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Scottish Conservatives to force vote on repeal of Hate Crime Act

MSPs are being urged to “admit they made a huge mistake” and back a motion in Parliament this week calling for the repeal of Humza Yousaf’s Hate Crime Act.

The Scottish Conservatives will use their party business slot at Holyrood on Wednesday to debate the law – which has attracted huge criticism since its introduction at the start of the month – and force a vote calling for it to be ditched.

Shadow justice secretary Russell Findlay says it is taking an intolerable strain on Scotland’s overstretched police and has to go.

When the Hate Crime Bill was piloted through parliament by then justice secretary Humza Yousaf, the Scottish Conservatives were the only party to oppose it, with Labour and the Liberal Democrats whipping their MSPs to back it.

Now Russell Findlay is appealing to them to back his party’s motion, given the law is proving “every bit as unworkable as many critics warned”.

 

Scottish Conservative shadow justice secretary Russell Findlay MSP said: “Humza Yousaf’s disastrous hate crime law has caused utter chaos in the fortnight since its introduction.

“It is proving every bit as unworkable as many critics warned – and must be repealed.

“As well as being an unacceptable risk to free speech, it is taking a huge toll on Scotland’s police officers. They're being deluged with thousands of complaints – many of them vexatious from individuals out to settle scores. 

“Officer numbers are at their lowest level since 2008, and the police were already turning a blind eye to certain crimes, so this increased workload is completely unsustainable. 

“The Scottish Conservatives were the only party to oppose the SNP legislation when it went through parliament.

“We now appeal to Labour and Lib Dem MSPs – and the more sensible Nationalists – to admit they made a huge mistake and back our call for its repeal.”

Notes to editors

 

The Scottish Conservative motion reads: “That the Scottish Parliament believes that the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Act 2021 should be repealed.