Cole-Hamilton wants contempt mechanism for Scottish Parliament

December 7, 2018 4:00 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton has today lodged a motion calling for the Scottish Parliament to be empowered to hold the Scottish Government in contempt, following the historic vote in Westminster this week and in light of the Education Secretary continuing with the policy of P1 national testing in breach of an instruction from the Scottish Parliament to halt it.

Alex Cole-Hamilton said:

"The Scottish Parliament lacks the power to hold the Scottish Government in contempt or to bind the government in any way to the will of the Scottish Parliament outside of the legislative process.

"The people choose who sits in Parliament, and so ultimately it is them who are being overruled when the government storms on ignoring the will of elected members.

"In the face of overwhelming evidence, the Education Secretary has shown hostile disregard for MSPs' instruction to halt P1 testing - a decision confirmed by the Presiding Officer as being the 'will of the Parliament'. In cases such as these there should be a process by which Parliament can protect its rulings.

"These shortcomings need to be resolved. MSPs have an opportunity to better strengthen our parliamentary democracy. I implore them to seize it."