The glossary provides definitions for parliamentary terms to help you understand the Parliament and how it works.  The terms are arranged alphabetically so select a letter to find the term you would like to have explained.


Main Hall

The Main Hall is located just beyond the public entrance and houses the exhibition area and the Visitor Information Desk.

mandatory committee

A committee of the Scottish Parliament which the Standing Orders require to be established.

mandatory consultees

Persons or bodies with special rights to be consulted prior to the introduction of a private bill and to comment during the bill’s passage on the adequacy of that consultation.

manuscript amendment

An amendment to a bill lodged after the normal time limit set down in the Standing Orders.

marshalled list

A document prepared for each day during the amending stage of a bill showing all the admissible amendments lodged for the stage and not so far disposed of, in the order in which they will be considered.

Media Relations Office

The Media Relations Office is the office responsible for promoting the wide-ranging work of the Scottish Parliament, providing journalists with up-to-date information on the Committees, Chamber business, the work of the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body (SPCB) and the public engagement activities undertaken by the Parliament. The team also supports the accreditation system for journalists and other media personnel whose work requires access to the Scottish Parliament.

Media Tower

The building providing office accommodation to journalists at the Parliament.

meeting of the Parliament

A gathering of the whole Parliament in the Debating Chamber (or elsewhere).

member in charge

The MSP who introduces a public bill and who has certain duties and rights during the bill’s passage.

member of the Scottish Executive

The First Minister, senior Ministers and the two Scottish Law Officers.

member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP)

Person elected to the Scottish Parliament to represent a constituency or region.

members bill

A public bill, other than a committee bill, introduced by an MSP who is not a member of the Scottish Executive.

members' business

A debate proposed by a backbench MSP generally on an issue of particular interest to the member or relating to their local area.

Members' expenses scheme

The current scheme for expenses for MSPs to enable them to carry out their parliamentary duties.

Members' Travel Provision

A provision for travel expenses incurred by MSPs in performing their parliamentary and constituency duties.


A member of the government.

Minister of the Crown

A holder of a ministerial office in the UK Government.

ministerial statement

An oral statement to the Parliament by a Minister to provide information or explanation.

Minutes of Proceedings

The formal record of all items of business taken at a meeting of the Parliament or committee.


A proposition considered and often decided upon by the Parliament or a committee.

motion of no confidence

A motion that the Parliament no longer has confidence in the Scottish Executive or an individual Minister.


Member of the House of Commons.

MSP building

The building that accommodates the MSP offices at Holyrood.

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