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by Jenni Davidson
22 June 2021
Scottish Government told off for not making Manchester travel restriction announcement to parliament

Alison Johnstone - Image credit: Holyrood

Scottish Government told off for not making Manchester travel restriction announcement to parliament

The Scottish Government was given a telling off for not announcing the new restriction on travel to Manchester and Salford to parliament in the chamber, even though it had been decided to put in place the restriction on Thursday morning, a day when parliament was sitting.

Scottish Parliament presiding officer Alison Johnstone took the government to task after it announced the new restriction via an answer to a written question, rather than making an announcement to MSPs in the chamber.

Instead the main announcement was made at a televised briefing on Friday.

Johnstone said: “Before I move on to the next item of business, I wish to make a short statement.

“Concerns have been raised regarding the use of a government-initiated question [GIQ] to announce the addition of Manchester and Salford to the list of areas where common travel restrictions apply.

“I understand this mechanism has been used on earlier occasions to make such announcements.

“Notably, in this case the announcement was made by GIQ on Thursday 17 June, a sitting day when there may have been an opportunity for members to scrutinise the decision in the chamber.

“I would therefore ask the Minister for Parliamentary Business to reflect on whether GIQs are an appropriate method to use for these announcements on days when parliament is sitting.”

Read the most recent article written by Jenni Davidson - The Holyrood baby: More likely to live in poverty now than the day she was born

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