James dubbed a ‘legend’ at his daughter’s school
James Kelly MSP has revealed his daughter’s school friends dubbed him a “legend” for his spat with Holyrood presiding officer Tricia Marwick last week.
The Rutherglen MSP became headline news last Tuesday when he became the first MSP in years to be thrown out the chamber.
He was making a point of order when Ms Marwick urged him to make his point quicker.
An argument followed, and James was eventually led out by a security guard and barred from the chamber for two days.
The bizarre incident left fellow MSP’s stunned and has sparked mass debate on social media about who was in the right.
Some commentators accused him of a lack of respect, but in a frank interview with the Reformer, he revealed opinions on the street were more sympathetic, including among Stonelaw pupils.
He said: “I don’t regret any of it, I was right to raise the issue and challenge the presiding officer’s ruling.
“I wanted the Scottish Parliament to have the opportunity to oppose the Trade Union Bill which would undermine the rights of trade unions throughout the constituency and Scotland.
“The overwhelming response locally has been a positive one. People have emailed me, phoned my office and come in to offer their support.
“It was interesting when my daughter, Erin, came in from school and told me I was a ‘legend’.
“I certainly wouldn’t claim legend status but I will stand up for what I believe in and if someone treats me unfairly, I will not let them come in over me.”
James also revealed his first meeting when parliament returns on January 5 after the recess will be with the presiding officer.
His role as Labour’s business manager means the pair work closely.
But he insisted she had not allowed him the right amount of time to make his point of order: “If you check the rules, it’s clear you have three minutes to make a point of order.
“I was stopped after only 40 seconds. If you check the footage you will see I was unable to continue because the presiding officer interrupted me. I stand by what I said.”
With an election looming next year, it never does a politicians much harm to get themselves noticed.
In some quarters, it’s been suggested the whole episode was engineered by James to gain publicity.
But he issued a firm denial when the Reformer put it to him: “I move points of order all the time and when I do so, I’m doing it to make a political point, with no intention of being thrown out.
“In this instance, I thought I was treated unfairly and that was why I refused to sit down.
“I was not going to have the presiding officer overruling my point of principle and be unfairly treated, and sitting down would have been accepting that.”
In the news One week after James Kelly MSP made national headlines, he has told the Reformer he doesn’t regret a thing