The second session of the Scottish Parliament draws to a close today (29 March) with a motion of thanks to the outgoing Presiding Officer George Reid.
The last item of business before Parliament goes into dissolution ahead of the election on 3 May 2007, will see MSPs led by First Minister Jack McConnell express their “thanks and gratitude” to Mr Reid for his “service to the Parliament” in recognition of the “important role he has carried out as its second Presiding Officer”.
With Mr Reid due to step down from frontline politics on Wednesday 9 May, when his successor will be elected, party leaders and other members will pay tribute to the Presiding Officer in what will be the last debate of the four year session.
Deputy Presiding Officer Trish Godman will take the chair for the motion of thanks before handing back to Mr Reid after the final Decision Time. It is expected that Presiding Officer will conclude the session shortly before 1pm with his own words of thanks before banging the gavel one last time.
The text of the motion of thanks in the First Minister’s name reads:
Mr Jack McConnell: Motion of Thanks to the Presiding Officer: That the Parliament expresses its thanks and gratitude to George Reid for his service to the Parliament and recognises the important role he has carried out as its second Presiding Officer.
The speakers in the final debate will be lead by the First Minister who will be followed by Nicola Sturgeon, Annabel Goldie, Nicol Stephen, Robin Harper, Rosie Kane, Rosemary Byrne and Margo MacDonald.
Under Parliament’s Standing Orders and following consultation with parties, the Presiding Officer has outlined his intention for the first meeting of the new parliamentary session to be on Wednesday, 9 May 2007. The current four-year parliamentary session formally ends at midnight on 2 April and dissolution therefore begins immediately thereafter on Tuesday, 3 April.
As in previous years, an ecumenical Kirking of the Parliament will take place on Tuesday, 8 May at 6.00pm in St Giles’ Cathedral. Further details on this will be provided to new Members when they receive their welcome letters from the Clerk / Chief Executive immediately after the election.