[This is the headline over a report published today on the website of Scottish lawyers' magazine The Firm. It reads as follows:]
Newly returned MSP and strident campaigner for justice in the Pan Am 103 debacle, Christine Grahame, has declared her candidacy for the role of Presiding Officer at Holyrood.
She would be the first woman to occupy the chair following predecessors David Steel, George Reid and incumbent Alex Fergusson.
“I am known in Parliament as an independent-minded backbencher and that is the same way I would approach the task of presiding officer," she said in a statement.
"I have the experience to do the job, having been an MSP since 1999 and having chaired three committees in that time.
“Parliament needs to be a forum for robust, lively and interesting exchanges, and, if elected as presiding officer, I would ensure that backbenchers have more of a say and also look at ways of making debates more interesting and relevant.”
Grahame has enjoyed the tacit support of First Minister Alex Salmond and has campaigned to seek justice and a Parliamentary inquiry into the case of the Lockerbie convict Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi. [RB: the campaign is for an independent inquiry under the Inquiries Act 2005, not a parliamentary inquiry.]
The Presiding Officer will be selected when Parliament reconvenes tomorrow. No other candidates have formally come forward at the time of publication.
[This news creates mixed feelings in me. I think Christine would be an excellent Presiding Officer. But the neutrality required of the holder of that position would largely disqualify her from campaigning actively for a review of the Megrahi conviction. This would be a great loss to those of us who regard the removal of this blemish on the Scottish criminal justice system as crucial for the restoration of domestic and international confidence in the administration of justice in Scotland.]