[

Inaudible

.]—I would have voted no.

The Presiding Officer:

Thank you, Ms Robison. You would have noted no in the division. Is that right?

The Presiding Officer:

Thank you very much. I will ensure that your vote is added to the roll.

Before I call Clare Adamson to make a point of order, I advise her that her vote has been recorded. I also advise both Claire Haughey and Kate Forbes that their votes have been recorded.

I call Keith Brown to make his point of order. Mr Brown, this is the Presiding Officer speaking. Can you hear me, and do you wish to make a point of order?

I ask Mr Brown to switch his video function off. We will try to connect with him through his audio function only.

I advise Michael Matheson that his vote has been recorded. Once we have heard from Mr Brown, I will call Clare Adamson, who wishes to make a general point of order.

Is Keith Brown able to make his point of order now?

We are clearly having connectivity problems as you can all see. We will try and get Mr Brown back in a second.

In the meantime, Clare Adamson wishes to make a point of order.

Photo of Clare Adamson Clare Adamson Scottish National Party

Thank you, Presiding Officer. That took a little bit of time.

The sound quality has been particularly challenging today. We were only just able to hear one of the vote results, and subsequent votes would have depended on that result. You were silent for a while, Presiding Officer, which made it difficult to follow proceedings. A visual representation or recording of what has been passed would be helpful for those of us who are at home in future.

Also, and I have already raised this, there are three Clares in the chamber and if people do not use our second names when they respond to us when we are all in the chat, it becomes confused.

The Presiding Officer:

Thank you for those points of order, Ms Adamson.

I call Kate Forbes to make a point of order.

Photo of Kate Forbes Kate Forbes Scottish National Party

I echo Clare Adamson’s point that the sound has been very poor tonight.

I should have voted no. I understand that the vote has been recorded as yes because I tapped it as I was scrolling down and the screen froze, meaning that I was unable to change my vote. I just wanted to make the point of order that I would have voted no. Reception this evening has been awful.

The Presiding Officer:

Thank you, Ms Forbes. That is noted and it will be on the record, although I cannot change your vote for that reason. It will be noted and it will be on the record.

I call Clare Haughey to make a point of order.

Photo of Clare Haughey Clare Haughey Scottish National Party

Thank you, Presiding Officer. I had similar problems to Kate Forbes in that I would have voted no, but the screen froze and I was unable to change my vote.

The Presiding Officer:

Thank you, Clare Haughey. That is also noted and will be a matter of record, although I cannot change the vote for that reason.

I call Angela Constance to make a point of order.

Photo of Angela Constance Angela Constance Scottish National Party

Thank you, Presiding Officer. Like other colleagues, I have had problems with frozen screens and I could not hear your instructions. For the record, my vote should have been no.

The Presiding Officer:

Thank you, Ms Constance. That is noted.

I call Gil Paterson.

Members:

Aw naw!

The Presiding Officer:

This is important, colleagues.

Photo of Gil Paterson Gil Paterson Scottish National Party

It is more of a point of information, Presiding Officer. I managed to contact Keith Brown to alert him that we could not hear him. I advised him to make contact with the whip, who would get a message to you at your desk and see whether we could resolve the problem. I hope that that is helpful. [

Interruption

.]

The Presiding Officer:

Mr Paterson, could you just hold on for one second?

Will members please keep their conversations down so that we can hear Mr Paterson’s point of order? Mr Paterson, would you mind repeating that, please?

Photo of Gil Paterson Gil Paterson Scottish National Party

Surely, Presiding Officer.

It is more of a point of information. I managed to telephone Keith Brown to say that he could not be heard or seen, and I advised him to contact our whip to get a message to you at your desk. I hope that that is helpful.

The Presiding Officer:

Thank you, Mr Paterson.

I call Joan McAlpine to make a point of order.

Photo of Joan McAlpine Joan McAlpine Scottish National Party

Thank you, Presiding Officer. I had similar problems to the ones that other colleagues had. I think that my vote was recorded as a yes. I could not hear the proceedings because BlueJeans was cutting out. I should have voted no, or I intended to do so.

The Presiding Officer:

That will be noted for the record as a point of order as well, Ms McAlpine.

Photo of Jackie Baillie Jackie Baillie Labour

On a point of order, Presiding Officer. I should point out that there was a flurry of activity at the back of the chamber between the Scottish National Party whip and the minister. I think that what has happened is not a technical fault; it is just that they changed their minds, and the vote changed, but they did not bother to tell members who were voting remotely.

The Presiding Officer:

Ms Baillie, that is not—[

Interruption

.] Colleagues, we are already well over time. A number of people are definitely having connectivity—[

Interruption

.] Mr Hepburn, I have not even finished explaining my response to one point of order. Will you please sit down?

We are already very late, and there are clearly a number of connectivity issues. There are members who wish to make points on the record. I am making it clear when the vote can and cannot be changed. Members have the right to ensure that people know how they would have voted, even if the vote cannot be changed.

Before I take any points of order in the chamber, I still wish to check whether any members online wish to make a point of order.

I call Michael Matheson.

Photo of Michael Matheson Michael Matheson Scottish National Party

Thank you, Presiding Officer. I experienced the same problems as others. During the results for Fergus Ewing’s amendment, there was no sound from the Presiding Officer to indicate what the results were. As a result, my vote is recorded incorrectly. I would have voted no had I been aware of the outcome of the vote on that amendment.

The Presiding Officer:

Thank you, Mr Matheson—that is clear.

I will try Keith Brown for a point of order. Keith Brown, are you able to make contact with us?

We will move on.

There were two members in the chamber who wanted to make points of order. One was the Minister for Parliamentary Business and Veterans.

Photo of Graeme Dey Graeme Dey Scottish National Party

On a point of order, Presiding Officer. It is incumbent on all members of the Parliament to be accurate in the claims that they make. Ms Baillie made a claim that she cannot substantiate. I would like you to record that, Presiding Officer. Frankly, it was an outrageous assertion.

The Presiding Officer:

Colleagues, I am sorry, but these are not points of order for the chair. I can rule on procedural matters, but this is in essence a debate that you are having among yourselves. It is not something to be conducted through the chair. Just because one person makes an accusation does not mean that a counter-accusation is helpful.

Are there any further points of order? Otherwise, I will announce the results of the vote.

Photo of Bob Doris Bob Doris Scottish National Party

On a point of order, Presiding Officer. Earlier, during this unfortunate affair over accuracy in voting, you said that you cannot change the votes of individuals who cast their vote wrongly because they could not hear the result of an earlier vote on an amendment. I accept that. My point of order is to ask whether you have the power to rerun the current vote, so that they can cast their votes appropriately. I fully accept that it is your decision, but I wish to know whether you have at your disposal the option of rerunning the vote, now that we have that informed clarity.

The Presiding Officer:

Thank you, Mr Doris. Yes, I have the power to rerun a vote, if necessary. However, in this case, I do not believe that it is necessary. Members have clarified the way in which they would have preferred to have voted.

I will now call the result of the division on motion S5M-23299, in the name of Richard Leonard.

Division number 4 Decision Time

Aye: 67 MSPs

No: 53 MSPs

Ayes: A-Z by last name

Nos: A-Z by last name

The Presiding Officer:

The result of the division is: For 67, Against 53, Abstentions 0.

Motion agreed to,

That the Parliament recognises the need to protect the population from the COVID-19 pandemic; appreciates the damage that tighter restrictions are having on Scotland’s tourism and hospitality sector; calls on the Scottish Government to provide additional support to these sectors by reviewing the eligibility for COVID business grants and hardship grants and increasing available funding so that no hospitality or tourism business faces closure or job losses as a result of the pandemic, and considers that there is a need to work with trade unions to ensure that ongoing government support is being used to protect and improve workers’ terms and conditions.

Before we proceed, Neil Findlay and Alasdair Allan have points of order.

Photo of Neil Findlay Neil Findlay Labour

We have had issues with votes in the past—for example, we had an issue with the mesh vote. However, if people are going to play games as they have done tonight, our whole system will lack credibility. I appeal to members to think very carefully about what has gone on tonight.

The Presiding Officer:

Thank you, Mr Findlay. Again, I think that I am quite capable of interpreting Parliament’s rules, but I appreciate the point.

Photo of Alasdair Allan Alasdair Allan Scottish National Party

Presiding Officer, regardless of Jackie Baillie’s comments, I can only confirm what others have confirmed, which is that a number of us could not hear the results of votes. I am not making a point of order to question the result of the vote; I merely wish to ask what you are going to do to ensure that members are not again put in the position of being asked to vote on a motion without knowing whether it has been amended.

The Presiding Officer:

Thank you very much, Dr Allan. Members should have made that absolutely clear before they voted. Members should not vote on something that they do not understand. I am aware that, in this case, there are sound issues. Several members have made a point of order to that very effect, and we will certainly investigate that issue.

I note that, if we add up the total number of members who made points of order, their votes would not have changed the outcome of the vote in question.

The next question is—I am sorry; Joan McAlpine has another point of order.

Photo of Joan McAlpine Joan McAlpine Scottish National Party

I want to object to what Neil Findlay said when he suggested that we were playing games. I could not hear the result of the vote on the earlier amendment. I was not playing games—I genuinely could not hear it, because my sound cut out. I think that the use of that phrase was unparliamentary language, to say the least.

The Presiding Officer:

Thank you very much, Ms McAlpine. These accusations and counter-accusations are not taking us any further forward, and they are not points of order for me to rule on.

The next question is, that motion S5M-23321, in the name of Graeme Dey, on approval of a Scottish statutory instrument—this is the motion on the census order—be agreed to. Are we agreed?

Members:

No.

Division number 5 Decision Time

Aye: 91 MSPs

No: 27 MSPs

Ayes: A-Z by last name

Nos: A-Z by last name

The Presiding Officer:

The result of the division is: For 91, Against 27, Abstentions 0.

Motion agreed to,

That the Parliament agrees that the Census (Scotland) Amendment Order 2020 [draft] be approved.

Keith Brown still wishes to make a point of order. I am going to try to make contact with him.

Photo of Keith Brown Keith Brown Scottish National Party

I wanted to make a point of order about 20 minutes ago, Presiding Officer. In the vote on the second Labour motion, I intended to vote no. I tried to say that at the time, but I was not able to have it recorded or to have my point of order taken, even though I intimated it. I had no problems in the most recent vote.

The Presiding Officer:

Thank you, Mr Brown. I am glad that we were able to hear that in the end. The way that you would have voted on that amendment is now officially on the record.

I propose to ask a single question on the other eight Parliamentary Bureau motions. Does any member object?

Members:

No.

The Presiding Officer:

The question is, that motions S5M-23315 to S5M-23320, S5M-23322 and S5M-23323, in the name of Graeme Dey, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, be agreed to.

Motions agreed to,

That the Parliament agrees that, under Rule 12.3.3B of Standing Orders, the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee can meet, if necessary, at the same time as a meeting of the Parliament from 2pm to 4.30pm on Wednesday 18 November for the purpose of considering and agreeing its report on its inquiry into construction and procurement of ferry vessels in Scotland.

That the Parliament agrees that, under Rule 12.3.3B of Standing Orders, the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee can meet, if necessary, at the same time as a meeting of the Parliament on Tuesday 24 November during debate on the Health and Sport Committee’s inquiry into Supply and demand for medicines, and during Members’ Business, for the purpose of considering amendments at stage 2 to the United Kingdom Withdrawal from the European Union Continuity (Scotland) Bill.

That the Parliament agrees that the Code of Practice for the Welfare of Laying Hens (Revocation) (Scotland) Notice 2020 be approved.

That the Parliament agrees that the Human Tissue (Excepted Body Parts) (Scotland) Regulations 2020 [draft] be approved.

That the Parliament agrees that the Mandatory Use of Closed Circuit Television in Slaughterhouses (Scotland) Regulations 2020 [draft] be approved.

That the Parliament agrees that the Welfare of Farmed Animals (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2020 [draft] be approved.

That the Parliament agrees that the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Public Health Information for Passengers Travelling to Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2020 (SSI 2020/328) be approved.

That the Parliament agrees that the Health Protection (Coronavirus) (International Travel) (Scotland) Amendment (No. 19) Regulations 2020 (SSI 2020/330) be approved.

That concludes decision time. We will shortly move on to a members’ business debate in the name of Alasdair Allan, on concerns regarding the islands housing market, but we will have a short pause to allow members, including me, to change seats. I remind members to observe social distancing while leaving the chamber, to wear masks at all times and to follow the one-way systems throughout the building.

18:37 Members’ business will be published tomorrow, 12 November 2020, as soon as the text is available.