THE Scottish Tories have been accused of failing to follow “proper parliamentary procedure” after sharing details of an opposition day debate with lobbyists and the press before MSPs.

SNP MSP Emma Roddick raised a point of order in the Scottish Parliament ahead of two debates tabled in the name of Tory MSP Miles Briggs, on homelessness and housing.

Roddick told MSPs that she had “serious concerns” over the conduct of Tory MSPs sharing information with “landlords, lobbyists and the press” before the parliament.

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She claimed that Tory MSPs missed the 1pm deadline to reveal the topic of debate on Monday, and only found out when press releases from lobbyists landed in MSP's inbox a few hours later.

The Scottish Conservatives have repeatedly accused the Scottish Government of leaking parliamentary business to the press before informing MSPs. A row also erupted during the Scottish Budget announcement last year after details emerged before the ministerial statement, with John Swinney accusing the opposition of being behind it.

Speaking in Holyrood on Wednesday, Roddick told MSPs: “As you may know, members across the chamber outwith the Conservative Party did not have any official advance they have what the second of today's party business debates would be until after 1pm yesterday, late in the parliamentary working day.

"And we're only informed of the topic of the debate when a pre-prepared briefing from Scottish Lands and Estates and the Scottish Association of Landlords landed in members' inboxes at 3:40pm the day before.”

Roddick added that it appeared the Tories issued a press release to the media with details of the debate motion before it was agreed by Holyrood’s parliamentary bureau.

She added: “That the Conservative Party thought it was appropriate to communicate parliamentary business with landlords, lobbyists and the press before the parliament is a matter of concern.

“Indeed, given that the Tory MSP Stephen Kerr previously stated in this chamber that it is a matter of fundamental respect to the Scottish Parliament that businesses communicated first to the presiding officer and members, as opposed to the media or interested stakeholders.”

Roddick then called on the Scottish Tories to apologise to ensure the proper democratic progress and the “integrity of the Scottish Parliament is not further undermined”.

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Deputy Presiding Officer Liam McArthur said that there was guidance for the Scottish Government and ministers, but there was no such policy for the conduct of opposition MSPs.

He said: “While guidance does determine that the government must respect the place of Parliament when making announcements, there are for formal arrangements in relation to opposition parties.”

After groans from the SNP benches, he added: “I can inform members that there was a delay on one of the motions being circulated while issues of admissibility were being considered.

“However, as a matter of courtesy and respect it would have been preferable had the details of these debates not appeared in the public domain before the wider parliament was informed of these topics.”

A spokesperson for the Scottish Tories told The National: "The trail press release on our party business did not refer to the specifics of either motion, just the general themes of the two debates, so there is nothing to apologise for."