First Minister's Questions

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

First Minister's Questions is the name given to the weekly questioning of the leaders of devolved administrations in the United Kingdom. First Minister's Questions works in a similar way to Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons.

Northern Ireland[edit]

In Northern Ireland Questions to the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister (or simply First Minister's Questions) is taken jointly by the First Minister and deputy First Minister. This dyarchy is to enable the leaders of the main unionist and nationalist parties to work together in the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister. Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly are allowed half an hour to put questions to the ministers. The questions are tabled in advance by the MLAs.


First Minister's Questions is the name given to Question Time in the Scottish Parliament, in the course of which the First Minister of Scotland spends 40 minutes on each Thursday that the parliament is in session answering questions from Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs).[1] There are additional sessions during the Parliamentary week at which other ministers are called upon to answer subject-specific and general questions. The present format involves the leader of the largest opposition party asking the First Minister six questions, with the leaders of the two next largest opposition party asking two questions. Other members within the chamber may ask a single question, should time permit.

Previous leaders involved in First Minister's Questions[edit]

Party key Scottish National Party
Scottish Green Party
Liberal Democrats
First Minister Main Opposition Leader Secondary Opposition Leader Tertiary Opposition Leader Years
Donald Dewar Alex Salmond David McLetchie None 1999–2000
John Swinney 2000
Jim Wallace 2000
Henry McLeish 2000–2001
Jim Wallace 2001
Jack McConnell 2001–2004
Nicola Sturgeon 2004–2005
Annabelle Goldie 2005–2007
Alex Salmond Jack McConnell Nicol Stephen 2007–2008
Wendy Alexander 2008
Tavish Scott 2008
Iain Gray 2008–2011
Willie Rennie 2011
Ruth Davidson 2011
Johann Lamont 2011–14
Iain Gray 2014
Nicola Sturgeon 2014
Kezia Dugdale 2014–2016
Ruth Davidson Kezia Dugdale Patrick Harvie 2016–2017
Richard Leonard 2017-


In Wales, the National Assembly for Wales holds First Minister's Questions. Assembly Members have up to forty-five minutes to question the Welsh First Minister on issues regarding the responsibilities of the Office of the First Minister and the Welsh Government as a whole.[2] The session was initially titled First Secretary's Questions,[3] and was renamed when the position of First Secretary for Wales was renamed to First Minister in 2000. The first session took place on 19 May 1999.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Public tickets: Tickets for First Minister's Question Time". Scottish Parliament. Retrieved 16 March 2017. 
  2. ^ "About: First Minister of Wales: First Minister's Questions". Welsh Government. Archived from the original on 10 October 2014. Retrieved 7 October 2014. 
  3. ^ Browne, Adrian (12 January 2010). "Carwyn Jones debut marks calmer new dawn". BBC News. 
  4. ^ Alun Michael, First Secretary (19 May 1999). "Questions to the First Secretary" (PDF). The National Assembly for Wales (The Official Record). p. 6. 

External links[edit]