Presiding Officer confirms first meeting of new Parliament

08.05.2021

The first meeting of the sixth session of the Scottish Parliament will take place on Thursday 13 May.

Writing to party leaders today, the Parliament’s Presiding Officer, the Rt Hon Ken Macintosh, has announced that newly elected MSPs will be sworn in on Thursday 13 May. The elections for the Parliament’s new Presiding Officer will also take place that day.

The Presiding Officer has the power to set the date under the Scottish General Election (Coronavirus) Act 2021. In deciding on the date the Parliament will first sit, the Presiding Officer consulted with both the Electoral Commission and Electoral Management Board.

Further details of the Parliament’s first days will be issued early next week and the full text of the letter can be found below.

TEXT OF LETTER FROM PRESIDING OFFICER TO PARTY LEADERS

I am writing in relation to my role under Section 9 of the Scottish General Election (Coronavirus) Act 2021 to "fix the day on which the Parliament is first to meet after the poll for the 2021 election”.

Following consultation with the Electoral Commission and Electoral Management Board, as required under the Act, I am pleased to announce that I am now able to fix the date of the first meeting of Parliament as Thursday 13 May, when newly elected Members will be sworn in and elect a new Presiding Officer. Colleagues can expect to receive further information on the arrangements for both items of business from the Parliamentary Business Team in the coming days.

This date will now be made public and announced in the Business Bulletin.

I understand that this is a time of mixed emotions and fortunes for your parties and candidates. I would however like to take the opportunity to thank you for your support and co-operation throughout the last session and to also pass on my best wishes for whatever the next five years hold for you and your parties and for the Parliament.

ENDS

Background

Under sections 84(1) and (2), of the Scotland Act 1998, a person who is returned as a Member of the Scottish Parliament cannot take part in parliamentary proceedings until he or she has taken the oath of allegiance or made a solemn affirmation.

This is always the first item of business post-election.

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