MSPs to look again at how best to set the record straight when mistakes are made

Share this article
Have your say

A HOLYROOD committee will try to “sharpen” the procedure used by MSPs to correct any inaccurate statements.

Members of the standards committee are to examine the issue after the Presiding Officer admitted there is still confusion about the process brought in just over a year ago.

It comes in the wake of First Minister Alex Salmond being accused of trying quietly to change the official record of what was said inside the debating chamber.

Committee convener Dave Thompson said: “We do need to look at the procedure, just to try to sharpen it up a wee bit.”

The mechanism by which an MSP can correct an incorrect statement, made in either the main chamber or one of the committees, was introduced in Holyrood in October last year.

When a correction is made to the official record, the incorrect information remains on it, with the correction appearing beside it to indicate that the MSP concerned has identified the mistake.

But Mr Thompson said it had “not been used very much so far”, with about half a dozen corrections made in the past year.

The issues raised about the process were “mainly been about how a correction is publicised, rather that the fact that the correction mechanism exists”, he said.

In a letter to the committee, Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick said “recent comments from a number of members have highlighted that there remains some confusion on the process adopted”.

The committee should “look again at the current process, in terms of transparency and general understanding”.