SCOTTISH Green MSPs infuriated their Tory counterparts by leaving the debating chamber ahead of Holyrood’s celebrations for the Queen’s Jubilee.

The First Minister opened a session to pay tribute to the monarch reaching 70 years of service where MSPs spoke for around 15 minutes.

But one group was conspicuously absent - the Greens - who left the Chamber before the short debate began, much to the fury of one top Scottish Tory.

It comes as the FM confirmed that the Scottish Government will present the Queen with a series of gifts on behalf of the Scottish people - including a limited edition bottle of whisky, a tartan throw and planting 70 trees on the monarch’s behalf.

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The FM said that the Queen had been a “very good friend” to the Scottish Parliament for the past 23 years of its existence as she led tributes.

But, the Greens decided to abstain from the debate, adding that they would serve their constituents instead.

A spokesperson told The National: “The Scottish Green Party believes that the people should choose a head of state, and that person should be accountable to the electorate.

“We respect others hold different beliefs and have no wish to deprive them of their celebration.

“Our MSPs decided to absent themselves from today’s short debate and vote on the Royal celebration and instead spend their time serving their constituents.”

The National:


Tory MSP Murdo Fraser (above), during the debate, tweeted: “There’s a motion @ScotParl right now recognising the #PlatinumJubilee and paying tribute to HM Queen Elizabeth.

“Every single @scottishgreens MSP has just upped and walked out of the Chamber.”

Fraser’s replies were filled with supportive Scots who backed the Greens' move and congratulated them for doing so, while others dubbed it “student politics 101”.

Sharon Downey, Tory MSP for South Scotland, later tweeted: "Disappointing to see the Greens leave the Chamber for the debate in honour of HM the Queen's Platinum Jubilee.

"She's a remarkable woman regardless of how you feel about the monarchy. It doesn't take much to acknowledge that."

Annie Wells, Tory MSP for Glasgow Region, also tweeted: "The very crass stunt b[y] the Scottish greens will not distract this Parliament from extending our best wishes to HM The Queen as we celebrate the #PlatinumJubilee.

"I welcome the speeches from across the Chamber, as MSPs and the country celebrate this historic event."

Meanwhile, in her opening remarks the First Minister set out how Queen Elizabeth has had an impact in Scotland and addressed the Scottish Parliament on a number of occasions.

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She told MSPs: “Her regular visits to Holyrood, both to this chamber and of course to her residence across the road from here, reflect the fact – as indeed she noted when she first addressed us – that Scotland occupies 'a special place' in her affections.

“Her love of Balmoral is very well known. Her first ever public engagement was at Aberdeen Sailors’ home in 1944. When she visited Scotland seven decades ago, following her accession to the throne, tens of thousands of people turned out to welcome her.

“Since then, Her Majesty has played an integral part in the story of modern Scotland.

“In the past decade alone, she has helped mark many important occasions here.”

Those included the Commonwealth Games in 2014, the Borders railway opening in 2015, the Queensferry Crossing opening in 2017 and many other events, the FM explained.

The FM then said celebrations in Scotland will include Jubilee beacons which will be lit across the country tomorrow night, and a national thanksgiving service will be held at Glasgow Cathedral on Sunday.

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She also confirmed that on behalf of the people of Scotland, the Scottish Government will present The Queen with a limited edition Johnnie Walker whisky, with a special design to celebrate the beauty of Scotland’s plants and wildlife, and a throw made from the tartan commissioned in honour of the three bridges across the Forth.

Additionally, a "Jubilee Wood" of 70 native trees is planned for planting in Holyrood Park, within sight of the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

The First Minister added this was a historically appropriate gesture, as The Queen’s first duty in Scotland following her accession to the throne had been to plant a cherry tree that still stands by the entrance to the Canongate Kirk.

The National: The Queen will be presented with a number of gifts from the people of ScotlandThe Queen will be presented with a number of gifts from the people of Scotland (Image: Archive)

Sturgeon added: “It is hoped that the trees planted this year, for her Platinum Jubilee, will still be standing and flourishing 70 years from now, and indeed for many years after that.

“They will be an enduring and fitting reminder of a unique occasion in history.

“And an expression of the regard and affection in which The Queen is held by so many across our nation.”

The Scottish Parliament has unanimously backed a motion which congratulates the Queen on her Platinum Jubilee.

The motion, raised by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon expresses gratitude for the Queen’s exceptional public service and dedication to duty over 70 years.

It also affirms the deep respect that is held for Her Majesty in Scotland, and send good wishes to her for her continued service.

The motion was passed unanimously without the need for a vote.