James dubbed a ‘leg­end’ at his daugh­ter’s school

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Dou­glas Dickie

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

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