Politician blasted for trying to vote in parliament at the bar

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton was widely condemned for his behaviour.

A dishevelled politician has been heavily criticised for dialling into parliament during a debate and casting his vote on a disabled rights bill from the pub.

Liberal Democrat party leader Alex Cole-Hamilton used his phone to video call into the Scottish parliament at the end of last month, with his image appearing on large monitors around the debating chamber. "Sorry Presiding Officer I was unable to connect, I would have noted no," he says while walking away from his table.

Left, Politician Alex Cole-Hamilton on a large monitor in the debating chamber. Right, a clearer image of him showing a selfie angle as he cast his vote.
Politician Alex Cole-Hamilton dialled into the Scottish parliament from the pub. Source: The Scottish Sun

Fellow politicians jeered and mocked Cole-Hamilton when it became clear he was engaging in the debate from the boozer situated mere minutes away from where the debate was occurring, with the Lib Dem's shirt unbuttoned as he fixed his hair multiple times.

The video from inside the debating chamber has circulated online. Many Scots called the politician's behaviour "disgraceful" and the whole incident a "shambles", with some saying if he was not present for the debate then his vote should not be counted at all. It is believed Cole-Hamilton was at the pub with another co-worker.

Politician forced to apologise

After the politician was widely condemned, Cole-Hamilton apologised and said he immediately sought out the Presiding Officer after the incident to explain why he didn't get to the debating chamber in time. "I take the proceedings of parliament very seriously. My voting record speaks for itself in casting my ballot every time that I possibly can," the politician told local news. "Members of the Scottish parliament regularly vote remotely and on this occasion, fewer than a third were present to vote in person."

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