Anger as Glenrothes MP denied use of meeting room

Lindsay Roy MP and the committee he is a member of was not allowed to use a Scottish Parliament meeting room
Lindsay Roy MP and the committee he is a member of was not allowed to use a Scottish Parliament meeting room
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The town’s Labour MP has launched an attack on an MSP.

Lindsay Roy MP has not minced words in the attack on the Scottish Parliament’s Presiding Officer - the Glenrothes MSP Tricia Marwick.

A row erupted after the UK Government’s Scottish Affairs Committee was refused permission to use a meeting room at the Scottish Parliament buildings in Holyrood.

Mr Roy is a member of the committee, which visited Glenrothes to meet recently, and he has accused the Scottish Parliament’s Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick of being ‘’partisan’’ after she threw out the request to use the empty room.

Mr Roy said of the meeting room request that it was a bid to save public money and improving access to the committee. He said he was “astonished” that it has been rejected.

Committee chair, Ian Davison, wrote to Mrs Marwick, the Glenrothes MSP, seeking permission to use Holyrood committee rooms.

But the request has been rejected, with Mrs Marwick stating in a response letter: “There is a long standing principle that the facilities at Holyrood should be used for Scottish Parliamentary purposes only.

“I always remain willing to explore opportunities, in appropriate areas, where joint working between the two institutions can be facilitated.”

That decision was slammed by Mr Roy.

He explained: “We are currently conducting an enquiry on the ‘Referendum on Separation for Scotland’ and have called as expert witnesses Professors Stephen Tierney, Alan Page and Aidan O’Neill QC, who are based in Scotland, to give evidence on Monday [27th].

“It was thought that, to save money and provide better information for Scotland’s people on what we do on this and possibly future occasions, we could meet at Holyrood but to our amazement, our request was rejected.

“Tricia Marwick has indicated that the facilities at Holyrood should be used for Scottish Parliamentary purposes only, but what could be more relevant than this enquiry by the Scottish Affairs Select Committee to Scottish Parliamentary purposes?

“Furthermore, the House of Commons Defence Committee met in Holyrood in October 2007, so it would seem that this “long standing principle” is nothing but an invention from the Presiding Officer, who is supposed to be impartial rather than partisan.”

Continued Mr Roy: “It seems that the Presiding Officer is determined to pursue a partisan ‘separation’ agenda by excluding Scottish MPs from what is, after all, their parliament too.’’

A short statement issued by a Scottish Parliament spokeswoman said: “The principle of using Holyrood facilities for Scottish Parliamentary purposes is long established.”

Accompanied with the statement was a copy of Mrs Marwick’s letter sent to Ian Davidson, which added: “I note that you chose to make your letter publicly available. I will do likewise.”

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