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Continuity Bill – Ken Macintosh should resign as Presiding Officer – Towards Indyref2…

Continuity Bill – Ken Macintosh should resign as Presiding Officer

Back in February this year the Scottish Government published its own alternative to the UK Government’s EU Withdrawal Bill.

The Continuity Bill was designed to ensure devolved powers controlled by Brussels came back to Scotland after Brexit.

Brussells had control over areas that are devolved to the Scottish parliament.  These powers ought to have returned automatically to Scotland.

Theresa May had initially promised no decision would be made unless all of the nations of the UK agreed.  This pledge was soon trashed when it became clear Holyrood was not going to give its consent to powers it controlled automatically going to London the day after Brexit.

The day the Continuity Bill was published, it emerged Holyrood’s Presiding Officer had ruled it outwith the Scottish Parliament’s competence.

Ken Macintosh’s decision put him at odds with Scotland’s top law officer.  Macintosh’s decision also handed a stick to Scotland’s Unionist media. This was a media that had sought to play down the issue of the Power Grab.


Instead of reporting on the reasons for the Continuity Bill, Macintosh’s decision allowed the British Nationalist media to portray it as an illegal stunt.

Scotland’s Lord Advocate was forced to come to the Holyrood chamber and explain why Macintosh was wrong.  An unprecedented address brought on by what we now know was a poorly advised judgement by a Presiding Officer.

Yesterday the ruling from the UK Supreme Court revealed that the Lord Advocate was correct.  At the time of the publication of the bill by the Scottish Government, it was competent … save for one small insignificant section.

We know now that the UK Government acted deviously in referring the matter to the Supreme Court.  The delay allowed London to change the law.  It granted its own Withdrawal Bill protected status and thus rendered key sections of the Continuity Bill incompetent.

We also know that the Lord Advocate complained about the actions of the UK Government but that he has never received an answer to his letter.

Ken Macintosh has some explaining to do.  Why did he call into question the legal competence of Scotland’s top law officer?  What advice was Macintosh privvy to that so led him to take the side of Westminster against Holyrood?

It has been opined that Macintosh’s decision was politically motivated.  That he feared the Continuity Bill might lead to legislation on independence if it was allowed to pass.  In February The Herald newspaper claimed just such a concern was indeed behind Macintosh’s ruling.

Convention has it that if the Presiding Officer says a bill is outwith the parliament’s competence then that is enough for it not to consider the bill.  Macintosh’s decision would normally have led to the Continuity Bill dying there and then.

We can’t know whether the Presiding Officer sought to thwart competent legislation for political reasons or not.  What we do know is that he was poorly advised.  His flawed decision led to countless negative news reports about a very important piece of legislation that sought to protect the Scottish Parliament.

Macintosh is on record as saying he is a devolutionist.  He ought to have sided with Scotland’s top law officer and Scotland’s parliament in protecting devolution.  He didn’t.  He stood with London against the parliament he is supposed to serve.

Ken Macintosh should acknowledge he picked the wrong side and step down as Presiding Officer.

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27 thoughts on “Continuity Bill – Ken Macintosh should resign as Presiding Officer

  1. Jockanese Wind Talker

    Ken’s a British Nationalist.

    Ken’s a Member of BritNat Labour in Scotland.

    Ken’s decision to allow the delay to Royal Assent of the Scottish Governments Continuity Bill (by questioning the Parliaments Competence) facilitated the powers returning from the EU to Holyrood being STOLEN by Westminster.

    Ken’s place in Scotlands history has been assured.

    Watch here:


    1. Jockanese Wind Talker

      It was not a fuck up Davy.

      It was an intentional act.

      Done on the interests of a foreign Government.

        1. Jockanese Wind Talker

          Aye, fair enough Davy.

          I’ll meet you in the middle.

          He’s a British Nationalist Fuck Wit.


  2. Margaret Eleftheriou

    But what can we, the public, do about this? It is not enough to simply dash off some posts here and there. Surely someone, or some organisation, can at the very least, make an official complaint, call for some action.

  3. Proud Cybernat

    Thing is though, there was “…save for one small insignificant section” that the SC found was outwith the ScotParl’s competence and this will become MacIntosh’s crutch. He will claim that if he had allowed the Bill thru then the ScotParl would, however small, have illegally passed legislation. Was that 1 small section the reason why MacIntosh blocked the Bill? Was he ever asked his reason(s)?

    1. Stewbail

      The whole Bill was taken to court not one small section of it. If it was one small clause, it could have been discussed/debated and changed as nescessary.
      And I doubt if the presiding officers knowledge of the legalities trumps Scotlands top law officer to the point he can identify a certain paragraph being outwith the SG durisdiction allowing him to deem the whole bill illegal.
      Ken McIntosh knew exactly what he was doing in delaying the progress of the legislation and smacks of collusion with other parties in a bid to sabotage the Bill.

  4. bringiton

    Two things as far as he is concerned.
    His personal “belief” in devolution is just that,belief.
    The reality is that Westminster and it’s Tory governments still rule over Scotland despite all the
    phoney legislation designed to fool Scots into thinking they have a say in what happens in our country.
    Secondly,if he acted against legal advice then he should go.
    If not,then he needs to get more competent advisers.
    Either way,not a good day for those representatives of the British establishment in Holyrood.

  5. Alasdair Macdonald

    The Presiding Officer of the Welsh Assembly, at the same time as the Scottish Parliament was debating its bill, had ruled that a similar Bill by the Welsh Assembly was constitutional.

    Since Mr MacIntosh does not have a legal background, his view must either have been just that his personal view, or, he must have received a legal opinion.

    If it was the latter, from whom did he receive such an opinion? Does he have a separate legal adviser to the law officers of the Scottish Government, both the actual political government and the apparatus of governance of Scotland?

    1. Proud Cybernat

      The UK Civil Servant (don’t know his name – bald bloke with glasses) that sits beside him throughout parliamentary sessions provides legal advice as and when required.

  6. millie

    Why is everyone surprised, now?

    Many will remember the Westminster ‘Power Grab’ debate -(statement)- before the bill was hurriedly passed to the Lords, when Liddington took no interventions from SNP MPs. The outcome was predetermined by Westminster.

    (Where was BBC Pacific Quay that day? – They were telling us that no-one was interested in ‘power grabs’. They were too busy analysing the English origins of haggis and tartan instead).

    And, since it was ‘obvious’ that this outcome was in the ‘offing’, via the Lords shenanigans- and that the Lord Advocate had complained, and been ignored. – THE SNP – yes you, Keith Brown should have had ‘POWER GRAB’ info hoardings across Scotland, in every constituency. – to inform people. To alert the public of the ‘facts’.

    Because now, the horse has bolted, and the public (particularly those who do not use social media/ internet), have no sense of what the Supreme Court case was about – and have absolutely zilch idea what a POWER GRAB means- It ‘does not compute’ unless the information is given to people by the SNP.- re; (fracking is the future, GMS crops, privatised NHS etc).

    In the longer term, surely that’s what – ‘Civil Service Local’ – is all about? They are answerable to the Cabinet Office – David Liddington in London. Soon, these ‘existing’ UK civil servants and Mundell will be installed in the lovely New Waverly Hub, -with media centre etc.

    Surely, everything is being set up so that more UK civil servants are gradually employed, as Holyrood’s power gradually winds down? Or am I missing something?


    The SNP needs to waken up- ‘and fast’. I’m concerned that it is too late. We shouldn’t be waiting for a starting pistol. Campaigning should have begun months ago, to ‘inform’ people.

    The SNP’s ‘hip’ communications team might be very ‘internet’ savvy- but they are certainly not getting the facts out on the ground. That’s a disgrace.

    BTW- I remember Mike Russell commenting that Jersey, Guernsey and IOM passed their own EU withdrawal Bills without legal challenge from UK Government. – only Scotland challenged.

  7. Lochside

    The SNP should never have tolerated the Supreme Court in the first place. It is illegal under the terms of the Act of Union and protection of Scots’ Law. But where was the Scottish Legal establishment when they were being ritually castrated by Tony Blair and WM?

    The answer is the same place that all our ‘Institutions’, such as the Churches, the football clubs, the whole of civic Scotland , and the SNP, were all looking the other way.

    The people of Scotland have been betrayed throughout history by their ‘leaders’…weak and corrupt and easily bought. I don’t see any change with the latest surrender of our sovereignty despite having, unlike the past, universal suffrage, justifying our desire to rule ourselves.
    The only rallying point is the AUOB and the Yes movement. I’m afraid the SNP are nowt but chattering lawyers and twitterers. When will a real leader emerge?

    1. Lorna Campbell

      The SNP strongly opposed the setting up of the Supreme Court. The Court of Session, in Edinburgh, was intended, according to the Treaty terms to be the court of last appeal in Scottish civil cases, constitutional matters, etc. Shortly after the Treaty was signed and ratified in the Acts of Union for translation into Scottish and English law, the English MPs took it upon themselves to remove our court of last appeal to Westminster. I have asked Scottish Unionists if they think what has been done to Scotland has been fair, and they, to a man and woman, believe that it was all for the best. Thereafter, the filched powers remained there until the UKSC came into being, and this was an opportunity to right an old wrong. Was it righted? Was it hell. So, folks, the theft of our powers from the EU is nothing new. McCrone? The 6000+ waters from Scotland’s maritime integrity? Faslane and Coulport? Unionists believe all this is just dandy. That is what we are up against. They are in the same league as the French Vichy collaborators.

  8. Scott

    KenMctosh ex BBC Lab MSP now in charge the same man let Davidson off all the time,remember her “sit down” to FM he did nothing so what do we expect from him.
    “sleekit ask Gove” sums them all up.

    1. JohnW

      Remember it well , he should have intervened but didn’t, if it had been Nicola Sturgeon he would have , Britnats stick together , regardless of their colour !

  9. Graeme

    Lets not forget Mcintosh is also a fully paid up member of Scotland in Union his decision to call into question the competency of the bill was purely politically motivated in the interests of a foreign power

    in almost every country in the world that is a serious crime it’s called treason

  10. Jon

    Are there any grounds for legal action against McIntosh. Does his position give him immunity regardless of his deeds.
    Can he be got rid off for misleading statement

  11. John Calderhead

    We have been stitched up. Brit media already reporting falsehoods over this decision. I fear that any decision regarding indyref or EU membership made by the Scottish “government” or electorate will be rendered null and void by UK law Lords. Scotland is now a toothless tiger.

  12. Jennifer Low

    I wish i was able to understand politics but i can’t retain and process too much information.

    What i would like to know is
    A) can this be reversed?
    B) can Mcintosh be prosecuted?

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