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Scottish Parliament runs virtual question time

11/04/20

Mark Say Managing Editor

The Scottish Parliament has run its first virtual leader’s question time in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Nicola Sturgeon on video link

The event took place on Thursday, with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon taking questions through a video link with the proceedings visible through the legislature’s website.

Leaders of the opposition parties asking questions from their homes were also shown as part of the process.

The event was announced in advance by Ken Macintosh MSP, presiding officer of the Scottish Parliament, citing the need to continue its business while maintaining social distancing.

“I know that members share my view that it is more important than ever that our parliament continues to function during this public health crisis and that we create opportunities for it do so remotely, not least so that we do not put others at any undue risk,” he said, adding:

“The Parliamentary Bureau will continue to take stock of ongoing developments and, learning from and building on tomorrow’s experience, will consider whether to put in place further virtual scrutiny arrangements involving other members for next week.”

Westminster pressure

There has been pressure for the UK Parliament to run virtual proceedings to maintain scrutiny of the Government during the pandemic. More than 100 MPs have backed a proposals from Labourt MP Chi Onwurah for a digital parliament, expressing a preference for Zoom.

Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg has reported said the Government is examining the options.

Image from Scottish Parliament

 

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