Labour MSP reprimanded over FM ‘wilfully misleading’ outburst

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A Labour MSP has been reprimanded by Holyrood’s Presiding Officer (PO) after repeatedly accusing First Minister Alex Salmond of “wilfully misleading parliament”.

Helen Eadie, who is the MSP for Cowdenbeath, was told to sit down by PO Tricia Marwick after refusing to desist and then speaking over Ms Marwick.

The Labour MSP who as deputy convener of the Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee, is responsible for scrutinising the conduct of other MSPs had made a point of order at the end of First Ministers Questions.

Ms Eadie had claimed that the First Minister had either deliberately or unknowingly “willfully misled” the chamber by not acknowledging that new EU members were required to join the Euro.  The session had seen Mr Salmond repeatedly confirm that the SNP would support an independent Scotland remaining in the EU but that joining the Euro would wait until conditions were right.

Despite being told by the PO that her point had been made but it was outwith the remit of the Parliament and the Presiding Officer, Ms Eadie ignored Ms Marwick and continued to speak.  Ms Marwick also asked Ms Eadie to “reflect” on her use of the phrase “wilfully misleading”.

The code of conduct requires members to be “courteous and respectful” and to “respect the authority of the Presiding Officer” and in particular, not to “speak or stand when the Presiding Officer is speaking”.

Commenting on Ms Eadie’s outburst SNP MSP Bill Walker said:

“I cannot see how a senior MSP, responsible for scrutinising the conduct of Holyrood members could behave in such a disrespectful manner in the Chamber.

“I am sure I will not be alone, among my colleagues, in questioning Helen Eadie’s behaviour and hope that she will reflect on her own conduct today.”