Holyrood is to beef up the role of some of its key committees, new Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh has announced.
The Scottish Parliament’s Finance Committee is to have its remit extended to include the constitution while the Public Audit Committee will also now carry out scrutiny of existing legislation.
Members of the Europe and External Relations Committee will in the future deal with culture and tourism issues while the Equal Opportunities Committee is to be expanded to include human rights.
MSPs on the Scottish Parliamentary Bureau, which includes representatives from all the political parties, have agreed the changes, although they still have to be formally approved by Holyrood.
With the SNP having lost its in-built majority on Holyrood committees after May’s election saw the party returned as a minority administration, Labour has now announced it will nominate senior MSPs to the three committees it will chair.
Former leader Johann Lamont is being put forward as the next convener of the Public Petitions Committee while Neil Findlay, a former candidate for Scottish leader, is to be the convener of the Health Committee. Jenny Marra is proposed as the new convener of the Audit Committee.
Labour business manager James Kelly said: “Having lost their majority in Parliament, it’s right that the SNP has also lost control of committees.
“Too often in the last session SNP members put commitment to their party ahead of doing right by the country in investigating the actions of government.
“Labour will use our position on committees to scrutinise the SNP government’s actions and hold ministers to account.
“We will nominate three senior MSPs to the role of committee convener, showing the importance we place on holding the government to account through committees.”