JACKIE Baillie has been rebuked by the deputy presiding officer of the Scottish Parliament after she spoke without being handed the floor.

The incident came during a debate in the Holyrood Chamber on the “Health Recovery” from the Covid pandemic.

Humza Yousaf, who was appointed Health Secretary following the elections on May 6, took an intervention from Baillie on the subject of mental health funding.

Baillie, speaking as Scottish Labour’s shadow cabinet secretary for health and social care, one of the three front bench positions she holds, asked if Yousaf would commit to an increase in mental health funding as a percentage of the total health budget.

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She said: “Mental health funding in England and Wales sits at roughly 11% of the overall health budget, yet in Scotland it’s something like 8.5%.

“Will he [Yousaf] get it to 11% by the end of this parliament?”

However, when she had begun speaking it seemed to be over LibDem MSP and deputy presiding officer Liam McArthur, who had prepared his microphone.

Once Baillie finished, McArthur rebuked her, causing laughter in the chamber.

The LibDem (below) said: “I’m sure Jackie Baillie is grateful for the Cabinet Secretary taking an intervention, but I would appreciate it if she would wait to be called by the chair.”

The National:

Handed the floor, Yousaf quipped: “Forgive her, presiding officer, she is new to this… she doesn’t have much experience.”

The joke was well received in the chamber, with audible laughter from those watching on.

Baillie won her Dumbarton seat in the very first Scottish parliament election in 1999 and has remained in place ever since, despite a close finish in the 2016 vote making her a key target for the SNP in 2021.

In answer to Baillie’s question, Yousaf said that the SNP minority government would commit to increasing mental health funding to 10% of the total health spend, as they had in their manifesto.

You can watch the exchange here: