The Week Ahead in 60 Seconds
By Sarah Nimmo
After the fevered contest of Holyrood Dog of the Year to start the week, proceedings in Parliament are likely to make for a very uncomfortable week for some, particularly Shona Robison. The Cabinet Secretary is to give evidence to the Health & Sport Committee on Tuesday on revised national outcomes and then faces a Conservative debate on health on Wednesday that allows for a non-binding vote on her role. We haven’t seen the text of that motion yet, but will certainly be interested to listen in for Decision Time. General Questions will also raise the effects of the effects of recent developments at NHS Tayside on the delivery of patient care – developments that have provided Shona Robison’s opposition with ammunition over recent weeks.
Also facing pressure from the opposition will be Michael Matheson when a Topical Question calls for the Government to respond to the BBC’s report that alleges the Chief Constable of Police Scotland’s office tried to suppress elements of a report on the culture and ethos at Police Scotland in 2014. Tuesday’s meeting of the Justice Committee will likely compound recent tensions over policing in Scotland, as further evidence is taken on the merger of the British Transport Police.
Tuesday marks the introduction of minimum unit pricing and a Topical Question that will also be asked, followed by a Scottish Government debate on the Commonwealth Games. The Civil Litigation (Expenses and Group Proceeding) (Scotland) Bill goes through the stage three debate, usually on a different day from the passage of the amendments. Also, Keith Brown will appear before the Economy, Jobs & Fair Work Committee to discuss the national performance framework.
On Wednesday, the Rural Economy & Connectivity Committee hears from Fergus Ewing on crofting and continues consideration of salmon farming. The EU Withdrawal Bill will be considered by the Finance & Constitution Committee, with evidence from Mike Russell.
After General Questions on Thursday, it is likely further fire and fury over Shona Robison’s tenure will surface at First Minister’s Questions. James Dornan’s Members’ Business debate on the campaign to retain Hampden park as “the home of Scottish football” precedes a Scottish Government debate on Scotland’s Digital Connectivity. Rounding off Committee proceedings for the week will be the Social Security Committee evidence on implementation of the Scotland Acts from Jeane Freeman and others.
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