7

Members of Parliament in the House of Commons are referred to as "Honourable" or "Right Honourable".

I understand why some members are Honourable and others Right Honourable.

Does the title "Honourable" or any other such title(s) apply to the members of Scottish Parliament and/or the Welsh Assembly?

11

No, these titles are not used in either the Scottish Parliament or the Welsh Senedd. The predominant reason for this is that there is no restriction in these chambers about referring to members by name - in the House of Commons, this is prohibited - the only time a member is mentioned by name is when they are disciplined (or "named") by the chair. MPs, therefore, began referring to each other as 'the honourable member for X'.

Proof of this can be found when speakers at these bodies accidentally slip into referring to members in this style, and are subsequently admonished by the chair. For example, in the Welsh Senedd:

Adam Price AM: Leader of the house, I was wondering if you could say whether Government colleagues have indicated to you yet when we can expect the statement on the Circuit of Wales that we’ve been promised by the First Minister before the end of the month—[Interruption.] Would the honourable Member for Blaenau Gwent—? If he has anything to say, he can get up and say it—

The Llywydd (Presiding Officer): Let me tell the honourable Member—who’s not particularly honourable, as no Member in this Chamber, to repeat myself, is an honourable Member—but, yes, please, the business Minister requires no help from other Ministers in answering business questions. Adam Price.

Plenary meeting - 13/06/2017

And in the Scottish Parliament:

Danny Alexander: I do not think that—sorry, but I am not sure how one addresses an MSP; in Westminster we say “the honourable member”. Do I call you Mr FitzPatrick?

Joe FitzPatrick: Joe is fine.

David Whitton (Strathkelvin and Bearsden) (Lab): We call him lots of other things.

The Convener: We stand on ceremony, but don’t stand on ceremony.

Source

  • 2
    "We stand on ceremony, but don’t stand on ceremony." is the best line. I wonder if it was pre-thought of, or made up on the spot... – masher Nov 26 '20 at 1:33
  • 1
    Although they are also mentioned by name if they are called by the Speaker to begin speaking (offices such as Prime Minister get called as Prime Minister, though). – Jan Nov 26 '20 at 10:38

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .