Lewis Macdonald elected temporary Deputy Presiding Officer
The Scottish Labour MSP for North East Scotland will join Linda Fabiani and Christine Grahame as DPOs
Lewis Macdonald has been elected temporary Deputy Presiding Officer (DPO) of the Scottish Parliament, as part of Holyrood's response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Scottish Labour MSP for North East Scotland will join Linda Fabiani and Christine Grahame as DPOs.
Macdonald was elected using the parliament’s electronic voting system, rather than paper ballots.
He was the only nomination to the position.
Immediately after the vote, Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh told members: “I can inform members that a majority have voted in favour.
“Lewis Macdonald is duly elected as deputy presiding officer and I offer him my congratulations.”
Macdonald is also the convenor of the health and sport committee, where he has questioned Health Secretary Jeane Freeman on the Scottish Government’s response to COVID-19.
He also recently wrote to Minister for Parliamentary Business and Veterans Graeme Dey to request an extension to the Stage 1 deadline for the Forensic Medical Service Bill (Victims of Sexual Offences).
Macdonald argued that “scrutiny is being hampered” by witnesses being prevented from attending meetings because of COVID-19.
Macdonald said: “It is an honour to be elected to chair future sessions of the Scottish Parliament as a Deputy Presiding Officer, and I am grateful to MSPs of all parties for supporting me.
"These are of course the most difficult circumstances faced by people across Scotland in my lifetime. My purpose in taking on this role for the duration of the current crisis is to help the Parliament to work and speak for all those we represent.”