STEPHEN Kerr was called out by the Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament on Thursday after delivering a noisy response to an SNP MSP’s statement.

Kenneth Gibson, the convenor of the finance committee, was making a speech about the upcoming Scottish budget when he started to criticise previous Tory prime minister Liz Truss.

The Cunninghame North MSP said “hard years lie ahead” following surging inflation and economic chaos he argued was caused by the former Tory PM.

Gibson said: “The chaos of the short-lived Truss government and the inept economic policies which Tory MSPs Murdo Fraser and Stephen Kerr urged us to emulate led directly to the imposition of £55 billion in tax increases and spending cuts amidst rocketing inflation.

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“As a result households across the UK will endure an average fall in living standards of 7.1% over the next two years. The biggest fall in disposable income since records began in 1998.”

Gibson was then interrupted as Kerr, MSP for the Central Scotland region, raised a point of order to ask whether the speech was on behalf of the committee, which includes two Tory MSPs, or on behalf of himself.

Annabelle Ewing, the Deputy Presiding Officer, said she believed the SNP MSP was speaking on behalf of the committee.

The National: Murdo Fraser (pictured) wasn't happy with SNP MSP Kenneth Gibson's speech Murdo Fraser (pictured) wasn't happy with SNP MSP Kenneth Gibson's speech

Tory MSP Murdo Fraser raised another point of order to ask Gibson whether all members of the committee would sign up to his remarks, in reference to Tories Douglas Lumsden and Liz Smith's place on the committee.

“Most of them probably would to be honest,” Gibson said. “In terms of the comments that have been made in regards to the fall in living standards … and I know the lady speaking next to you was not a great supporter of the policies imposed by Ms Truss which you were so keen on us adopting in this parliament.”

During his speech, Gibson continued to criticise Tory's economic policies, which saw Kerr raise another point of order.

A visibly angry Kerr said: “Presiding Officer, it is very clear that this possibly cannot be the speech of a convenor of a committee of this parliament because that speech cannot have been written by a clerk employed by the Scottish parliament and therefore this speech, eight minutes in effect a second government speech, is completely out of order.”

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Ewing replied: “Mr Kerr, I can hear you from this distance. What I would say that I have already in response to Mr Kerr’s first point of order said that my understanding is that this is a speech on behalf of the committee.

“Secondly I would point out that Mr Gibson has clarified the position for the record but thirdly I would say if there are any outstanding questions that would be a matter for the committee to pursue.”