Social sciences students studying the Parliamentary Studies module at UWS attended a virtual talk last week from former Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament, Rt Hon Ken McIntosh.
Ken, who held the role of Presiding Officer between 2016 and 2021, discussed his former position as well as the workings of the Scottish Parliament, where he was first elected as a Labour MSP in 1999.
Discussing his talk, Ken said: “It was a real pleasure to join the Parliamentary Studies class and to talk to such a bright and engaging group of students. Understanding democratic processes and how parliaments work has never been more important and I want to thank the University of the West of Scotland on the excellent work they are doing in this area.”
The Presiding Officer’s responsibilities include:
- chairing meetings attended by all MSPs in the Debating Chamber
- selecting the questions asked at the weekly First Minister’s Question Time
- chairing Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body meetings
- chairing Parliamentary Bureau meetings
The Presiding Officer also represents the Scottish Parliament at home and abroad and is supported by two Deputy Presiding Officers.
Margaret Arnott, Professor of Public Policy in UWS’s School of Education and Social Sciences, said: “This was a great opportunity for our students to hear first-hand from someone who has been involved in the Scottish Parliament since its creation in 1999. I’d like to thank Ken for taking the time out to share his experience with our students.”
The Parliamentary Studies module is co-taught via a collaboration between UWS and the UK Parliament. The module provides students with a detailed knowledge and understanding of how Parliament works in both theory and practice.
A UWS student on the module said: “It was great having the former Presiding Officer along discussing his time in the Scottish Parliament. This was useful insight and great first-hand experience on how the role operates.”