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Time for Holyrood to return in full

Scottish Parliament business should resume in full to ensure maximum scrutiny of the SNP government’s response to the coronavirus, the Scottish Conservatives have said.

Since lockdown, Holyrood has only operated on a limited basis, with much of the day-to-day business grinding to a halt.

Now leader Jackson Carlaw has said the parliament must get back into full swing, taking into account social distancing and making more use of technology.

He argued that while First Minister’s Questions and some committee events were still taking place, many other important aspects needed to return during the first phase of lockdown exit.

Opposition party debates, ministerial statements and other items of business should now resume, he argued.

The UK parliament is set to return to business this coming week.

Scottish Conservative leader Jackson Carlaw said:

“Business at Holyrood was suspended for good reason.

“But it’s now time to get things back up and running.

“It’s just not possible to fully hold the SNP government to account when Holyrood is only meeting once a week.

“It’s perfectly possible for other key processes to return, like opposition debates and committee sessions, while observing social distancing and making full use of technology.

“We’re not saying Holyrood needs to be jam-packed full of MSPs again – there is still a role to play for digital contributions for those unable to come back.

“But as Scotland moves out of lockdown, as well as holding the SNP to account on Covid-19, we have to get back to other issues of importance too.

“Let’s not forget that prior to coronavirus the SNP was being exposed in Holyrood for its shambolic approach to the domestic agenda.

“Those failings have not gone away, which is why we need the Scottish Parliament back and operating better than ever.”

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