Page last updated at 20:03 GMT, Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Members debate: St Andrew's day

SNP MSP Kevin Stewart told the chamber St Andrew's day should be about "celebrating our history, heritageand culture" during his member's debate on Scotland's patron saint day, on Wednesday 30 November 2011.

Mr Stewart paid tribute to the former Falkirk West Independent MSP Dennis Canavan who introduced the St Andrew's Day Bank Holiday (Scotland) Bill.

Mr Canavan originally wanted 30 November to be declared an additional full public holiday however instead MSPs unaunimously agreed to make it a voluntary public holiday.

However, Mr Stewart said still: "St Andrew's day is a bigger event in other places than here in our own nation."

SNP MSP Chic Brodie intervened to highlight the economic benefit of St Patrick's day celebrations at home and around the world, to which Mr Stewart agreed.

The Aberdeen Central MSP, Mr Stewart said "there is an increasing interest in celebrating this national holiday, but more could be done."

The Parliamentary Business Minister Brian Adam responded to the debate by saying he was disappointed few public bodies had taken on the spirit of the St Andrew's day bill.

He said he was be confident that in the years ahead recognition of the holiday would grow and St Andrew's day would become an additional holiday.

However, Mr Adam warned this would be "better done by agreement rather than imposition."

He closed the debate by wishing members a happy St Andrew's day and encouraged them to take part in any celebrations running in their constituencies.

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