The Scottish Parliament tonight endorsed a report by the Standards and Public Appointments Committee to apply sanctions in response to the conduct of four members of the Scottish Socialist Party and their protest in the Holyrood chamber today.
Following the Presiding Officer’s request this afternoon for the Committee to consider his complaint, the Committee’s members recommended to Parliament that all rights and privileges of the four SSP MSPs should be withdrawn.
The report which was endorsed by the Parliament this evening has recommended that Colin Fox, Frances Curran, Rosie Kane and Carolyn Leckie should have:
• No access to the parliamentary campus or the proceedings of Parliament for the month of September.
• No salary for the same period.
• No allowances for the same period.
This seems a bit harsh. OK, the demo was rather childish (or at least more reminiscent of student politics than a grown up parliament) but only 5 minutes of parliamentary time was lost. Does this justify depriving the constituents of these MSPs of their services for a month? Or depriving their staff of a month's salary?
Did, as a matter of natural justice, the Standards and Public Appointments Committee offer the MSPs concerned the opportunity to put their point of view before being sanctioned?
And some of the condemnatory comments attributed to MSPs of other parties seem to convey a certain amount of vindictiveness.