Labour MSP Elaine Smith may stand for Presiding Officer

Elaine Smith may put herself forward for the job
Elaine Smith may put herself forward for the job
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Labour MSP Elaine Smith could launch a bid to become the first Presiding Officer at the Scottish Parliament to emerge from her party’s ranks.

Ms Smith, who has served in the role of Deputy Presiding Officer, said at the weekend she was “considering” standing for the role, which would mean resigning the party whip.

The SNP is not expected to put forward a candidate after the election left the party’s numbers depleted at Holyrood and two short of an overall majority. The last Presiding Officer at Holyrood, Tricia Marwick, also came from the SNP ranks.

No MSP from Labour’s ranks has ever become Presiding Officer since devolution in 1999. The former Labour 
leader Johann Lamont is also a possible candidate for the position, which will be chosen next week.

Senior Conservatives Murdo Fraser and John Scott, a former Deputy Presiding Officer, could also be candidates for the post.

The Presiding Officer’s role carries a salary of about £45,000 extra on top of the standard MSP pay of £60,000.