By a Newsnet reporter
Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont has been reprimanded twice by Holyrood's Presiding Officer after accusing First Minister Alex Salmond of being dishonest and then leveling the same accusation against the Scottish Government.
During exchanges at First Minister’s Questions the MSP described First Minister Alex Salmond as "dishonest".

Ms Lamonts remarks followed heated exchanges over the viability of a Scottish oil fund, something the SNP has pledged to create in an independent Scotland.

The Scottish Labour leader's remark brought an instant rebuke from Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick who ordered the MSP to withdraw it.  Lamont immediately substituted the word for "not accurate" and continued her attack on the First Minister.

Johann Lamont's initial reprimand

However, the Labour MSP quickly found herself in hot water again when she repeated the accusation moments later, this time levelling it at the entire Scottish Government.

The Scottish Labour leader was reprimanded moments later

Despite the unprecedented nature of the double reprimand, the first such against a Holyrood leader, BBC Scotland downplayed the significance of the censures and led with Ms Lamont's attack on a proposed oil fund in news bulletins.  The broadcaster both on radio and TV, edited out the Scottish Labour leader's initial accusation against the First Minister, showing only the second attack on the Scottish Government.

Later BBC news bulletins also included further attacks on Mr Salmond by new Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael.

How the BBC reported the exchanges

The reprimand is the second serious censure suffered by Scottish Labour, after one of the party's MPs was barred from the Holyrood Chamber last year.  Michael McMahon was suspended from the chamber for a day after he shouted "You're a disgrace" at the Presiding Officer.

In September 2012 the Presiding Officer wrote to all MSPs warning them against bad behaviour in the Holyrood chamber.  Tricia Marwick urged members to "conduct themselves in a courteous and respectful manner".


# jimmcdougall 2013-10-10 17:18
"First they ignore you, then they insult you, then they fight you, then you win."

Mahatma Gandhi
# clootie 2013-10-10 17:20
Long overdue.

I don't know why she has been allowed to get away with doing party political broadcasts and smear campaigns under the guise of questions for so long.

The BBC ignore the serious nature of the censure - what a surprise!
# Astonished 2013-10-10 17:27
The BBC are truly an affront to democracy.
# Big Eye 2013-10-10 17:30
She is rattled and knows her campaign is in trouble. It is ironic that it is precisely this type of behaviour that is responsible for Labour's demise.

The Scottish people are becoming increasingly fed up with Labour's negativity and behaviour.
# Drew1314 2013-10-10 17:43
The BBC & The Daily Mail (according to the BBC text) obtained a freedom of information request - unlikely bedfellows - or are they?

Ms Lamont should have been made to withdraw the comments, instead of flaffing over her response.

She said she didn't know what other words to use - she was a school teacher for goodness sake - thank goodness she didn't teach any of my kids and grandkids.

As an aside, in the last hour three different reporters were used to report this by the BBC on BBC news 24, BBC news at six and Reporting Scotland.
# GrutsForTea 2013-10-10 18:03
I am in the process of weening my kids off Cbeebies and then my TV licence goes in the bin. The BBC don't deserve my money.
# Keilers 2013-10-10 21:09
Install utorrent and look up you'd be amazed by the kids films and programs you can download. My kids haven't watched live tv in two years, they're addicted to superted right now!
# jinglyjangly 2013-10-10 18:31
I wonder if we can do a foi to find out the number of people who have cancelled there TV Licences in the last year!!!
# tartanpigsy 2013-10-10 19:49
Quoting jinglyjangly:
I wonder if we can do a foi to find out the number of people who have cancelled there TV Licences in the last year!!!

That is a good idea JJ but BBC have already on a couple of occasions squirmed their way out of FOI requests.

On the topic of non payment of the licence fee I would urge everyone who reads this site to withdraw payment.
I have withheld payment for the last year, many others for even longer.

TV Licensing is a private company created by the BBC. They have NO AUTHORITY to enter your property UNLESS you grant them permission.
I have had them at the door on 3 or 4 occasions. They have no power unless YOU empower them, DON'T.
There is no need to remove equipment or disable your Sky/ Freeview box.
Those who are charged each year for non payment are charged because of their own ignorance/fear in the face of authority.
# rabkae 2013-10-10 20:12
I've cancelled my Direct Debit and anything through my door re. the TV Licence is going straight to Pacific Quay for the attention of a Mr Boothman, who I believe performs some function or other for the (North) British Broadcasting Corporation.

Please feel free to join me.
# bringiton 2013-10-10 18:50
The purpose of this,of course,is to try and discredit the white paper due out next month.
Scottish Government liars:white paper lies.
It won't work because,unlike Labour,the SG has a good record in delivering on promises and the Scottish electorate know it.
# Northesk 2013-10-10 18:55
Lamont is a national embarrassment. Even when hurling inane accusations she still has to read from a script. Incredible.

Labour in Scotland is utterly bereft of people with the potential for leadership. Lamont is a classic example of a puppet with no poise and little in the way of intellect.

Can you imagine her as First Minister of our country? Her immediate predecessors in the post were out of the same hopelessly unimaginative mould, but Lamont is toe-curlingly awful from the moment she opens her foul ranting mouth. She does "graceless" and "vapid" a disservice.
# xyz 2013-10-10 18:57
It seems like she is getting away with it to me and so is her partner in crime, the BBC.

She has not apologised and therefore should be banned from the chamber for two weeks.
# Teri 2013-10-10 19:11
Johann Lamont has been offensive and insolent to the First Minister and the Scottish Government on a great number of occasions since she became leader of the Scottish Labour Group.

Until now the Presiding Officer has done nothing about it and today she did not follow it through. What message is she giving out? Lamont should have been put in her place a long long time ago.

She seems to see herself as beyond reproach. Quite frankly she shows no professional standards and is completely unparliamentary . I don't think parliament is the right place for her.

However, on the up side she is doing herself no favours. Most people will see her as not the type of person they want in government as she gives the parliament a bad name.

Had this been the Northern Ireland or Welsh Assemblies she would have been put out of the chamber a long time ago.
# call me dave 2013-10-10 19:37
But she's the best the labour have got and that's it in a nut shell. You can only pass the parcel round so many times and it is her turn.

I have (honest) tried to find some mitigating traits in Ms Lamont but I can't. She taints anything positive in the labour party and is aided and abetted by ... well you know the others.

Only a few months to go to the result and what a lift it will give to Scotland if a YES is declared. These present on the opposition will melt away and a few lurkers on the fringes will try to re-establish a foothold in the new parliament in 2016.

If it's NO. . .be afraid, be very afraid!

The six parts of the 'Fear Factor' are now being shown as a complete 34min film. Fantastic.
# John MacIntyre OBE 2013-10-10 19:30
No reason to withdraw a description of Alex Salmond and his SNP Government that is wholly accurate - the evidence supporting Johann Lamont's description is irrefutable.
# Davy 2013-10-10 20:26
Let me guess you are watching FM's QT through a labour-rose-tinted TV, but I am sure you can tell us on the subject of dishonesty, if Johann Lamont ever apologised to parliament over the none existant rape case ???
# brusque 2013-10-10 21:00
Quoting John MacIntyre OBE:
No reason to withdraw a description of Alex Salmond and his SNP Government that is wholly accurate - the evidence supporting Johann Lamont's description is irrefutable.

Are we using the same definition of the word irrefutable? (ie, that cannot be denied, refuted, or disproved). I would take it as a courtesy if you would give me an example of Ms Lamont's claims of dishonesty.

Many thanks old chap. You seem to be enjoying the Scottish issues discussed at Holyrood; do you watch FMQs down there in England?
# tartanpigsy 2013-10-10 20:17
As an aside to my comment about licence payment above, I feel also that it is important that everyone who reads this and other pro-Indy sites is aware of the name Paul Sinclair.

I know some are already but for those that don't know Paul Sinclair is the advisor responsible for the destructive, negative tactics that dominate everything the Labour Party in Scotland does. Whether it is seen as Labour's only hope of landing blows on the SG, or is something deeper (the erosion of public confidence in the whole way Holyrood operates) is a matter of opinion.

Whichever it is we need to ensure that post Independence our parliament is required to operate in the spirit hoped for at its inception in '99.

People disengage from politics when they see this behaviour, hence the decrease in voting numbers over the last 3 decades.
We must rid ourselves of those who attempt to pervert our democracy.
# bringiton 2013-10-10 20:39
I agree TP.
Spin Doctors such as Sinclair can only operate through TV and printed media.
People who are interested in politics know that the internet is the place to go for information where the Spin Doctor's influence is greatly diminished.
The BBC in Scotland is increasingly being seen through jaundiced eyes by many Scots as not being a reliable source of information.
The internet makes manipulation of event reporting more difficult because they cannot shutdown the flow of information.
The future for Spin Doctors is not looking good and a change of career would be advisable.
# Diabloandco 2013-10-10 20:23
If anyone is foolish enough to engage with the gentleman from Woking I shall berate them soundly.
# Willow 2013-10-10 20:29
On this occasion further action should have been taken by the Presiding Officer as Ms Lamont offered no apology and appeared to ignore the warnings.She should be barred from parliament for a designated period of time. I thought that was how it worked?
Lamont is like a heedless chicken when she doesn't have a script to go by.

Lamont also often forgets to speak through the chair & it's gone unchecked for too long, she's not the only one and it's not just the Labour Party members who are guilty of this. However Ms Lamont is the leader of her party & she should know better and lead by example, after all she is apparently the best Labour have.

The Presiding Officer needs to up her game and show some authority more often.

It's supposed to be questions time - Not opposition Statement time!
# Aplinal 2013-10-10 20:30
Two things struck me about FMQs this week regarding JL. The first was that AT LAST the Presiding Officer pulled her up, not once but twice, and the second was that JL did NOT in fact withdraw her insinuation.

She should have been made to categorically withdraw the remark. She didn't, she simply used another phrase. that is NOT good enough. She should be made to apologies and formally withdraw the remarks or be suspended. (I think that would be the case in Westminster?)
# ds12 2013-10-10 20:42
Yet again its not difficult for Alex Salmond to know whats coming up. He just has to watch or listen to BBC Scotland the day before.
Its pathetic, yet still they deny that the BBC in Scotland and the Labour party are one in the same.
All that was missing was a big folder marked TOP SECRET.
# call me dave 2013-10-10 21:03
This is a bit of a story from last week.
Posted on WoS Tonight.

Sound quality poor but the natives are restless. Anas Sarwar Clydebank debate.
# Davy 2013-10-10 21:44
Its a bit of a bugger when your audience see's through your bullshit, I suppose labour will have to go back to "invite only audiences" from now on, and only at last minute announced locations.

Still I enjoyed that, Saor Alba.

Vote YES, Vote Scotland.
# Dundonian West 2013-10-11 10:24
Watched the full Clydebank debate. Labour just cannot say why we're BetterTogether. Anas faled to deliver credible reasons for being BetterTogether with his right wing socialist party and also the Tories in the UK parliament.
I'm voting Yes next year.
# cynicalHighlander 2013-10-10 21:46
He lived up to his nickname.

AYE.Have a dream.:

EDIT in reply to call me dave
# Ian Brotherhood 2013-10-10 22:33
Does anyone know if there exists any written instruction for the guidance of Scottish parliamentarian s on how to properly acknowledge the Chair's request for 'withdrawal' of an unacceptable statement?

(I wouldn't know where to start looking, but someone must...?)
# call me dave 2013-10-10 23:10
# call me dave 2013-10-10 23:46
Falkirk bubbles into the Herald.
# John SJ 2013-10-11 07:00
The exchange in Holyrood was a farce, the Scottish Government has always said that an oil fund would only be created in an independent Scotland when the country was in surplus.
Johann Lamont's performance at First Minister's Questions yesterday was a disgrace, not only were her allegations carefully scripted in advance (and poorly read) so was her responses to the Presiding Officer.
The Scottish Government’s Fiscal Commission report says that Scotland could start an oil fund before being in surplus, have had a billion pounds in the fund by now and we have known reserves of one and a half trillion pounds worth of oil available over the next forty years.
The dodgy dossier was the work of successive UK Governments who buried the McCrone Report and the true value of North Sea Oil for thirty years.
# gus1940 2013-10-11 07:20
Oh No! McIntyre OBE who pollutes the Comments daily on The Herald has arrived to bless Newsnet with his rubbish.

Re Lamont's truly disgraceful performance yesterday she did not withdraw her comments and should be punished.

On the matter of The Oil Fund the Project Feart brigade seem to imagine that both the electorate and The SNP are stupid and that an SNP Government in an Indpendent Scotland would increase taxes or reduce Health, Education or any other budgets just to put money into an Oil Fund. That would be political suicide.

The proposed Oil Fund(s) would receive cash only in the good times when the state of the economy allowed it - only Lamont and her idiot pals would imagine otherwise.

Pi--ing £500Million against the wall on trams nobody wanted is an example of money that could have gone into an OIl Fund although at the time The A9 might have had a better claim on the cash.
# gerrydotp 2013-10-11 08:31
I've sent off a letter to the presiding officer to complain about the behaviour of Ms Lamont, and in particular the fact that she completely ignored the PO's request to withdraw. Time for the PO to be a bit more robust in maintaining a good standard of debate in the chamber. Lamont needs a very public rebuke.
# Willow 2013-10-11 08:50
According to the Courier Labour sources say they stood by the remark & insist it had not been withdrawn.

A Scottish Parliament spokesman said: “Ms Lamont said that she accepted the chairs’ ruling and the Presiding Officer considers the matter closed.”

The bullishness of the Labour party is astonishing!

As far as I'm concerned if this was the FM he'd of been called back to Parliament to make a statement & the MSM would have it plastered over the front pages.
# BRL 2013-10-11 10:24
Brian Taylor on his BBC round-up for the later news bulletin said that JL did indeed apologise to the Speaker; I only heard her say she accepted what the Speaker had said, but she then went back on course again to say the the SG couldn't be trusted moments later and she was again reprimanded. Methinks, Brian Taylor was hearing what he desperately wanted JL to say rather than the actuality.

Can the Speaker take retrospective action if needed?
# gopher3 2013-10-11 15:18
It seems the only role JL has is to insult Alex Salmond and talk down the Scottish Government and Scotland. She just gets wheeled out once a week gives her speech full of doom, gloom and insults, then disappears. Then it's reported on the MSM that she gave a fantastic speech, and has the SNP worried. She is a disgrace to Scottish politics.

Vote YES 2014
# Rafiki 2013-10-11 18:42
I recall that Wendy Alexander was reported to the Standards Committee by a member of the public as she had breached parliamentary rules by accepting a donation from outwith Scotland.
Just wonder if Johann Lamont could be charged with bringing the parliament into disrepute? Might help to put a democratic brake on her lying to parliament
# bringiton 2013-10-11 19:02
If Westminster's main spokesperson was to be suspended,I imagine her fellow unionists would boycott the parliament which would give the unionist media a field day.
# gus1940 2013-10-12 05:09
Given that the Dunfermline Election is for a Holyrood seat I would have thought that Lamont would be the star of the show for Labour but she seems to be happier hiding away in her bunker.

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