Bill Walker case: Dunfermline by-election plan considered

Bill Walker Bill Walker submitted his resignation as an MSP over the weekend

Related Stories

The process of holding a by-election to replace the disgraced MSP Bill Walker will get under way this week.

At the weekend, Walker announced he was quitting as MSP for Dunfermline, following his conviction for a string of domestic abuse charges.

Scottish Parliament Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick is in charge of setting the by-election date, which she needs to do within a three-month deadline.

She will consult with the political parties ahead of the decision.

Walker submitted his resignation after he was found guilty of 23 charges spanning almost three decades.

Start Quote

The Nationalists have a date in mind - Thursday, October 24. Already that day there is a local council by-election scheduled in Dunfermline. Why not, say SNP strategists, hold the two polls on the same day”

End Quote

The attacks had been carried out against three ex-wives and a stepdaughter between 1967 and 1995.

The former SNP MSP, who had previously expressed his determination to stay on at Holyrood as an independent member, said a "media onslaught" had made it impossible for him to continue.

He had been under increasing pressure to stand down from fellow MSPs, more than 90 of whom had signed a parliamentary motion calling for him to go.

MSPs are automatically thrown out of parliament if they are jailed for more than a year.

The maximum sentence Walker could get when he is sentenced later this month under Scotland's sheriff court summary system is 12 months, which would have allowed him to remain at Holyrood.

As an alternative, parliament is this week due to consider a parliamentary motion on the principle of withholding an MSP's salary in such an event.

Meanwhile, the opposition has continued to ask questions about what the SNP knew of Walker's past, but the party said he was expelled when evidence of the charges emerged.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Scotland politics stories


Features & Analysis

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • Audi R8Need for speed

    Audi unveils its fastest production car ever - ahead of its Geneva debut


  • A robot holding a table legClick Watch

    The robots who build flat-pack furniture - teaching machines to work collaboratively

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.