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Chamber and committees

Meeting date: Thursday, June 22, 2017

Meeting of the Parliament 22 June 2017

Agenda: General Question Time, First Minister’s Question Time, Island Games (Support for Athletes), Provisional Outturn 2016-17, Limitation (Childhood Abuse) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3, Limitation (Childhood Abuse) (Scotland) Bill, Decision Time, Point of Order


Contents


Limitation (Childhood Abuse) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3

The next item of business is stage 3 proceedings on the Limitation (Childhood Abuse) (Scotland) Bill. Members should have the bill as amended at stage 2, which is SP Bill 1A, and the marshalled list, which is SP Bill 1A-ML. The division bell will sound and proceedings will be suspended for five minutes for the first division of the afternoon. The period of voting will be 30 seconds.

I refer members to the marshalled list.

Section 2—Commencement

Amendment 1 is in the name of Oliver Mundell.

Amendment 1 is a simple amendment that asks the Scottish Government to report back to the Parliament on resourcing the bill. Principally, it is designed to act as a backstop to cover a very specific set of circumstances—namely, where local authorities do not have insurance cover, or have inadequate insurance cover, for the relevant period.

The chamber will hear from the Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs that she does not want to write a blank cheque. Perhaps that is so, but I say to members that they should not be fooled. The simple fact is this: the minster will argue that the true cost of the bill and the resources that are needed for it are unknown or unquantifiable—that is, the Government cannot put a figure on them—but she is asking us to write that very same blank cheque for her; worse still, she is asking others to guarantee it.

Nobody can disagree with the merits of the bill. Its intentions are virtuous, long overdue and very welcome. Survivors and victims of childhood abuse have been denied justice for far too long. However, they deserve better than a rushed or half-done job. That is why it is imperative that we take this opportunity to get things right.

Will the member give way?

No thank you.

Vile monsters have been allowed to hide behind the law, shielded by technical legal considerations. For years, the state did not want to know. Many who have held elected office have let those individuals down. We should not ignore that.

In my view, we are duty bound to take collective responsibility for the failings of the past. In taking that responsibility, it is only right that we acknowledge the financial cost that comes with trying to put things right. We cannot, in good faith, put this legislation on the statute books without recognising—

Does Oliver Mundell agree that the amendment would delay access to justice for survivors who have waited far too long?

I do not accept that point. The only thing that would delay access to justice for survivors would be the Scottish Government dragging its heels on committing to properly funding and resourcing the bill.

15:00  

I did not support the proposal at stage 2, although I appreciate that amendment 1 is narrower. I also appreciate the point that the member is making. Has he had discussions with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities on its position?

I have not had direct discussions with COSLA on the specific wording of the amendment. However, in the briefing that it sent members ahead of stage 3, COSLA makes its concerns very clear. A number of local authorities across Scotland do not have adequate insurance cover for the entire period. I would welcome an intervention from the minister on that point.

I am just looking at the paper that COSLA sent to the Justice Committee on the stage 3 process. It says:

“We noted with interest the amendment which was discussed and not eventually adopted and we recognise that given the uncertainty around numbers it would be very difficult to agree on a financial figure up-front of implementation”.

Does the member accept that COSLA has stated its position, which reflects the evidence received by the Justice Committee from a number of witnesses that, in advance of the implementation of the bill, the potential impact is simply unquantifiable?

I thank the minister for that intervention, but amendment 1 is different from the amendment that was discussed at stage 2—it is narrower and considers only the retrospective aspects. Furthermore, if the costs are unquantifiable—if we do not know what they are—how can we ask local authorities and other organisations to bear the risk, rather than taking responsibility as legislators, and, in the Government’s case, taking responsibility for the legislation that it has introduced?

We cannot in good faith pass the bill without recognising the need to put in place adequate resources. To do so is just not fair or right. In failing to address the issue, we run the very real risk that by passing the bill, we will be passing the buck and so passing the burden on to local authorities.

Local authorities are already overstretched and badly underresourced. In practical terms, we could be asking councils to further cut services today to pay for the mistakes of the past.

We have a choice—on our watch, here and now. Do we ask the vulnerable individuals who rely on local authority provision to bear the risk that comes with the seemingly unquantifiable, or do we do what is right, which is to have a full and proper scoping exercise to ensure that the bill is not only enacted, but enacted well?

Surely, given the systematic scale of abuse that has occurred, central Government must share some of the responsibility and help to mitigate the risks. Today, the Scottish Government has the chance to make good. Ministers cannot take credit for the changes at the same time as failing in their duty to ensure that they are properly resourced.

I move amendment 1.

Six members wish to speak so I ask all members keep their speeches short.

Amendment 1 is an improvement on a similar amendment at stage 2. It provides greater clarity and addresses some of the Justice Committee’s concerns. At stage 1, the committee agreed that it was vital that the bill should be properly resourced. Amendment 1 is a response to the on-going concerns about funding—concerns that that the committee heard in evidence.

It is vital that we reassure survivors that justice and compensation are available. There will be costs to local authorities defending actions, and the evidence to the committee indicated the patchy nature of insurance provision. The bill is more than just a signal of support. We need to provide certainty that the financial resources are available when cases are brought. We must recognise the strength of feeling that confidence in that is lacking.

I heard what the minister said when she opposed the stage 2 amendment. However, I do not accept that amendment 1 will delay the bill or that the report that it refers to is a request for an agreement on a figure. Surely the Government can provide a report that will give assurances that sufficient financial resources will be available. Otherwise, it is suggesting that it cannot guarantee that resources would be available. That situation would completely undermine the bill’s intent.

During stage 2, the minister talked about a “blank cheque”. It is important that she gives assurances that the Government will meet responsibilities and that local authorities are able to meet responsibilities, too. Is the Government suggesting that the amount will be capped and that it might be difficult for people to receive recompense?

I do not accept that producing the report that the amendment asks for is an onerous or impossible task for the Government. It is possible for the Government to produce a report that is appropriate and proportionate, and which can provide assurances to survivors that the bill is meaningful and effective. I intend to support amendment 1.

I rise to offer support from the Liberal Democrat benches for amendment 1, in the name of Oliver Mundell. My colleague Liam McArthur agreed at stage 2 that the financial memorandum to the bill is too narrow and does not account for the significant surge in demand for resource that might occur at every level in the immediate aftermath of implementation. In particular, it does not account for the problem that will arise if insurance cover for the period in question has expired or never existed.

There were some problems with the amendment that a Conservative member lodged at stage 2, which was not agreed to, but the principle at its heart was sound. The Scottish Government could have lodged an amendment of its own to respond to the challenge that had been identified, but it failed to do so.

Members have been well briefed by the Society of Local Authority Lawyers and Administrators in Scotland, Social Work Scotland and COSLA that the gap in resourcing could pose an existential risk to the process. The Scottish Government claims that our agreeing to amendment 1 might delay the implementation of the legislation, but I suggest that the possibility of the process grinding to a halt for want of resource represents a far more significant impediment to justice for victims of historical abuse. We will support amendment 1.

It is fair to say that the amendment that is before us is narrower in scope and closer to being able to be taken forward than the amendment in the name of Oliver Mundell’s former colleague that the committee considered at stage 2. However, it still suffers from the same basic problems. If it were to be agreed to, the bill could move forward, but there would be a potential road block in relation to the laying of regulations that would give effect to the bill.

Why is that so? I accept that the amendment applies only to “public bodies”—although we should bear it in mind that that does not mean just local authorities. The real issue is that amendment 1 requires the Government to demonstrate that resources are available to

“meet any obligations arising from an action brought”.

Will the member take an intervention?

I will develop my point first, if I may.

There is no limit of time associated with a provision that refers to

“any obligations arising from an action”.

Long after I have shuffled off this mortal coil, despite my ambition to live for ever, someone who is 100 years old could bring forward and succeed in a court action that results in a payment being made. The normal way of dealing with an obligation that might arise in 2070, 2080 or 2090 is through the normal budget process of this Parliament. It is quite unreasonable that we should work out, by some random, uncalibrated, wet-finger estimate, what the costs will be in 60 or 70 years’ time. We simply cannot do that, and I defy anyone in the Parliament to provide a methodology by which we can do that.

The provision of court services and the compensation to be paid by public bodies under the bill are matters that must be dealt with closer to the point of application. If we accept the proposed approach in this context, why do we not say that we must fund the court services and all future obligations of all public bodies for ever? The principle behind amendment 1 takes us to that point.

I am not objecting to proper funding, of course. I broadly support—

Can you come to a conclusion, please? I am trying to get other members in.

Will Mr Stevenson take an intervention?

I will, if I am allowed to do so.

I would rather get other members in, if that is okay. Mr Mundell, you will have a chance to sum up. I appreciate that this is an important debate, and I want other members to have their say. I call Johann Lamont.

Presiding Officer, this is such an important discussion that if it encroaches a little on the general debate on the bill, I do not think that that will do the bill any harm at all.

You might be reading my mind, Ms Lamont. I am allowing the discussion to run on, because I appreciate that it is important.

Thank you. I appreciate your comments.

I rise to support amendment 1 and to make a number of points. Stewart Stevenson’s argument might look good on paper, but it does not sound like a commitment to the principles of the bill. It looks like a way out of the challenge, rather than an attempt to address the challenge.

The minister has spoken about the difficulty of calculating the numbers. I am sure that survivors groups and survivors themselves would be able to support her in developing an understanding of the numbers. However, are we saying that, if the numbers are too high, we cannot guarantee the rights enshrined in the bill? We are able, in the Parliament, to say that we will provide baby boxes without being sure about the number of babies that will be born in the next year.

The fundamental issue here is that, if there is a right that members across the chamber want to exercise, we need to find the means to deliver on that.

The idea that such a proposal will stop the legislation is simply not true. People will genuinely be asking that, as that is what they have been told. The advice that we have had from the Scottish Parliament information centre is that that is simply not the case. If it were the case, why did the minister not make a proposal addressing the technical issues that she is identifying? She has the machinery of the state to find a way through this process. I would also say to her that there is a difference between saying that something is difficult to calculate and saying that it is unquantifiable. Those are two different things.

Will the member take an intervention?

If I could make progress.

This issue really does matter, and we need to understand why it matters so much to survivors. The bill creates a right to justice that has been denied for too long. There are survivors who theoretically have had rights throughout their lives. Theoretically, they had a right to education, a right to protection from abuse and a right to have families, social work, teachers and others protect them—a right to a childhood. Those were all rights that, in reality, were denied to them.

It is understandable that survivors now ask whether the rights in the bill are somehow not to be given that underpinning commitment. The bill without a commitment to ensure the resources to deliver those rights would be, for survivors, yet another example of the gulf between the theoretical rights that they have and the reality of their lives.

I say to the minister in all seriousness that this is a fundamental responsibility. In establishing a right, you need to will the means to deliver that right. That is why it matters. A right that is not enforceable in reality is not a right at all.

Across the chamber, we know that we have all let people down. By supporting amendment 1, we can give people the reassurance that we are not just saying to survivors, “We would like you to have that right.” We can will the means to ensure that they have certainty—that their rights will actually be delivered.

I rise to support Oliver Mundell’s amendment 1. Without a commitment that adequate resourcing will be available, there is a very real danger that the much anticipated and eagerly awaited aims of the bill will not be realised. There is no need at this stage to quantify the amount, and a commitment to adequately resource would not delay the introduction of the measures. Frankly, if the political will is there, the appropriate regulations can be laid timeously.

It would be an absolute tragedy if, at this late stage, survivors of historical childhood sexual abuse are let down. If the Government refuses even to consider the proposed resourcing, which is fundamental to the bill being effective—if it absolutely refuses to consider it as a possibility—it is a very black day for the Government.

In speaking to Oliver Mundell’s amendment 1, I will also mention former MSP Douglas Ross’s amendment at stage 2. I was unable to support Douglas Ross’s amendment then, because it would have required the Scottish Government to provide a full costing for the proposed legislation before it could be passed. That would have been difficult, as we were unsure of the full cost implication for local authorities and third sector organisations when establishing the information. That amendment would in effect have stopped the bill in its tracks. For those reasons, I could not support it.

However, amendment 1, lodged by Oliver Mundell at stage 3, requires ministers to prepare

“a report showing that sufficient financial and other resources”

are available to help meet any obligation arising from the legislation. That report should be laid before the Parliament before the bill receives royal assent.

Although it could be argued that the difference between the stage 2 and stage 3 amendments is slight, I will support Oliver Mundell’s amendment, because the Government will have time to prepare an indicative report of the resources that local authorities will require. A report of that nature could potentially allow local authorities and other affected organisations to plan the resources that they will require. That can only be a helpful progression to enable survivors of childhood abuse to feel confident that they will get the help that they require when raising claims.

15:15  

The Scottish Government strongly opposes amendment 1, which is largely the same as the amendment that Douglas Ross lodged at stage 2, which has been referred to. It carries with it almost all the difficulties that I raised at stage 2.

Like Douglas Ross’s amendment, amendment 1 is completely unworkable. It could derail the bill and thereby deny survivors the benefit of the bill. Amendment 1 would require a report to be laid before Parliament, before the bill was commenced, to show that sufficient resources have been made available to public bodies to “meet any obligations” that arise from the bill’s implementation.

Will the minister give way?

I would like to make a bit of progress.

Although the formulation of the new amendment is concerned with actions that relate to abuse that took place before the bill gained royal assent, the basic problems that it generates for the coming into force of the bill remain the same. As I made clear at stage 2, such an amendment would put us in a catch-22 position. The impact of pre-existing abuse will not be known until after commencement, but amendment 1 would not allow us to commence the act until the impact was known—or perhaps until a blank cheque had been written.

Will the minister give way?

I would like to make a bit of progress.

It was clearly recognised during the scrutiny of the bill that we cannot predict with any certainty what the impact will be. COSLA, Social Work Scotland, Police Scotland, the Law Society of Scotland and Aberdeen City Council all made that point, which was recognised by members of the Justice Committee.

Does the minister recognise that, when she says that the figure is unquantifiable and that she is unwilling to write a blank cheque, she is passing the burden on to others to write the same blank cheque?

I do not accept that. As I stressed at committee, we have been in regular discussions with COSLA at official level—officials met COSLA last week to discuss the issues. COSLA has reiterated that it is not looking for blank cheques to be written. In correspondence with officials, COSLA opined that the amendment seems to be unworkable. That is COSLA’s position, which Oliver Mundell might wish to consider.

When they gave evidence to the Justice Committee, all those players recognised that it would not be possible to come up with a specific figure.

Will the minister take an intervention?

COSLA also said:

“There is undisputed recognition about the uncertainty of implementing this legislation. It is impossible to predict how many instances of abuse occurred in this timeframe, how many survivors may consider bringing a claim, and then in turn how many claims may be brought against which organisations.”

Will the minister take an intervention?

Please sit down, Ms Lamont.

The new version of the amendment applies to harm that took place before the bill received royal assent—

Will the minister take an intervention?

I have taken an intervention.

However, that does not solve the fundamental problem that I just described. The great uncertainty about impact applies to past cases as much as it does to future cases. Even when the abuse took place before the bill received royal assent, cases still might not be raised for some years into the future, which is particularly apparent when we take into account the silencing effect of this heinous abuse and the fact that survivors can take on average 22 years to get to the stage at which they can come forward.

I understand that there are concerns about implications for local authorities and the importance of maintaining services at the highest standards. As I said, my officials have been in regular dialogue with COSLA. COSLA recognises the difficulties that are involved and is looking for continued dialogue about the impact. I confirm that we will work with COSLA and others to find the best way of monitoring the bill’s impact and how it should best be addressed.

Amendment 1 contains a number of technical difficulties. In essence, it is so uncertain in its effect that it would leave the validity of commencement regulations in doubt. There are issues about who would determine what was sufficient and what would happen if commencement was challenged once cases had concluded.

Oliver Mundell said that his amendment would apply only when no insurance cover was available. Nowhere in the amendment does it say that.

Putting such a condition on commencement would run the risk of preventing the bill from coming into force. Parliament unanimously supported the general principles of the bill, and creating such an unworkable requirement would appear to go against the will of the Parliament.

We should not forget that survivors have campaigned long and hard for this change. Amending the bill in a way that might risk frustrating the process would be disrespectful to survivors and their very long fight for justice. I urge members to reject amendment 1.

I understand that there are passions on the issue, but I ask members to be respectful to each other. There are genuine views on all sides and I have let the debate run.

I am gobsmacked by the Scottish Government’s complacency. It seems to have missed what the legislation is about. If we cannot guarantee that claims that come forward in 20 years’ time will be met, what is the point in passing the legislation at all? The amendment gets right to the heart of the subject and I am disappointed but not surprised that the Government will not support it. Why would it? Why take responsibility for its actions just because it can?

Last night, some SNP back benchers were willing to break their party whip on tail docking. I can only hope that back benchers will be as willing to listen to their consciences this afternoon. In particular, I appeal to Green Party and SNP members of the Justice Committee to make good on the recommendation that we made in our report on the bill, at paragraph 245, which was unanimously agreed by all members of the committee. It says:

“It is important that the Bill is properly resourced to ensure both that its policy intent is achieved and to prevent any negative impact on the provision of current services by local authorities.”

Does Oliver Mundell agree that survivors want that reassurance? The bill would not exist if it were not for survivors fighting for it. We know that many organisations and agencies and very many of the great and good said that it could not be done. We have proven that it can be done; now let us go the extra bit to make sure that it is resourced.

I thank Johann Lamont for that passionate intervention. She makes an important point, because people in the chamber need to remember that those who have, like us, held elected office over a great many years have let those people down badly. The legislation that we are debating today would not exist—[Interruption.] Do you want to stand up, minister?

I am curious as to why, when it is recognised by COSLA, Aberdeen City Council, the Law Society of Scotland, Police Scotland and Social Work Scotland among others that we cannot quantify with exactitude the figure for the bill’s potential impact, Oliver Mundell nonetheless wishes to go forward with an amendment that risks putting the bill into jeopardy and therefore letting down survivors who have been so brave over so many decades in getting us all to this stage, which is where we should be.

It is clear that the minister has plenty to say now but, when the tough questions were being asked of her, she did not want to answer. Perhaps she could stand up again and answer this question. Will she confirm how many of Scotland’s 32 local authorities have adequate insurance cover for historical child abuse actions for the period in question? [Interruption.]

I—

Just a minute, minister. I have to call you first.

Presiding Officer, I would have thought that the question should be directed to each of the 32 local authorities, but of course—[Interruption.]

I would like to hear the answer, please.

Can I introduce an element of reality into Mr Mundell’s thoughts? In looking at each individual fact and circumstance, we would need to determine whether insurance cover was in place. Any meaningless and general statement along these lines would not help individual cases. Perhaps Mr Mundell might like to reflect on that point.

I will reflect carefully on that point and, in turn, I ask the Scottish Government to reflect on the length of time that it has had, while the bill has been progressing through Parliament, to consider some of those points.

To answer some of the other questions that the minister posed, the report that the amendment refers to would not ask for a quantified amount of support.

I correct what the minister and Stewart Stevenson suggested. The amendment would not mean covering all obligations that arose as a result of the report; the wording is qualified. If they read the whole amendment, they will see that it refers to obligations that can be met

“without prejudice to the provision of services by those bodies”.

Can I respond to that, Presiding Officer?

I am glad that you are speaking through the chair, minister, because I was beginning to think that I would go away and have a cup of tea while you both had a rammy across the chamber.

I apologise, Presiding Officer.

I will quote the amendment, which states:

“The condition is that the Scottish Ministers have prepared, and laid before the Parliament, a report showing that sufficient”—

the word “sufficient” is not defined—

“financial and other resources have been made available to ensure that public bodies can, without prejudice to the provision of services by those bodies, meet any obligations arising from an action brought by virtue of”

the relevant provisions of the bill. That is what Mr Mundell’s amendment says. Maybe he is not totally familiar with what he is trying to do.

It is the minister who is not reading the detail of the amendment.

She read it out.

She read it out, but she does not understand what it means on paper.

Regardless of that point, the amendment simply asks for a report. It does not ask for the numbers or for a specified amount, and it is not asking for a further vote on the quality of the report that would be put forward.

By agreeing to the amendment, we would ensure full scrutiny of the legislation by the Parliament. It is not a wrecking amendment and it would not delay the legislation. It simply asks ministers to take accountability for the delay that has occurred on their watch in bringing forward the changes. It asks them to underwrite the unexpected financial burden that the bill might place on local authorities and to ensure that vulnerable individuals who are in the care of the state today do not pay the price for the mistakes of the past. The unwillingness of ministers to take that point seriously smacks of the same cowardice and dithering from those in authority that have allowed the whole issue to be brushed under the carpet for too long.

I am grateful to Oliver Mundell for giving way. As he will be aware, I am not a member of the committee that scrutinised the bill in detail, but I thought that we were coming here to listen to a debate in which there would be a good degree of consensus on the objective of the bill. I have to say to both the member and, I am sorry to say, the minister that I find it slightly unedifying to hear people accusing each other of wanting to let down the victims of historic child abuse. I do not think that that is the kind of debate that we ought to be having. Does he intend to address the matter that has been raised, which is that COSLA considers his amendment to be unworkable, and which he said in his opening remarks he had not asked it about?

I thank Patrick Harvie for that intervention. I do not think that the debate is “unedifying”. Having spoken to survivors’ groups this morning, I know that the very survivors who have been championing and campaigning for the bill would understand why the amendment is really important and what it offers them. COSLA may have reached its opinion based on the advice of the Scottish Government about what the amendment means, because it seems that the minister is so blinkered that she is not willing to consider what a “report” actually means. I press the amendment in my name.

The question is, that amendment 1 be agreed to. Are we agreed?

Members: No.

There will be a division. This is the first division, so I suspend proceedings for five minutes.

15:28 Meeting suspended.  

15:33 On resuming—  

We move to the division on amendment 1.

For

Baillie, Jackie (Dumbarton) (Lab)
Baker, Claire (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Lab)
Balfour, Jeremy (Lothian) (Con)
Ballantyne, Michelle (South Scotland) (Con)
Beamish, Claudia (South Scotland) (Lab)
Bibby, Neil (West Scotland) (Lab)
Bowman, Bill (North East Scotland) (Con)
Briggs, Miles (Lothian) (Con)
Burnett, Alexander (Aberdeenshire West) (Con)
Cameron, Donald (Highlands and Islands) (Con)
Carlaw, Jackson (Eastwood) (Con)
Carson, Finlay (Galloway and West Dumfries) (Con)
Cole-Hamilton, Alex (Edinburgh Western) (LD)
Corry, Maurice (West Scotland) (Con)
Dugdale, Kezia (Lothian) (Lab)
Fee, Mary (West Scotland) (Lab)
Findlay, Neil (Lothian) (Lab)
Fraser, Murdo (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Con)
Golden, Maurice (West Scotland) (Con)
Gray, Iain (East Lothian) (Lab)
Greene, Jamie (West Scotland) (Con)
Halcro Johnston, Jamie (Highlands and Islands) (Con)
Hamilton, Rachael (Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire) (Con)
Harris, Alison (Central Scotland) (Con)
Johnson, Daniel (Edinburgh Southern) (Lab)
Kelly, James (Glasgow) (Lab)
Kerr, Liam (North East Scotland) (Con)
Lamont, Johann (Glasgow) (Lab)
Lennon, Monica (Central Scotland) (Lab)
Leonard, Richard (Central Scotland) (Lab)
Lindhurst, Gordon (Lothian) (Con)
Lockhart, Dean (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Con)
Macdonald, Lewis (North East Scotland) (Lab)
Mason, Tom (North East Scotland) (Con)
McNeill, Pauline (Glasgow) (Lab)
Mitchell, Margaret (Central Scotland) (Con)
Mountain, Edward (Highlands and Islands) (Con)
Mundell, Oliver (Dumfriesshire) (Con)
Rennie, Willie (North East Fife) (LD)
Rowley, Alex (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Lab)
Sarwar, Anas (Glasgow) (Lab)
Scott, John (Ayr) (Con)
Simpson, Graham (Central Scotland) (Con)
Smith, Elaine (Central Scotland) (Lab)
Smith, Liz (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Con)
Smyth, Colin (South Scotland) (Lab)
Stewart, Alexander (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Con)
Stewart, David (Highlands and Islands) (Lab)
Tomkins, Adam (Glasgow) (Con)
Wells, Annie (Glasgow) (Con)

Against

Adam, George (Paisley) (SNP)
Adamson, Clare (Motherwell and Wishaw) (SNP)
Allan, Alasdair (Na h-Eileanan an Iar) (SNP)
Arthur, Tom (Renfrewshire South) (SNP)
Beattie, Colin (Midlothian North and Musselburgh) (SNP)
Brown, Keith (Clackmannanshire and Dunblane) (SNP)
Campbell, Aileen (Clydesdale) (SNP)
Coffey, Willie (Kilmarnock and Irvine Valley) (SNP)
Constance, Angela (Almond Valley) (SNP)
Crawford, Bruce (Stirling) (SNP)
Cunningham, Roseanna (Perthshire South and Kinross-shire) (SNP)
Denham, Ash (Edinburgh Eastern) (SNP)
Dey, Graeme (Angus South) (SNP)
Doris, Bob (Glasgow Maryhill and Springburn) (SNP)
Dornan, James (Glasgow Cathcart) (SNP)
Evans, Mairi (Angus North and Mearns) (SNP)
Ewing, Annabelle (Cowdenbeath) (SNP)
Ewing, Fergus (Inverness and Nairn) (SNP)
Fabiani, Linda (East Kilbride) (SNP)
Finnie, John (Highlands and Islands) (Green)
FitzPatrick, Joe (Dundee City West) (SNP)
Freeman, Jeane (Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley) (SNP)
Gilruth, Jenny (Mid Fife and Glenrothes) (SNP)
Greer, Ross (West Scotland) (Green)
Harper, Emma (South Scotland) (SNP)
Harvie, Patrick (Glasgow) (Green)
Haughey, Clare (Rutherglen) (SNP)
Hepburn, Jamie (Cumbernauld and Kilsyth) (SNP)
Hyslop, Fiona (Linlithgow) (SNP)
Johnstone, Alison (Lothian) (Green)
Kidd, Bill (Glasgow Anniesland) (SNP)
Lochhead, Richard (Moray) (SNP)
Lyle, Richard (Uddingston and Bellshill) (SNP)
MacDonald, Angus (Falkirk East) (SNP)
MacDonald, Gordon (Edinburgh Pentlands) (SNP)
MacGregor, Fulton (Coatbridge and Chryston) (SNP)
Mackay, Derek (Renfrewshire North and West) (SNP)
Mackay, Rona (Strathkelvin and Bearsden) (SNP)
Macpherson, Ben (Edinburgh Northern and Leith) (SNP)
Maguire, Ruth (Cunninghame South) (SNP)
Martin, Gillian (Aberdeenshire East) (SNP)
Mason, John (Glasgow Shettleston) (SNP)
Matheson, Michael (Falkirk West) (SNP)
McAlpine, Joan (South Scotland) (SNP)
McDonald, Mark (Aberdeen Donside) (SNP)
McKee, Ivan (Glasgow Provan) (SNP)
McKelvie, Christina (Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse) (SNP)
McMillan, Stuart (Greenock and Inverclyde) (SNP)
Neil, Alex (Airdrie and Shotts) (SNP)
Robison, Shona (Dundee City East) (SNP)
Ross, Gail (Caithness, Sutherland and Ross) (SNP)
Ruskell, Mark (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Green)
Russell, Michael (Argyll and Bute) (SNP)
Somerville, Shirley-Anne (Dunfermline) (SNP)
Stevenson, Stewart (Banffshire and Buchan Coast) (SNP)
Stewart, Kevin (Aberdeen Central) (SNP)
Sturgeon, Nicola (Glasgow Southside) (SNP)
Swinney, John (Perthshire North) (SNP)
Todd, Maree (Highlands and Islands) (SNP)
Torrance, David (Kirkcaldy) (SNP)
Watt, Maureen (Aberdeen South and North Kincardine) (SNP)
Wheelhouse, Paul (South Scotland) (SNP)
White, Sandra (Glasgow Kelvin) (SNP)
Wightman, Andy (Lothian) (Green)
Yousaf, Humza (Glasgow Pollok) (SNP)

The result of the division is: For 50, Against 65, Abstentions 0.

Amendment 1 disagreed to.

That ends consideration of amendments.

I am required to read out a note for members who were not here yesterday. If members were here yesterday, they probably do not want to hear it again.

As members will be aware, at this point in the proceedings, the Presiding Officer is now required under standing orders to decide whether, in his view, any provision in the bill relates to a protected subject matter—briefly, whether any provision will modify the electoral system and franchise for Scottish parliamentary elections. If so, the motion to pass the bill requires support from a supermajority of members: that is, a two-thirds majority, or 86 members. In this case, the Presiding Officer’s view—[Interruption.]

I would like a bit of quiet while I am reading, even though members might have heard it before. Thank you.

In this case, the Presiding Officer’s view is that no provision in the Limitation (Childhood Abuse) (Scotland) Bill relates to a protected subject matter. Therefore, the bill does not require a supermajority to be passed at stage 3.