Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament
|Presiding Officer of the
The Right Honourable
|Term length||Elected by the Scottish Parliament at the start of each session, and upon a vacancy|
|Inaugural holder||David Steel|
|Website||Office of the Presiding Officer|
|This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
The Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament (Scottish Gaelic: Oifigear-Riaghlaidh, Scots: Preses o the Scots Pairlament) is the speaker of the Scottish Parliament. The current Presiding Officer is Tricia Marwick, who was elected on 11 May 2011, following the 2011 Scottish Parliament election.
The Presiding Officer is elected by the Members of the Scottish Parliament, by means of an exhaustive ballot, and also heads the Corporate Body of the Scottish Parliament. He or she is considered a figurehead of the institution.
The Presiding Officer presides over the Parliament's debates, determining which members may speak. The Presiding Officer is also responsible for maintaining order during debate.
In keeping with the tradition of the Speaker of the British House of Commons, but unlike presiding officers of legislatures in many other countries, the Presiding Officer is expected to be strictly non-partisan. For this reason, they renounce all affiliation with their former political party when taking office. They also do not take part in debate, nor do they vote except to break ties. Even then, the convention is that the speaker casts the tie-breaking vote in favour of the status quo. The Presiding Officer also remains a Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP).
In the event of independence, the Scottish National Party proposes that the title Chancellor of Scotland be used instead of Presiding Officer, with additional constitutional powers during the absence of the Monarch from Scotland; chiefly, the Chancellor should act as Scotland's head of state.
The office of the Presiding Officer is located in Queensberry House.
List of Presiding Officers
|Name||Entered office||Left office||Former party||Constituency / Region|
|1.||David Steel||12 May 1999||7 May 2003||Liberal Democrats||Lothians|
|2.||George Reid||7 May 2003||14 May 2007||Scottish National Party||Ochil|
|3.||Alex Fergusson||14 May 2007||11 May 2011||Conservative||Galloway and Upper Nithsdale|
|4.||Tricia Marwick||11 May 2011||incumbent||Scottish National Party||Mid Fife and Glenrothes|
List of Deputy Presiding Officers
|Name||Entered office||Left office||Party||Constituency / Region|
|Patricia Ferguson||12 May 1999||27 November 2001||Labour||Glasgow Maryhill|
|George Reid||12 May 1999||7 May 2003||Scottish National Party||Mid Scotland and Fife|
|Murray Tosh||29 November 2001||2 April 2007||Conservative||South of Scotland (1999-2003)
West of Scotland (2003-2007)
|Trish Godman||7 May 2003||22 March 2011||Labour||West Renfrewshire|
|Alasdair Morgan||10 May 2007||22 March 2011||Scottish National Party||South of Scotland|
|Elaine Smith||11 May 2011||incumbent||Labour||Coatbridge and Chryston|
|John Scott||11 May 2011||incumbent||Conservative||Ayr|
- 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)
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