MSP ‘honoured’ by Privy Council role

The Queen walking through the Garden Lobby with Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick MSP.
The Queen walking through the Garden Lobby with Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick MSP.

AREA MSP Tricia Marwick has been given the distinguished honour of being appointed to the Queen’s Privy Council.

Mrs Marwick, who is the current Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament, was nominated for the post by the Prime Minister, David Cameron.

The Queen is Head of the Privy Council with the body the oldest form of legislative assembly still functioning in the UK, responsible for a number of executive responsibilities.

Its origins date from the court of the Norman kings, which met in private – hence the description ‘privy’.

There are around 400 Privy Counsellors, who advise the Queen in carrying out her duties.

They consist of all members of the Cabinet, a number of middle-ranking government Ministers, leaders of the opposition parties, senior judges and some appointments from the Commonwealth.

Until the seventeenth century, the king and his Council were the Government, with Parliament’s role limited to voting funds. Today, in a system of constitutional monarchy, the Privy Council retains some limited, formal functions.

For example, the Privy Council is concerned with the affairs of Chartered Bodies, the 400 or so institutions, charities and companies who are incorporated by Royal Charter.

The Privy Council also has an important part to play regarding certain UK statutory regulatory bodies covering a number of professions, mainly in the healthcare field, and in the world of higher education.

The Privy Council meets on average once a month, at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, or, occasionally, Balmoral. Councils are held by The Queen and are attended by Ministers and the Clerk of the Council.

At each meeting the Council will obtain The Queen’s formal approval to a number of Orders which have already been discussed and approved by Ministers, much as Acts of Parliament become law through the giving of the Royal Assent after having been debated in Parliament.

The Presiding Officer will now be titled ‘The Right Honourable’ Tricia Marwick MSP.

After the nomination was accepted, the area MSP said: “I am greatly honoured to receive this news.

“I consider it a privilege to both serve my constituents in Mid Fife and Glenrothes and to work with all my fellow Members across the Scottish Parliament as Presiding Officer.”

Tricia Marwick is the Constituency MSP for Mid Fife and Glenrothes, was first elected in 1999 to the Scottish Parliament and won the Constituency seat in 2007 for the first time, retaining it in 2011 with an increased majority.

Before entering the Scottish Parliament in 1999, Mrs Marwick was the Public Affairs officer for Shelter Scotland, the homeless charity.

Mrs Marwick was elected as the Presiding Officer for the fourth session of the Scottish Parliament.