Skip to navigation Skip to content Skip to footer

Complaining about your MSP or the Scottish Parliament

This advice applies to Scotland

MSP's Code of Conduct

The Scottish Parliament has a Code of Conduct that every MSP must follow. You can view the Code of Conduct on the Scottish Parliament website.

Complaining about an MSP who has not followed the Code of Conduct 

Engaging with constituents 

Information about what MSPs can do to represent their constituents is available on the Scottish Parliament website

Under the Code of Conduct, an MSP must take on your case if you are their constituent unless:

  • you've asked the MSP to do something inappropriate
  • the case would lead to a conflict of interest 
  • the case is against the MSP‘s political beliefs.

If you have a complaint about your MSP, for example if they refuse to take on your case without a good reason, you should write a letter or email to the Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament with:

  • your name and address 
  • what your complaint is about
  • name of the MSP
  • any supporting evidence.

The Presiding Officer
The Scottish Parliament
Edinburgh
EH99 1SP

Email: PresidingOfficers@parliament.scot

Expenses

Information on what MSPs can claim expenses for under the Members' Expenses Scheme is available on the Scottish Parliament website.

You can use the Scottish Parliament MSP Allowances Search to find out what an MSP has claimed for.

If you have a complaint about an MSP's expense claims, you should write a letter to the Secretariat of the Scottish Parliament Corporate Body with:

  • your name and address 
  • what your complaint is about
  • name of the MSP
  • any supporting evidence.

Scottish Parliament Corporate Body Secretariat
Room Q2.03
The Scottish Parliament
Edinburgh
EH99 1SP

Conduct during parliamentary debates

MSPs are expected to follow section 7 of the Code of Conduct when they take part in debates in the Parliament, available on the Scottish Parliament website

The Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament decides who can speak during debates in the chamber and keeps order.

If you have a complaint about how an MSP behaves during a debate, you should write a letter or email to the Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament with:

  • your name and address
  • what your complaint is about
  • name of the MSP
  • any supporting evidence.

The Presiding Officer
The Scottish Parliament
Edinburgh
EH99 1SP

Email: PresidingOfficers@parliament.scot

Registering financial interests (gifts, overseas trips, shares, employment)

MSPs must declare to the Parliament any financial interests they have that could affect the way they vote in Parliament or represent their constituents. For example, if they receive a gift of over £1,500 towards their political activities. 

If you have a complaint about how an MSP has or has not registered their financial interests, you should write a letter or email to the Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life with:

  • your name and address
  • what your complaint is about
  • name of the MSP
  • any supporting evidence.

Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland (CESPLS)
Thistle House
91 Haymarket Terrace
Edinburgh
EH12 5HE

Tel: 0300 011 0550 or 0131 347 3890
Email: investigations@ethicalstandards.org.uk
Website: www.ethicalstandards.org.uk

There is more about how to complain and how a complaint is handled on the Commissioner's website.

Paid advocacy 

MSPs cannot receive payment or benefits in kind (such as gifts or holidays) for respresenting or advocating for a cause or organisation. 

If you have a complaint about an MSP accepting payment for advocacy, you should write a letter or email to the Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life with:

  • your name and address
  • what your complaint is about
  • name of the MSP
  • any supporting evidence.

Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland (CESPLS)
Thistle House
91 Haymarket Terrace
Edinburgh
EH12 5HE

Tel: 0300 011 0550 or 0131 347 3890
Email: investigations@ethicalstandards.org.uk
Website: www.ethicalstandards.org.uk

There is more about how to complain and how a complaint is handled on the Commissioner's website.

Complaining about the Parliament's staff, services and policies

You can complain about things such as:

  • treatment by Scottish Parliament staff and customer service
  • Scottish Parliament policies
  • issues relating to the Parliament building (for example access for people with disabilities). 

Information about the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body (SPCB) complaints procedure is available on the Scottish Parliament website.

If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the complaint, you can then contact the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO). This must usually be done within the SPSO’s time limits.  

For more information about making a complaint to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman, see Complain to an ombudsman or commissioner in Scotland.

Complaining about maladministration at the Scottish Parliament

Maladministration can include:

  • unreasonable delays or lack of engagement 
  • rudeness
  • acting unlawfully.

The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman deals with complaints of maladministration about the Scottish Parliament and its work. See Complain to an ombudsman or commissioner in Scotland.

Did this advice help?
Why wasn't this advice helpful?
Did this advice help?

Thank you, your feedback has been submitted.