Parliament in structure shake-up

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MSPs will return tomorrow from their summer recess to the biggest shake-up in the running of the Scottish Parliament since devolution.

The new three-day sitting pattern will increase opportunities for MSPs to question ministers on topical issues.

Presiding officer Tricia Marwick said it should enable the parliament to be “more responsive and agile” in reacting to major issues and holding the government to account.

Instead of committees all day Tuesday and Wednesday morning followed by meetings of the full parliament on Wednesday afternoon and all day Thursday, Holyrood will now move to committees each morning Tuesday-Thursday and plenary sessions each afternoon.

Tuesday afternoons will see the introduction of Topical Questions, which will have short lead-in times to allow questions on emerging issues.

Wednesday afternoons will begin with Portfolio Questions. And on Thursdays, the plenary session will start at 11.40am with General Questions followed by First Minister’s Questions in its usual noon slot.

Ms Mawrick indicated further changes lay ahead. She said: “It is crucial that the 
culture and working practices of the parliament evolve 
and keep pace with new 
developments.”