MSPs To Be Sworn Into Holyrood

12 May 2016, 07:52

MSPs will be sworn into the Scottish Parliament today in the first business of Holyrood's fifth session.

All members will take an oath or make a solemn affirmation in the parliament's chamber, with outgoing presiding officer Tricia Marwick overseeing proceedings.

The party leaders will be the first to be sworn in, followed by MSPs in alphabetical order.

Nicola Sturgeon intends to lead an SNP minority government after her party won 63 of the 129 seats in last week's election, and the party said its MSPs will wear the ``white rose of Scotland'' during the ceremony.

The rose was the subject of Hugh MacDiarmid poem The Little White Rose, and has been worn by SNP members as they are sworn in at Holyrood since 1999.

The first job for MSPs after being sworn in will be to elect a new presiding officer with Ms Marwick retiring.

The role is politically neutral with responsibilities including chairing sessions of parliament in Holyrood's debating chamber and representing the parliament at home and abroad.

A number of high-profile MSPs are in the running for the position with former Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont among the first to announce her candidacy.

Labour MSPs Ken Macintosh and Elaine Smith and Conservative members Murdo Fraser and John Scott have also put themselves forward for the position.

Newly elected MSPs joined Prince Charles at a special service on Wednesday evening before the first sitting of the new Scottish Parliament.

The Kirking of the Parliament was held at St Giles' Cathedral in Edinburgh with party leaders, new MSPs and representatives of Scottish society in attendance.

There were a number of blessing and readings and a sermon by the Right Reverend Angus Morrison, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

He congratulated those who have just been elected, but added: ''I might want to remind the MSPs that the real boss is the people who elected them.''

He said: ''I appeal to all of you whom the citizens of this country have elected to serve as members of the Scottish Parliament to remember there will be times when party loyalty can be set aside in exchange for working together harmoniously and constructively for the good of Scotland and its people.``