Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont reprimanded over “dishonest” comments


  By a Newsnet reporter
Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont has been reprimanded twice by Holyrood’s Presiding Officer after accusing First Minister Alex Salmond of being dishonest and then leveling the same accusation against the Scottish Government.
During exchanges at First Minister’s Questions the MSP described First Minister Alex Salmond as “dishonest”.

Ms Lamonts remarks followed heated exchanges over the viability of a Scottish oil fund, something the SNP has pledged to create in an independent Scotland.

The Scottish Labour leader’s remark brought an instant rebuke from Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick who ordered the MSP to withdraw it.  Lamont immediately substituted the word for “not accurate” and continued her attack on the First Minister.

Johann Lamont’s initial reprimand

However, the Labour MSP quickly found herself in hot water again when she repeated the accusation moments later, this time levelling it at the entire Scottish Government.

The Scottish Labour leader was reprimanded moments later

Despite the unprecedented nature of the double reprimand, the first such against a Holyrood leader, BBC Scotland downplayed the significance of the censures and led with Ms Lamont’s attack on a proposed oil fund in news bulletins.  The broadcaster both on radio and TV, edited out the Scottish Labour leader’s initial accusation against the First Minister, showing only the second attack on the Scottish Government.

Later BBC news bulletins also included further attacks on Mr Salmond by new Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael.

How the BBC reported the exchanges

The reprimand is the second serious censure suffered by Scottish Labour, after one of the party’s MPs was barred from the Holyrood Chamber last year.  Michael McMahon was suspended from the chamber for a day after he shouted “You’re a disgrace” at the Presiding Officer.

In September 2012 the Presiding Officer wrote to all MSPs warning them against bad behaviour in the Holyrood chamber.  Tricia Marwick urged members to “conduct themselves in a courteous and respectful manner”.