Business Motions

– in the Scottish Parliament on 18th May 2022.

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Photo of Alison Johnstone Alison Johnstone Green

The next item of business is consideration of business motion S6M-04461, in the name of George Adam, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, setting out a business programme.

Motion moved,

That the Parliament agrees—

(a) the following programme of business—

Tuesday 24 May 2022

2.00 pm Time for Reflection followed by

Parliamentary Bureau Motions followed by

Topical Questions (if selected) followed by

Ministerial Statement: European Charter of Local Self-Government (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill – Next Steps followed by

Scottish Government Debate: Keeping Care Close to Home and Improving Outcomes followed by

Committee Announcements followed by

Business Motions followed by

Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time followed by

Members’ Business

Wednesday 25 May 2022

2.00 pm Parliamentary Bureau Motions

2.00 pm Portfolio Questions:

Health and Social Care;

Social Justice, Housing and Local Government followed by

Scottish Government Debate: Community Wealth Building – Delivering Transformation in Scotland’s Local and Regional Economies followed by

Business Motions followed by

Parliamentary Bureau Motions followed by

Approval of SSIs (if required)

5.00 pm Decision Time followed by

Members’ Business

Thursday 26 May 2022

11.40 am Parliamentary Bureau Motions

11.40 am General Questions

12.00 pm First Minister’s Questions followed by

Members’ Business

2.30 pm Parliamentary Bureau Motions

2.30 pm Portfolio Questions:

Constitution, External Affairs and Culture followed by

Scottish Government Debate: Update on Delivery of Social Security Benefits followed by

Business Motions followed by

Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

Tuesday 31 May 2022

2.00 pm Time for Reflection followed by

Parliamentary Bureau Motions followed by

Topical Questions (if selected) followed by

Equalities, Human Rights and Civil Justice Committee, Health, Social Care and Sport Committee and Social Justice and Social Security Committee Debate: Reducing Scotland’s Drugs Deaths and Drugs Harm followed by

Committee Announcements followed by

Business Motions followed by

Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time followed by

Members’ Business

Wednesday 1 June 2022

2.00 pm Parliamentary Bureau Motions

2.00 pm General Questions

2.20 pm First Minister’s Questions

3.05 pm Portfolio Questions:

Justice and Veterans;

Finance and Economy;

Education and Skills followed by

The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee 2022 followed by

Business Motions followed by

Parliamentary Bureau Motions followed by

Approval of SSIs (if required)

5.00 pm Decision Time followed by

Members’ Business

(b) that, for the purposes of Portfolio Questions in the week beginning 23 May 2022, in rule 13.7.3, after the word “except” the words “to the extent to which the Presiding Officer considers that the questions are on the same or similar subject matter or” are inserted.—[

George Adam

]

Photo of Stephen Kerr Stephen Kerr Conservative

Last Wednesday, during Conservative Party business, Jenny Gilruth, the Minister for Transport, proudly proclaimed that the missing document in the ferries fiasco had been found. Audit Scotland’s reckoning is that key information is still hidden, but the email in question implicated the Deputy First Minister, John Swinney, in the affair—[

Interruption

.]

The Presiding Officer:

Excuse me a moment, Mr Kerr. Colleagues, can we please have some peace to hear Mr Kerr?

Photo of Stephen Kerr Stephen Kerr Conservative

As outlined by Douglas Ross at First Minister’s question time the next day, the email clearly shows that Mr Swinney had the final approval before the contract was awarded to Ferguson Marine. That was new information, and it contradicted the supposed truth that the First Minister had been telling the chamber up to that point, which was that Derek Mackay had the final approval. Indeed, the First Minister continued to purport that line, despite Mr Swinney eventually admitting that he had given approval.

Therefore, I was rather surprised when the Scottish Government rejected my request for an immediate statement from the Deputy First Minister. I was surprised further when it was revealed that neither this week nor next week had any time been set aside for Mr Swinney to outline his actions and answer questions from elected parliamentarians. The Deputy First Minister appeared to have plenty of time to give multiple, somewhat contradictory quotes to the media, but had no time to speak to the Parliament. Once again, we see just how little this arrogant Scottish National Party Government respects the Parliament.

What is this place for, if not to be the first line of scrutiny of the Scottish Government? Throughout Covid, the Parliament was often sidelined and the media were prioritised as the Government’s policy announcement hub. That situation has, sadly, continued and we are now in the ludicrous position of the media being not only the first, but the only line of scrutiny on Mr Swinney on that matter. If that remains true, then the Parliament has failed.

My amendment therefore inserts into the business motion a statement from the Deputy First Minister, next Tuesday after topical questions, in which he can explain himself to the Parliament and answer questions. We should not have to fight tooth and nail for such things.

To pre-empt the Minister for Parliamentary Business’s reply, in which he is likely to say that the Deputy First Minister believes that there is not enough to say in a statement, I say that I have seen enough of the Deputy First Minister’s statements to know that he is adept at using a lot of words to make very few points, so I would not worry—[

Interruption

.]

Photo of Stephen Kerr Stephen Kerr Conservative

I am grateful that the SNP acknowledges the truth of what I am saying, so I would not worry about that—[

Interruption

.]

The Presiding Officer:

Colleagues, we will hear Mr Kerr.

Photo of Stephen Kerr Stephen Kerr Conservative

If that is not enough for Mr Adam, I think that all parties will agree when I say that Mr Swinney’s statement need not take up the usual 10 minutes but need be only as long as it takes Mr Swinney to explain his role in the matter. The rest of the time should, of course, be given to MSPs to provide adequate scrutiny. Therefore, I encourage all members of the Scottish Parliament to support my amendment, so that we can restore some faith in the effectiveness of the Parliament.

I move amendment S6M-04461.1, after

“Tuesday 24 May 2022

2.00 pm Time for Reflection followed by

Parliamentary Bureau Motions followed by

Topical Questions (if selected)” insert—

“followed by

Deputy First Minister’s Statement: Ferries Contract Approval”.

Photo of George Adam George Adam Scottish National Party

Thank you, Presiding Officer. Dearie me. It is my intention to stick to the facts of the matter at hand and not to the flawed interpretation from some people in the room.

Last week, the Scottish Government published the exchange of 9 October 2015 and set out that the Deputy First Minister spoke with officials following the approval by the Minister for Transport and Islands earlier that day. The short note of that meeting, which is in the email trail, confirms that the decision was taken by Mr Mackay.

It reads, “He”

—the Deputy First Minister

“now understands the background and that Mr Mackay has cleared the proposal.”

The submission noted that the Deputy First Minister had approved the financial implications and the budget availability in his role as Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Constitution and Economy at that time. That documentation has been published since 2019.

The matter was a major part of last week’s First Minister’s question time, as the chief whip of the Conservative Party has alluded to, and of a topical question this week. The issue has been discussed numerous times over the past week, and if other members wish to discuss it further, I encourage them to use the usual routes, as we have done in the past.

The Presiding Officer:

The question is, that amendment S6M-04461.1, in the name of Stephen Kerr, which seeks to amend motion S6M-04461, in the name of George Adam, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, on setting out a business programme, be agreed to. Are we agreed?

Members:

No.

The Presiding Officer:

There will be a division. There will be a short suspension to allow members to access the digital voting system.

17:25 Meeting suspended.

17:31 On resuming—

We come to the division on amendment S6M-04461.1, in the name of Stephen Kerr.

The vote is now closed.

Photo of Ariane Burgess Ariane Burgess Green

On a point of order, Presiding Officer. My app did not work. I would have voted no.

The Presiding Officer:

Thank you, Ms Burgess, we will ensure that that is recorded.

Division number 1 Business Motions

Aye: 52 MSPs

No: 67 MSPs

Ayes: A-Z by last name

Nos: A-Z by last name

The Presiding Officer:

The result of the division on amendment S6M-04461.1, in the name of Stephen Kerr is: For 52, Against 67, Abstentions 0.

Amendment disagreed to.

The next question is, that motion S6M-04461, in the name of George Adam, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, on setting out a business programme, be agreed to. Are we agreed?

Members:

No.

The Presiding Officer:

There will be a division.

The vote is now closed.

Photo of Alexander Burnett Alexander Burnett Conservative

On a point of order, Presiding Officer. My app did not connect. I would have voted no.

The Presiding Officer:

Thank you, Mr Burnett. We will ensure that that is recorded.

The Presiding Officer:

Thank you, Mr Torrance.

Photo of Monica Lennon Monica Lennon Labour

On a point of order, Presiding Officer. My vote was not recorded. I would have voted no.

The Presiding Officer:

Thank you, Ms Lennon. We will ensure that that is recorded.

Photo of Baroness Katy Clark Baroness Katy Clark Labour

On a point of order, Presiding Officer. My vote was not recorded. I would have voted no.

The Presiding Officer:

Thank you, Ms Clark.

Division number 2 Business Motions

Aye: 68 MSPs

No: 51 MSPs

Ayes: A-Z by last name

Nos: A-Z by last name

The Presiding Officer:

The result of the division on motion S6M-04461, in the name of George Adam, is: For 68, Against 51, Abstentions 0.

Motion agreed to,

That the Parliament agrees—

(a) the following programme of business—

Tuesday 24 May 2022

2.00 pm Time for Reflection followed by

Parliamentary Bureau Motions followed by

Topical Questions (if selected) followed by

Ministerial Statement: European Charter of Local Self-Government (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill – Next Steps followed by

Scottish Government Debate: Keeping Care Close to Home and Improving Outcomes followed by

Committee Announcements followed by

Business Motions followed by

Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time followed by

Members’ Business

Wednesday 25 May 2022

2.00 pm Parliamentary Bureau Motions

2.00 pm Portfolio Questions:

Health and Social Care;

Social Justice, Housing and Local Government followed by

Scottish Government Debate: Community Wealth Building – Delivering Transformation in Scotland’s Local and Regional Economies followed by

Business Motions followed by

Parliamentary Bureau Motions followed by

Approval of SSIs (if required)

5.00 pm Decision Time followed by

Members’ Business

Thursday 26 May 2022

11.40 am Parliamentary Bureau Motions

11.40 am General Questions

12.00 pm First Minister’s Questions followed by

Members’ Business

2.30 pm Parliamentary Bureau Motions

2.30 pm Portfolio Questions:

Constitution, External Affairs and Culture followed by

Scottish Government Debate: Update on Delivery of Social Security Benefits followed by

Business Motions followed by

Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

Tuesday 31 May 2022

2.00 pm Time for Reflection followed by

Parliamentary Bureau Motions followed by

Topical Questions (if selected) followed by

Equalities, Human Rights and Civil Justice Committee, Health, Social Care and Sport Committee and Social Justice and Social Security Committee Debate: Reducing Scotland’s Drugs Deaths and Drugs Harm followed by

Committee Announcements followed by

Business Motions followed by

Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time followed by

Members’ Business

Wednesday 1 June 2022

2.00 pm Parliamentary Bureau Motions

2.00 pm General Questions

2.20 pm First Minister’s Questions

3.05 pm Portfolio Questions:

Justice and Veterans;

Finance and Economy;

Education and Skills followed by

The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee 2022 followed by

Business Motions followed by

Parliamentary Bureau Motions followed by

Approval of SSIs (if required)

5.00 pm Decision Time followed by

Members’ Business

(b) that, for the purposes of Portfolio Questions in the week beginning 23 May 2022, in rule 13.7.3, after the word “except” the words “to the extent to which the Presiding Officer considers that the questions are on the same or similar subject matter or” are inserted.

The next item of business is consideration of business motions S6M-04462 and S6M-04476, on stage 2 timetabling, and S6M-04477, on stage 2 consideration of a bill.

Motions moved,

That the Parliament agrees that consideration of the Fireworks and Pyrotechnic Articles (Scotland) Bill at stage 2 be completed by 8 June 2022.

That the Parliament agrees that consideration of the Coronavirus (Recovery and Reform) (Scotland) Bill at stage 2 be completed by 14 June 2022.

That the Parliament agrees that under Rule 9.7.1(b) and 9.7.4 stage 2 of the Coronavirus (Recovery and Reform) (Scotland) Bill be taken as follows—

(a) the following committees will consider the Bill in the following order:

(i) the Criminal Justice Committee to consider sections 26, 30, 31, 32 in Part 3 and Part 5 with the schedule being considered immediately after the section that introduces it,

(ii) the Covid-19 Recovery Committee to consider Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 of the Bill (other than sections 26, 30, 31, 32), Part 4, Part 6 and the long title,

(b) the Criminal Justice Committee to consider (in the order set out in paragraph (a))—

(i) Sections 26, 30, 31, 32 in Part 3,

(ii) Part 5, including the schedule being considered immediately after the section that introduces it,

(iii) any amendment to provisions in sections 26, 30, 31, 32 and Part 5,

(iv) any other amendments specifically on matters relating to justice, including civil and criminal justice,

(c) the Covid-19 Recovery Committee to consider (in the order set out in paragraph (a)) all amendments other than those that are to be considered by the Criminal Justice Committee in accordance with paragraph (b).—[

George Adam

]

Motions agreed to.