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Scottish Parliament
Debating Chamber of the Scottish Parliament (©2004 Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body/Adam ELDER/Scottish Parliament
Street address: Holyrood, Edinburgh EH99 1SP, Scotland, United Kingdom
Telephone: 44 (0) 131 348 5000
Fax: 44 (0) 131 348 5601
Contact: Linda Fabiani MSP Minister for Europe, External Affairs and Culture (Scottish National Party)
Telephone: 44 (0) 131 556 8400
Contact: Malcolm Chisholm MSP Shadow Minister for Europe, External Affairs and Culture (Scottish Labour Party)
Telephone: 44 (0) 131 348 5908
Contact: Kate Finlay Parliamentary Assistant to Malcolm Chisholm MSP
Telephone: 44 (0) 131 348 5908
Contact: Iain Smith MSP Scottish Liberal Democrat Shadow Minister for Europe, External Affairs and Culture (Scottish Liberal Democrats)
Telephone: 44 (0) 131 348 5817
Contact: Thomas Clement Parliamentary Assistant to Iain Smith MSP
Telephone: 44 (0) 131 348 5817
Contact: Ted Brocklebank MSP Scottish Conservative Shadow Minister for Europe, External Affairs and Culture (Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party)
Telephone: 44 (0) 131 348 5610
Contact: Dominic Heslop Parliamentary Assistant to Ted Brocklebank MSP
Telephone: 44 (0) 131 348 5643
Telephone: Paul Grice Chief Executive
The Scotland Act 1998 led to the establishment of the first Scottish Parliament since 1707. This devolution settlement was the result of many years of campaigning for devolved government in Scotland. The Scottish Parliament has devolved powers in matters such as education, health and prisons, which used to be dealt with by the Parliament at Westminster and are now decided in Scotland. The UK Parliament at Westminster retains power to legislate on any matter, but the convention of devolution is that the UK Parliament will not normally legislate on devolved matters without the consent of the Scottish Parliament.
On 1 July 1999 the Scottish Parliament assumed its full powers and duties. There are 129 elected representatives known as Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) who have the power to pass legislation and to alter the rate of tax. They are elected by partial proportional representation system (73 by constituency and 56 by regional vote) for a four-year term; the next elections will be held in 2007.
Their assembly is moderated by the Presiding Officer who is elected to chair the meetings of the Parliament and maintains a stance of political neutrality. The First Minister is usually the leader of the largest party or coalition. The Scottish Parliament is staffed by public servants who serve the Parliament as a whole. Like the Presiding Officer, they must also remain neutral.
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The Scotland Cultural Profile was created in partnership with the Scottish Government and the British Council Scotland
Date updated: 9 January 2008
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