Sketch: Holyrood’s class of 2021 ticked off for rowdy behaviour

Nicola Sturgeon’s Covid statement was more like a badly behaved class trip to the headmistress’s office than a serious meeting of political minds.

Scottish politics may not yet have quite stooped to the braying melee of Westminster, but Holyrood’s class of 2021 is getting so rowdy the grown-ups were yet again forced to intervene.

Peering sternly over her glasses, presiding officer Alison Johnstone told Parliament on Wednesday: “While we don't want a sterile, wholly silent chamber, do we want it to become the norm that when members are making a contribution, others cannot hear the member properly?”

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Her intervention came after Ms Sturgeon claimed the reason that she had read out a reply to completely the wrong question was because she couldn’t hear the right question over the noise from the crowd.

Presiding officer Alison Johnstone was forced to intervene after the chamber got too rowdy. Picture: PA
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As someone who had sat through the entire afternoon’s business, it would be easier to believe the First Minister had drifted off for a moment amid an hour of repetitive boredom, just like everyone else in the room who somehow failed to notice the error.

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To be fair, her complaint was echoed in a point of order by Gillian McKay, who raised the serious point that as a member with a disability, the continued disruption had prohibited her from participating fully in parliamentary sessions.

However, Ms Sturgeon’s gaffe was the least of it today, as the afternoon’s Covid update seemed to veer from the ridiculous to the downright insane.

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First off was a sound malfunction from Tory leader Douglas Ross, whose voice – via a video link from his Holyrood office, where the glaring sun cast ominous shadows across his face – echoed the phrase “absolute shambles” over and over, like a baddie from a 1970s horror film.

Finally, the FM roundly ticked off MSP Graham Simpson after he told her he had downloaded his Covid vaccine certification and altered the details on it.

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“I wouldn't advise the member to travel on the forged document that he has just admitted to having, because the QR code and his ID documents will probably find him out,” she said tersely.

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