Labour MSP in neo-Nazi visit row

Written by Tom Freeman on 14 June 2018 in News

Neil Findlay disputes the Scottish Parliament's claim that MSPs are informed of visiting dignitaries in advance

Neil Findlay MSP - Image credit: Parliament TV

Labour MSP Neil Findlay has rejected a claim by the Scottish Parliament’s presiding officer that MSPs are routinely made aware of which politicians from foreign nations are visiting the chamber.

The outburst comes after a row surrounding MSPs being invited by the PO to welcome the speaker from the Ukrainian parliament, who visited Holyrood and was applauded by MSPs despite having links to far right groups.

Andriy Parubiy is a founder of the Ukraine’s ultra-nationalist Social-National Party of Ukraine.

Following criticism from Findlay, a Scottish Parliament spokesperson said: “The Presiding Officer’s role is to welcome speakers, heads of government, elected parliamentarians and ambassadors on the Parliament’s behalf.  Members are informed in advance of the visits of speakers representing other legislatures.” 

But Findlay took to Twitter to deny the claim.

“This statement is just wrong – as far as I am aware members are not told of visiting representatives in advance,” he said.

“There must be a review to ensure MSPs are informed beforehand who the guests are that we are invited to welcome with applause. Neo-Nazis shouldn’t be among them.”

He told Holyrood it was not listed in business bulletins for MSPs.

“I have never in seven years been advised,” he said.

Parubiy has already held meetings this week with the French and UK parliaments.

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