Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament
|Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament|
The Right Honourable
|Member of||Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body|
|Term length||Elected by the Scottish Parliament at the start of each session, and upon a vacancy|
|Inaugural holder||David Steel|
|Deputy||Deputy Presiding Officers|
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politics and government of
The Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament (Scottish Gaelic: Oifigear-Riaghlaidh, Scots: Preses o the Scots Pairlament) is the President of the Scottish Parliament. He or she is a Member of the Scottish Parliament elected by the Scottish Parliament by means of an exhaustive ballot, and is ex officio the head of the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body. He or she is considered a figurehead of the Scottish Parliament and holds an office in Queensberry House.
The office of the Presiding Officer was established by an act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, the Scotland Act 1998. The current Presiding Officer is Ken Macintosh, who was elected on 12 May 2016, following the 2016 Scottish Parliament election.
The Presiding Officer presides over the Parliament's debates, determining which members may speak, and maintains order during debate. The Presiding Officer is expected to be strictly non-partisan, with some similarities in this respect to the tradition of the Speaker of the British House of Commons. For this reason, he or she renounces all affiliation with his or her former political party for the duration of his or her term. He or she does not take part in debate, or vote except to break ties. Even then, the convention is that when the Presiding Officer uses his or her tie-breaking vote, he or she does so in favour of the status quo. The Presiding Officer is also assisted in his or her duties by 2 deputies. They have the same powers as the Presiding Officer but they keep their party affiliation but remain impartial when presiding.
In 2006 the St Andrews Fund for Scots Heraldry commemorated the hosting of the Heraldic & Genealogical Congress in Scotland by commissioning a ceremonial robe for the Presiding Officer to wear, however as of May 2017, it appears no Presiding Officer has worn the robe.
The Scottish National Party proposes that in the event of independence, the Presiding Officer's post be replaced with that of Chancellor of Scotland. In addition to presiding over the Scottish Parliament, the Chancellor would possess additional constitutional powers during the absence of the Monarch from Scotland; chiefly, the Chancellor should act in a role similar to a Governor-General in the other Commonwealth realms.
List of Presiding Officers
|Name||Entered office||Left office||Former party||Constituency / Region|
|1.||Sir David Steel[a]||12 May 1999||7 May 2003||Liberal Democrats||Lothians|
|2.||Sir George Reid||7 May 2003||14 May 2007||Scottish National Party||Ochil|
|3.||Sir Alex Fergusson||14 May 2007||11 May 2011||Conservative||Galloway and Upper Nithsdale|
|4.||Tricia Marwick||11 May 2011||12 May 2016||Scottish National Party||Mid Fife and Glenrothes|
|5.||Ken Macintosh||12 May 2016||Incumbent||Labour||West Scotland|
- Officially styled as The Lord Steel of Aikwood, but he was known as Sir David Steel in the Scottish Parliament.
List of Deputy Presiding Officers
|Name||Party||Constituency / Region||Name||Party||Constituency / Region|
|Patricia Ferguson 12 May 1999-27 November 2001||Labour||Glasgow Maryhill||Sir George Reid
12 May 1999-7 May2003
|SNP||Mid Scotland and Fife|
|Murray Tosh 29 November 2001-2 April 2007||Conservative||South of Scotland (1999-2003)|
West of Scotland (2003-2007)
7 May2003-22 March 2011
|Alasdair Morgan 10 May 2007-22 March 2011||SNP||South of Scotland|
|John Scott 11 May 2011-12 May 2016||Conservative||Ayr||Elaine Smith 11 May 2011-12 May 2016||Coatbridge and Chryston|
|Linda Fabiani 12 May 2016-||SNP||East Kilbride||Christine Grahame 12 May 2016-||SNP||Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale|
- Presidency of the old Scots Parliament (pre-1707):
- Lord Chancellor of Scotland
- Lord High Commissioner to the Parliament of Scotland
- Presiding Officer (disambiguation page)
- Speaker (politics)
- Black, Andrew (14 May 2007). "Q&A: Holyrood presiding officer". BBC News. BBC.
- "Former Scottish Parliament Presiding Officers on the devolution years". Holyrood. 13 July 2016. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
- Cusack, Andrew (3 June 2010). "The Presiding Officer's Gown | andrewcusack.com". www.andrewcusack.com. Retrieved 12 May 2017.
- Principles of the Constitution, at constitutionalcommission.org (.pdf file)
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