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Parliamentary debates and questions

Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee 01 November 2018

The agenda for the day:

Complaint.

Complaint

The Convener (Bill Kidd)

We move to agenda item 2 of the 19th meeting in 2018 of the Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee. The committee has been considering a complaint about a member of the Scottish Parliament, and I will now read out a statement that sets out its findings.

On behalf of the committee, I would like to make the following statement in relation to a complaint against an MSP. The committee has considered a complaint from Gail Ross MSP that Annie Wells MSP sought political advantage by making advance public comment on the Equalities and Human Rights Committee’s report on prisoner voting in Scotland, and it is unanimous in the decisions that have been reached on the complaint.

First, the committee agrees with the findings in fact and conclusion of the Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland that Annie Wells breached paragraphs 12, 15 and 16 of section 7 of the code of conduct for MSPs by making public press comment in advance of the publication of the Equalities and Human Rights Committee’s report.

Secondly, the committee considers that the breaches justify the imposition of sanctions on Annie Wells. I propose that the committee recommends in its report that the Parliament exclude Annie Wells MSP from all meetings of the Parliament and all meetings of its committees for five sitting days.

I invite the committee to agree the proposal.

Members indicated agreement.

The Convener

Full details of the complaint and the commissioner’s investigation of it will be included in the committee’s report, which will be published later this afternoon. Until that time, the report will remain confidential and neither I nor any other committee member will make further comment until its publication.

That ends the public part of the meeting.

09:46 Meeting continued in private until 10:47.