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Chamber and committees

Meeting date: Thursday, March 15, 2018

Meeting of the Parliament 15 March 2018

Agenda: General Question Time, First Minister’s Question Time, Driverless Cars, Point of Order, Business Motion, South of Scotland Economic Partnership, Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Repeal) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3, Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Repeal) (Scotland) Bill, Business Motion, Decision Time


Contents


Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Repeal) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3

The Presiding Officer (Ken Macintosh)

The next item of business is stage 3 proceedings on the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Repeal) (Scotland) Bill.

In dealing with the amendments today, members should have the bill as amended at stage 2, which is SP Bill 19A, the marshalled list and the groupings. The division bell will sound and proceedings will be suspended for five minutes for the first division of the afternoon. The period of voting for the first division will be 30 seconds. Thereafter, I will allow a voting period of one minute for the first division after a debate.

Amendment 1, in the name of the Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs, Annabelle Ewing, is grouped with amendments 2 and 4.

The Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs (Annabelle Ewing)

I have said throughout the passage of the bill that there would be a gap in legislation if the offence in section 6 of the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012 is repealed. That is a simple statement of fact, despite assertions to the contrary.

Repealing the section 6 offence puts Scotland behind the rest of the United Kingdom on protection against incitement to religious hatred. Therefore, we need to take steps to seek to ensure continuity of protection. Section 6 contains extra-territorial powers, ensuring that freedom of movement does not mean escaping the law. That power will be lost if the 2012 act is repealed.

At stage 2, I highlighted the oral evidence from the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, referencing a case in which an accused person posted comments that were supportive of a prescribed terrorist organisation—ISIS. The sentencer’s view was that the severity of those actions should be reflected in a starting point of 24 months’ imprisonment. That starting point would not have been available in the alternative charge under the Communications Act 2003.

James Kelly (Glasgow) (Lab)

Has the minister had an opportunity to reflect on the oral submission that Liam McArthur and I made to the Justice Committee, pointing out that, in the case that she quotes, section 38 of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 allows a charge to be made in relation to threatening online behaviour, with sentences of up to five years? There is no gap in the law.

Annabelle Ewing

I beg to differ. I am about to get on to section 38 of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010. The legal position is that there is a need to satisfy a two-part test as far as breach of the peace is concerned. The tests are that the conduct has caused fear and alarm and threatened serious disturbance to the community. The higher threshold for a conviction for an offence under section 38 of the 2010 act is that the fear and alarm test must be met. No similar hurdle pertains with respect to section 6 of the 2012 act. That means that section 38 of the 2010 act cannot be relied on to deal with section 6 offences. It will mean that some section 6 offences will go unpunished. In that respect, repeal of section 6 will indeed result in a gap in the law.

Section 6 provides a specific offence of making threatening communications with intent to stir up religious hatred. It makes clear what type of communications constitute the offence of making threatening communications and what type of communication would not lead to criminal proceedings. In addition, it provides protection for freedom of speech.

Breach of the peace and section 38 of the 2010 act do not provide the same level of certainty and do not send a strong enough message that we intend to deal robustly with crimes of religious hatred. At the moment, we have a specific offence of making communications that are intended to stir up racial hatred, under part 3 of the Public Order Act 1986. If section 6 of the 2012 act is repealed, we will have no similar offence of sending communications that are intended to stir up religious hatred. Do we really want to send the message that we do not take religious hatred as seriously as racial hatred?

Equality groups have been clear that they place great importance on the protection that the 2012 act offers them, particularly section 6. It is absolutely right that we look at constructive ways to ensure that support for repeal does not leave them feeling exposed and unprotected. As a responsible Government, we have a duty to make every effort to minimise the negative impact that would be caused by repeal.

Johann Lamont (Glasgow) (Lab)

Will the minister take an intervention?

Annabelle Ewing

I have already taken one, and I am afraid that I need to make progress.

We need time, however, to prepare a new bill to reinstate the section 6 offence going forward; hence, we seek continuity of protection in the interim. That is why I have brought forward again at stage 3 amendments 1, 2 and 4 to adjust sections 5 and 6, which deal with the bill’s date of commencement. The effect of amendments 1, 2 and 4 would be to delay the commencement of the repeal of the offence in section 6 of the 2012 act by 12 months from royal assent. When combined with amendment 3 in group 2, which we will come to shortly, the amendments would also delay by two months the commencement of the repeal of the section 1 offence in the 2012 act. Amendment 1 seeks to amend the definition of “the relevant date” in section 5 of the bill so that it takes account of the different commencement dates in relation to the section 1 and section 6 offences in the 2012 act that would result from the amendments.

Amendment 2 seeks to amend section 6 of the bill to confine the existing default commencement provision so that it applies only to the repeal of the section 1 offence. Currently, the bill provides that the default commencement provision for the bill is for it to come into force on the day after royal assent, but our amendment 3, which we will come to in the next group, would, if agreed, change that so that the default commencement would be two months after royal assent, which is the normal position with regard to legislation dealing with Scots criminal law.

Amendment 4 would provide that the bill, so far as repealing the rest of the 2012 act—that is, the section 6 offence of sending threatening communications—would come into force at the end of the period of 12 months beginning with the date of royal assent.

As I have consistently explained throughout the passage of the bill, repealing section 6 of the 2012 act would create a gap in legislation that would need to be addressed and those claiming that there would be no gap if the 2012 act were repealed are simply wrong.

I move amendment 1.

Liam Kerr (North East Scotland) (Con)

I rise to speak against amendment 1 and the other amendments in group 1 because they seek to delay the repeal of the section 6 offence in the 2012 act coming into force until 12 months after royal assent. That precise issue was considered at stage 2, and the effect of the amendments, whether or not amendment 3 is passed today, would be to implement a staggered repeal. That is to say, the section 6 offence, notwithstanding the lack of prosecutions due to the threshold for that having been set too high, could in theory continue to be prosecuted for some considerable time after the repeal of the rest of the 2012 act.

I recall from stage 2 that the thinking behind that was to allow the Government to come up with alternative legislative provision to deal with the circumstances covered by section 6 of the 2012 act. Notwithstanding that I am not persuaded that there is a requirement to do that—as we will hear later, I do not concede that there would be a gap in the law—I cannot help but feel that it would add complexity to what would otherwise be a straightforward repeal.

I suspect that we will debate at length later the message that will be sent out if the 2012 act is repealed. I intend to answer that point in my speech later, but here I use the argument to my advantage. If we assume that stage 3 today concludes with the repeal bill being passed, it will be all over the press, sending a very clear message that the 2012 act has been repealed. What confusion, complexity and inconsistency would be sown if a little-used, little-understood single section of the 2012 act was retained and prosecutions could be continued for the following 12 months?

Annabelle Ewing

There will be a gap for the reasons that I have just stated again for the record. What is the member saying, then, to all the equality groups and faith groups who raised the concern that repealing section 6 without any viable alternative being put in its place would send the wrong signal and take away protection that they rely on? What is the problem with retaining section 6 for a further period of 12 months? Why is the member determined to take that protection away from those vulnerable communities?

Liam Kerr

There is no gap. Professor Leverick was clear in committee that there will be no gap and that the section 6 offence could be prosecuted under other legislation. The protection of those groups would not be detracted from; they can be reassured by that message.

All that the minister is seeking to do over the next 12 months is introduce complexity, confusion and inconsistency. That would not be welcome. Given that transitional arrangements will take care of existing matters, the amendment is neither required nor productive and it is not helpful.

The Scottish Conservatives will vote against amendment 1 and all the amendments in the group.

Ben Macpherson (Edinburgh Northern and Leith) (SNP)

I rise to speak in favour of amendment 1 and all the other amendments in the group because the amendments are about being responsible. I refer members to the Justice Committee’s stage 1 report, which mentions some of the very powerful evidence that we heard about section 6. The Scottish Council of Jewish Communities said:

“section 6 is an important transnational power that catches conduct that would not otherwise be caught by Scots law ... Given the runaway growth of social media, this matter probably needs more careful and extended consideration of the kind that Lord Bracadale is giving it instead of simply knee-jerk repeal.”—[Official Report, Justice Committee, 7 November 2017; c 19.]

It is clear that there is a distinction in the 2012 act between the offence covered in sections 1 to 5 and the offence in section 6—that distinction was made in the evidence that we took. The minister is absolutely right to have lodged the amendments on the basis of responsibility and to make sure that our legal system serves the needs of those who require it.

The point about the extraterritorial provision of section 6 has not been questioned in any of the evidence that I have heard or seen. Therefore, asking for an extension before the repeal of section 6 to give the Government and others adequate time to ensure that there is no gap in law, particularly around the transnational element, is the responsible and the right thing to do. Responsible MSPs will vote in favour of the amendments.

Daniel Johnson (Edinburgh Southern) (Lab)

I rise to speak against the Government amendments and against the extension of section 6. It has become clear during the bill’s passage through stage 1 and stage 2 that there is no legal need for the section 1 offences under the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012 because, as the Law Society and others who gave evidence, such as Professor Leverick, have made clear, section 38 of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 and common-law breach of the peace allow disruptive behaviour to be prosecuted.

I hear and understand the concern about section 6 of the 2012 act but, in reality, only one conviction has been made under that section in the past year. Furthermore, it is clear from the evidence that the act is too narrowly drafted to be used. Assistant Chief Constable Higgins gave evidence that it is rarely used and that the police prefer to charge someone under section 127 of the Communications Act 2003. In addition, the Law Society made it clear that common law can be used, citing the case of Her Majesty’s Advocate v Shaun Divin and Jordan McGinley in 2012. Even the Scottish Government-commissioned independent review on hate crime legislation noted that section 38 of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 and section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 would

“remain relevant in the vast majority of cases.”

It is clear that repealing sections 1 and 6 would leave no gap in the law.

Liam McArthur (Orkney Islands) (LD)

I rise to speak against the amendments. The debate seems to hang on the issue of whether there would be a gap in the law. The Law Society’s briefing states:

“The Bill, if passed, will not leave any gap in the criminal law as existing measures, both statutory and at common law, will allow for the prosecution of any relevant offending behaviour provided that sufficient admissible evidence exists.”

That could not be clearer.

Ben Macpherson rightly drew attention to the evidence that the committee received at stage 1 from a number of representatives of those with protected characteristics, but I fail to see how keeping in place an act that does not provide the protections that its supporters maintain that it does, or that even acts in the interest of those whom it professes to protect, would not send out the wrong message.

On the suggested delay of 12 months, as the minister considered during cross-examination at stage 2, the point by which the Government would be able to introduce replacement legislation would extend beyond 12 months. Therefore, if there were a gap, it would still exist.

15:15  

Annabelle Ewing

Does the member not agree that, in the interest of ensuring continuity of protection, it would be better to seek to do what we can to ensure that that protection continues for a further 12 months, rather than taking it away from as early as mid-April?

Liam McArthur

As I explained, the act is not providing the protection that the minister asserts it is providing. It seems to me ridiculous and somewhat irresponsible to allow to go unchallenged the misconception that the law is providing that protection when that is not, in fact, the case. At some stage, the Scottish Government will have to recognise that this illiberal, ineffective, misdirected act is going to be repealed. Continuing to promote the notion that there will be a gap or a dilution of protection is wholly irresponsible.

Fulton MacGregor (Coatbridge and Chryston) (SNP)

I support the amendments in the group. Today, at general questions, I raised the issue of vandalism in my constituency in the context of sectarianism at both St Patrick’s church and the cenotaph last year. I also raised the issue, which was reported recently in the news, of a local business owner who was subjected to threatening communications online following Sunday’s old firm game.

Unfortunately, sectarianism is still a major problem in constituencies such as mine; I am glad that Elaine Smith also touched on that in her question.

Johann Lamont

I wonder what message it sends on tackling sectarianism to cut the budget for anti-sectarianism projects—[Interruption.] Members should let me finish my point, because they might agree with it. How does cutting the budget from £3 million to £0.5 million send out a message about tackling sectarianism?

Fulton MacGregor

Johann Lamont knows fine well that this Government has invested heavily in tackling sectarianism. [Interruption.] She knows that.

Throughout our evidence taking, it was clear that there was a difference between section 1 and section 6, and nobody from any party can deny that. Members across the board recognised it. We all agreed—I acknowledged it as well—that section 1 could be better if reformed. There was a feeling that young men in particular were being penalised and that we could maybe address that better through the diversion schemes.

However, whatever the merits of the repeal of section 1, section 6 is totally different. It is irresponsible—and it does indeed send out a wrong message—to repeal the act today.

James Kelly

I oppose all the amendments in the group. I believe that they are unnecessary. First, the thing to understand about section 6 is that it has hardly been used in the six years for which the act has been in place. There have been only 17 prosecutions and, as Daniel Johnson pointed out, only one conviction in the past year. The reason is that, as the police told us at the Justice Committee, the legislation was drafted in such a way that the threshold was set too high, so the police and prosecutors are going down the route of using the Communications Act 2003 and not section 6, on threatening communications.

Annabelle Ewing

On that point, the member and other members in the chamber will be aware, or may be interested to know, that there was a very recent successful conviction under section 6. The issue concerned a 54-year-old man who was charged with making a death threat against Neil Lennon. That was a recent successful conviction under section 6, which the member wishes to take away.

James Kelly

That brings me to my next point. Repealing section 6 of the 2012 act will not leave a gap in the law. In the stage 1 debate, the point was made that the Communications Act 2003 allows sentences of only up to one year, whereas section 6 allows a sentence of up to five years. However, in relation to the section 38 offence under the 2010 act, which the minister referred to, there can be a trial on indictment and somebody can be sentenced to five years. There is case law that backs that up, such as HM Advocate v McGinley, on a breach of the peace charge.

On cover in relation to religious minorities, as Professor Leverick pointed out to the Justice Committee, a section 74 religious aggravation under the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2003 can be added, as happened in the Love v PF Stirling case.

There is no gap in the law. Legislation and case law that demonstrate that there is not a gap in the law are in place.

I agree with Liam McArthur’s point. If the Government’s position were serious in any way, it would have proposed at least an 18-month gap in which to bring forward legislation. A 12-month gap is a minimal amount of time, which would not allow legislation to be brought forward. The amendment is simply a face-saving measure from the Government.

It is important to recognise the point that the Law Society of Scotland made in its submission ahead of the debate on matters relating to repeal. It said:

“There is always merit in clarity, simplicity and consistency of the law. This would be provided if the 2012 Act is repealed in its entirety at one time.”

The minister is seeking to have different timings for repeal. From her point of view, the preferred route is a delay of 12 months for section 6 of the 2012 act and two months for sections 1 to 5. That would go against the wise counsel of the Law Society of Scotland.

On the protection of minorities, we cannot offer proper protection if the law has been unused and we have seen only one conviction in the past year.

To sum up, the aspect of the law in question is little used and there is no gap. There is no point in leaving in place a law that is not being used properly and credibly. It is time to move quickly to repeal and to use the credible and robust existing legislation that is already in place.

Annabelle Ewing

There would be a gap in the legislation if section 6 of the 2012 act were repealed—there is no question about that. Indeed, Daniel Johnson recognised that point when he referred to the fact that only the majority of cases—not 100 per cent of them—could fall within other provisions. In response to Mr Kelly and Mr McArthur, who will be expert on these legal matters now, given their perusal, I say again for the record what I said in my opening remarks: breach of the peace involves not only a fear and alarm test, but a threatening of serious disturbance to the community element. That is a problem with regard to some section 6 issues. With regard to section 38, there is a fear and alarm hurdle, which is not the case in section 6. I hope that, as a lawyer, I have clarified that helpfully for members once and for all.

To be fair, I do not think that the author of the Law Society of Scotland paper for stage 3, which has been referred to, got things quite right. As I have said, it is a simple matter of fact that the repeal of section 6 will leave a gap in the law that the Scottish Government, acting responsibly and in the best interests of minority and vulnerable communities, needs to address. My intention with amendment 4 is to seek the time to address that problem. A 12-month period is challenging, but it is nonetheless realistic to introduce alternative legislation on section 6 issues. I find the argument that, because things might take a wee bit longer than that, we should just take away the protection potentially from mid-April very confused.

We do not want Scotland to be behind the rest of the UK on protection against incitement to religious hatred. If section 6 is taken away, there will be no specific offence of incitement to religious hatred in Scots law.

I gave the example of ISIS in my opening remarks and, in an intervention on Mr Kelly, I highlighted the recent successful conviction under section 6 of a 50-year-old man who was charged with making death threats against Neil Lennon.

That gap in the law needs serious consideration by the Scottish Government so that we can work with partner organisations and those who are interested in ensuring that our minority communities have adequate recourse to law when they are attacked or harassed. A bit of extra time is required to put in place longer-term protection against incitement to religious hatred in Scotland. That is not a complicated proposition, as the Law Society appeared to suggest it is; it is quite the opposite, as it would afford continuity of protection. It is not at all clear why the author of the Law Society’s paper thinks that anyone would be concerned about section 6 prosecutions continuing.

It would be irresponsible of the Scottish Government not to take steps to ameliorate the negative impact that the creation of that gap will have. Surely it is incumbent on us all to find positive ways to respond to the concerns of organisations representing vulnerable and minority communities, such as Stonewall Scotland, the Equality Network, Victim Support Scotland, the Scottish Women’s Convention, the Scottish Disabled Supporters Association and the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

It is very regrettable indeed that, when we see instances of hate crime rising, we could see this Parliament deliberately removing from Scots law the specific offence of incitement to religious hatred. Frankly, I find that beyond comprehension. I ask members to support the amendments.

The Presiding Officer

That concludes the debate on group 1. The question is, that amendment 1 be agreed to. Are we agreed?

Members: No.

The Presiding Officer

There will be a division. As this is the first division, Parliament will be suspended for five minutes before we vote.

15:25 Meeting suspended.  15:30 On resuming—  

The Presiding Officer

We will now proceed with the division on amendment 1. This will be a 30-second division.

For

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)
Ewing, Annabelle (Cowdenbeath) (SNP)
Ewing, Fergus (Inverness and Nairn) (SNP)
Fabiani, Linda (East Kilbride) (SNP)
FitzPatrick, Joe (Dundee City West) (SNP)
Forbes, Kate (Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch) (SNP)
Freeman, Jeane (Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley) (SNP)
Gibson, Kenneth (Cunninghame North) (SNP)
Gilruth, Jenny (Mid Fife and Glenrothes) (SNP)
Grahame, Christine (Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale) (SNP)
Harper, Emma (South Scotland) (SNP)
Haughey, Clare (Rutherglen) (SNP)
Hepburn, Jamie (Cumbernauld and Kilsyth) (SNP)
Hyslop, Fiona (Linlithgow) (SNP)
Kidd, Bill (Glasgow Anniesland) (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)
McKee, Ivan (Glasgow Provan) (SNP)
McKelvie, Christina (Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse) (SNP)
McMillan, Stuart (Greenock and Inverclyde) (SNP)
Neil, Alex (Airdrie and Shotts) (SNP)
Paterson, Gil (Clydebank and Milngavie) (SNP)
Robison, Shona (Dundee City East) (SNP)
Ross, Gail (Caithness, Sutherland and Ross) (SNP)
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)
Yousaf, Humza (Glasgow Pollok) (SNP)

Against

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)
Chapman, Peter (North East Scotland) (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)
Finnie, John (Highlands and Islands) (Green)
Fraser, Murdo (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Con)
Golden, Maurice (West Scotland) (Con)
Grant, Rhoda (Highlands and Islands) (Lab)
Gray, Iain (East Lothian) (Lab)
Greene, Jamie (West Scotland) (Con)
Greer, Ross (West Scotland) (Green)
Griffin, Mark (Central Scotland) (Lab)
Halcro Johnston, Jamie (Highlands and Islands) (Con)
Hamilton, Rachael (Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire) (Con)
Harris, Alison (Central Scotland) (Con)
Harvie, Patrick (Glasgow) (Green)
Johnson, Daniel (Edinburgh Southern) (Lab)
Johnstone, Alison (Lothian) (Green)
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)
Marra, Jenny (North East Scotland) (Lab)
Mason, Tom (North East Scotland) (Con)
McArthur, Liam (Orkney Islands) (LD)
Mitchell, Margaret (Central Scotland) (Con)
Mountain, Edward (Highlands and Islands) (Con)
Rennie, Willie (North East Fife) (LD)
Rowley, Alex (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Lab)
Rumbles, Mike (North East Scotland) (LD)
Ruskell, Mark (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Green)
Sarwar, Anas (Glasgow) (Lab)
Scott, John (Ayr) (Con)
Scott, Tavish (Shetland Islands) (LD)
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)
Whittle, Brian (South Scotland) (Con)
Wightman, Andy (Lothian) (Green)

The Presiding Officer

The result of the division is: For 60, Against 62, Abstentions 0.

Amendment 1 disagreed to.

Section 6—Commencement

Amendment 2 moved—[Annabelle Ewing].

The Presiding Officer

The question is, that amendment 2 be agreed to. Are we agreed?

Members: No.

The Presiding Officer

There will be a division.

For

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)
Ewing, Annabelle (Cowdenbeath) (SNP)
Ewing, Fergus (Inverness and Nairn) (SNP)
Fabiani, Linda (East Kilbride) (SNP)
FitzPatrick, Joe (Dundee City West) (SNP)
Forbes, Kate (Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch) (SNP)
Freeman, Jeane (Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley) (SNP)
Gibson, Kenneth (Cunninghame North) (SNP)
Gilruth, Jenny (Mid Fife and Glenrothes) (SNP)
Grahame, Christine (Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale) (SNP)
Harper, Emma (South Scotland) (SNP)
Haughey, Clare (Rutherglen) (SNP)
Hepburn, Jamie (Cumbernauld and Kilsyth) (SNP)
Hyslop, Fiona (Linlithgow) (SNP)
Kidd, Bill (Glasgow Anniesland) (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)
McKee, Ivan (Glasgow Provan) (SNP)
McKelvie, Christina (Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse) (SNP)
McMillan, Stuart (Greenock and Inverclyde) (SNP)
Neil, Alex (Airdrie and Shotts) (SNP)
Paterson, Gil (Clydebank and Milngavie) (SNP)
Robison, Shona (Dundee City East) (SNP)
Ross, Gail (Caithness, Sutherland and Ross) (SNP)
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)
Yousaf, Humza (Glasgow Pollok) (SNP)

Against

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)
Chapman, Peter (North East Scotland) (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)
Finnie, John (Highlands and Islands) (Green)
Fraser, Murdo (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Con)
Golden, Maurice (West Scotland) (Con)
Grant, Rhoda (Highlands and Islands) (Lab)
Gray, Iain (East Lothian) (Lab)
Greene, Jamie (West Scotland) (Con)
Greer, Ross (West Scotland) (Green)
Griffin, Mark (Central Scotland) (Lab)
Halcro Johnston, Jamie (Highlands and Islands) (Con)
Hamilton, Rachael (Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire) (Con)
Harris, Alison (Central Scotland) (Con)
Harvie, Patrick (Glasgow) (Green)
Johnson, Daniel (Edinburgh Southern) (Lab)
Johnstone, Alison (Lothian) (Green)
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)
Marra, Jenny (North East Scotland) (Lab)
Mason, Tom (North East Scotland) (Con)
McArthur, Liam (Orkney Islands) (LD)
Mitchell, Margaret (Central Scotland) (Con)
Mountain, Edward (Highlands and Islands) (Con)
Rennie, Willie (North East Fife) (LD)
Rowley, Alex (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Lab)
Rumbles, Mike (North East Scotland) (LD)
Ruskell, Mark (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Green)
Sarwar, Anas (Glasgow) (Lab)
Scott, John (Ayr) (Con)
Scott, Tavish (Shetland Islands) (LD)
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)
Whittle, Brian (South Scotland) (Con)
Wightman, Andy (Lothian) (Green)

The Presiding Officer

The result of the division is: For 60, Against 62, Abstentions 0.

Amendment 2 disagreed to.

The Presiding Officer

We now move to group 2. Amendment 3, in the name of the minister, is in a group on its own.

Annabelle Ewing

Amendment 3, which seeks to delay the repeal of the 2012 act, has been proposed for purely practical reasons. Ensuring that the bill is brought into line with accepted, tried and tested practices supports the effective introduction of the changes to the law by ensuring that those who need to take account of those changes are able to work to a clear and specific date.

Amendment 3 provides certainty and time for all those affected by the bill to take account of its provisions and to make all the reasonable adjustments that are required of them before the date that the new legislation comes into force, if it is passed by this Parliament. The amendment therefore promotes clarity. A two-month period from royal assent is not odd or unusual; it is simply good practice, particularly as far as the criminal law is concerned.

The argument that the closed season would offer police and prosecutors a period in which to carry out preparatory work simply does not hold water. That is for the simple reason that royal assent usually occurs about five to six weeks after stage 3. If the Parliament passes the bill, the 2012 act could be repealed as early as mid-April, but the current football season does not end until 19 May, with the Scottish cup final. Potentially, that means that a month of football could be played after the 2012 act has been repealed, without Police Scotland or prosecutors having had the necessary time to make the reasonable adjustments that are needed to ensure that the changes in the law are implemented effectively.

Building in a two-month window would allow the police, football clubs and supporter liaison officers to clearly communicate to fans that, although the 2012 act has been repealed, offensive, threatening and hateful behaviour at football will not be tolerated. Surely that can be viewed as a good thing.

Amendment 3 adjusts section 6 of the bill, which deals with the commencement date. The default commencement provision is for the bill to come into force on the day after royal assent. Amendment 3 changes that so that the bill would commence at the end of two months, beginning with the date of royal assent. In other words, it brings the bill into line with standard practice for legislation that deals with the criminal law of Scotland.

I move amendment 3.

Rona Mackay (Strathkelvin and Bearsden) (SNP)

I speak in favour of the amendment. The repeal of the 2012 act lacks one thing: a viable alternative. The most recent statistics show a 69 per cent conviction rate, and most recent polls show that 85 per cent of people are offended by sectarian chants and songs. The repeal of the act sends out an entirely wrong message.

As the minister said, equality groups such as Stonewall Scotland, the Equality Network and the churches, along with many others, say that people do not feel safe going to a football match. We have to respond to that.

The 2012 act is not perfect—nobody is saying that it is—but I cannot understand the rush to abolish it. At the very least, we should wait two months after royal assent so that we can consider further legislation and make the necessary adjustments, as the minister outlined. There is far too much at stake to repeal the act now and replace it with nothing.

Liam Kerr

I will speak against amendment 3, which seeks to delay commencement of the repeal by two months. I listened to the reasons that the minister gave for that delay both today and at stage 2. They boil down to a suggestion that the people who are affected by the bill—that is, by the repeal—require certainty and time to prepare. I am not persuaded.

It is instructive to note that, earlier this month, the Lord Advocate published new guidelines for football-related prosecutions, instructing prosecutors to stop using the 2012 act and instead use pre-existing statutory offences or common-law ones, such as breach of the peace. Even the Lord Advocate is persuaded that the amendment is unnecessary.

Annabelle Ewing

If the Lord Advocate were here, Liam Kerr might find that he was a bit surprised to hear him say that. Liam Kerr referred to the guidelines that were issued towards the end of last week. The Crown Office must continue its daily work and needs to ensure that guidelines are available. That, of course, is a matter for the independent Crown Office. That is one important strand but there are many others—including, as I said, building in time for the police to work with supporter liaison officers, for example. Does Liam Kerr not want that time to be available to smooth the passage of the bill, if it is passed?

Liam Kerr

I absolutely care about that. The minister appears to have misunderstood my comments. When I say “even the Lord Advocate” I mean that, as the minister rightly pointed out, normal practice might be to wait two months but, in this case, even the Lord Advocate has considered that it is better to publish the new guidelines for football-related prosecutions already.

Given the attention that the media has given the matter for a considerable time, it is clear that the repeal will not come as a surprise to anyone. Getting the 2012 act in place prior to the start of the football season was one reason that was given for its initially being rushed. Following the unamended timetable that is given in the bill will bring about repeal towards or around the end of the football season. That will give the off-season to allow the return to the new old regime to embed and the police and others to carry out preparatory work and deal with any message that may or may not be sent.

The time for delay is over. The Scottish Conservatives shall vote against the amendment. Should it be Parliament’s will to pass the bill—and we hope that it is—we hope that the repeal will take place with all due haste and no further delays.

James Kelly

I oppose the amendment in the name of the minister. The minister’s central point is that prosecutors need time to prepare for the passing of the repeal bill.

In reality, as Liam Kerr said, it is no surprise that we are on the verge of voting to repeal the 2012 act. Parliament made its views known on the issue as far back as November last year. Prosecutors should have been well aware at that point that Parliament had signalled its intentions. In addition, as has been pointed out, the Lord Advocate issued guidance after stage 1 that says that prosecutors should stop using the provisions in the act. He also emphasised that pre-existing legislation can be used, thereby backing up the argument that there will be no gap in the law.

The 2012 act is poor legislation that has caused a lot of difficulty. The Law Society of Scotland has pointed out that there is a lack of legal certainty in the act and that it is open to legal challenge. The Scottish Human Rights Commission has made the same point. When there is poor legislation on the statute book, it makes sense to get it off as quickly as possible and instead use credible pre-existing legislation to deal with cases that are going through the system.

Annabelle Ewing

It is not odd or unusual to seek a two-month period after royal assent; in fact, such a period would bring the bill into line with normal accepted practices, particularly as far as the criminal law of Scotland is concerned. The amendment therefore promotes legal certainty, and not the reverse.

It is fair to say that although amended guidelines were indeed issued last week, there are other actors in this process. Discussions will need to take place between the police, football clubs and supporter liaison officers to clearly communicate the new position, and I would not have thought it unreasonable to allow all those players two months to do that, and to do so properly—I am sure that they would welcome that.

Liam Kerr and James Kelly said that repeal will take place during the closed season. It probably will not, because if Parliament votes to pass the bill tonight, the 2012 act could be repealed as soon as mid-April, with one month of the football season still to go.

As a responsible Government, we lodged amendment 3 to promote clarity and to respect the normal practices that we would expect to see in most other legislation, and certainly in legislation that affects our criminal law.

As the date when royal assent is given is never certain, surely it is fairer that those who need to prepare for the repeal can work to a known date and have reasonable notice of it. That is not an unreasonable request and I would have thought that it was in the interests of everyone in the chamber to ensure that our law enforcement agencies can implement changes to the law as effectively as possible.

The Presiding Officer

The question is, that amendment 3 be agreed to. Are we agreed?

Members: No.

The Presiding Officer

There will be a division.

For

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)
Ewing, Annabelle (Cowdenbeath) (SNP)
Ewing, Fergus (Inverness and Nairn) (SNP)
Fabiani, Linda (East Kilbride) (SNP)
FitzPatrick, Joe (Dundee City West) (SNP)
Forbes, Kate (Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch) (SNP)
Freeman, Jeane (Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley) (SNP)
Gibson, Kenneth (Cunninghame North) (SNP)
Gilruth, Jenny (Mid Fife and Glenrothes) (SNP)
Grahame, Christine (Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale) (SNP)
Harper, Emma (South Scotland) (SNP)
Haughey, Clare (Rutherglen) (SNP)
Hepburn, Jamie (Cumbernauld and Kilsyth) (SNP)
Hyslop, Fiona (Linlithgow) (SNP)
Kidd, Bill (Glasgow Anniesland) (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)
McKee, Ivan (Glasgow Provan) (SNP)
McKelvie, Christina (Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse) (SNP)
McMillan, Stuart (Greenock and Inverclyde) (SNP)
Neil, Alex (Airdrie and Shotts) (SNP)
Paterson, Gil (Clydebank and Milngavie) (SNP)
Robison, Shona (Dundee City East) (SNP)
Ross, Gail (Caithness, Sutherland and Ross) (SNP)
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)
Yousaf, Humza (Glasgow Pollok) (SNP)

Against

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)
Chapman, Peter (North East Scotland) (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)
Finnie, John (Highlands and Islands) (Green)
Fraser, Murdo (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Con)
Golden, Maurice (West Scotland) (Con)
Grant, Rhoda (Highlands and Islands) (Lab)
Gray, Iain (East Lothian) (Lab)
Greene, Jamie (West Scotland) (Con)
Greer, Ross (West Scotland) (Green)
Griffin, Mark (Central Scotland) (Lab)
Halcro Johnston, Jamie (Highlands and Islands) (Con)
Hamilton, Rachael (Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire) (Con)
Harris, Alison (Central Scotland) (Con)
Harvie, Patrick (Glasgow) (Green)
Johnson, Daniel (Edinburgh Southern) (Lab)
Johnstone, Alison (Lothian) (Green)
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)
Marra, Jenny (North East Scotland) (Lab)
Mason, Tom (North East Scotland) (Con)
McArthur, Liam (Orkney Islands) (LD)
Mitchell, Margaret (Central Scotland) (Con)
Mountain, Edward (Highlands and Islands) (Con)
Rennie, Willie (North East Fife) (LD)
Rowley, Alex (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Lab)
Rumbles, Mike (North East Scotland) (LD)
Ruskell, Mark (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Green)
Sarwar, Anas (Glasgow) (Lab)
Scott, John (Ayr) (Con)
Scott, Tavish (Shetland Islands) (LD)
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)
Whittle, Brian (South Scotland) (Con)
Wightman, Andy (Lothian) (Green)

The Presiding Officer

The result of the division is: For 60, Against 62, Abstentions 0.

Amendment 3 disagreed to.

15:45  

Amendment 4 moved—[Annabelle Ewing].

The Presiding Officer

The question is, that amendment 4 be agreed to. Are we agreed?

Members: No.

The Presiding Officer

There will be a division.

For

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)
Ewing, Annabelle (Cowdenbeath) (SNP)
Ewing, Fergus (Inverness and Nairn) (SNP)
Fabiani, Linda (East Kilbride) (SNP)
FitzPatrick, Joe (Dundee City West) (SNP)
Forbes, Kate (Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch) (SNP)
Freeman, Jeane (Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley) (SNP)
Gibson, Kenneth (Cunninghame North) (SNP)
Gilruth, Jenny (Mid Fife and Glenrothes) (SNP)
Grahame, Christine (Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale) (SNP)
Harper, Emma (South Scotland) (SNP)
Haughey, Clare (Rutherglen) (SNP)
Hepburn, Jamie (Cumbernauld and Kilsyth) (SNP)
Hyslop, Fiona (Linlithgow) (SNP)
Kidd, Bill (Glasgow Anniesland) (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)
McKee, Ivan (Glasgow Provan) (SNP)
McKelvie, Christina (Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse) (SNP)
McMillan, Stuart (Greenock and Inverclyde) (SNP)
Neil, Alex (Airdrie and Shotts) (SNP)
Paterson, Gil (Clydebank and Milngavie) (SNP)
Robison, Shona (Dundee City East) (SNP)
Ross, Gail (Caithness, Sutherland and Ross) (SNP)
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)
Yousaf, Humza (Glasgow Pollok) (SNP)

Against

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)
Chapman, Peter (North East Scotland) (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)
Finnie, John (Highlands and Islands) (Green)
Fraser, Murdo (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Con)
Golden, Maurice (West Scotland) (Con)
Grant, Rhoda (Highlands and Islands) (Lab)
Gray, Iain (East Lothian) (Lab)
Greene, Jamie (West Scotland) (Con)
Greer, Ross (West Scotland) (Green)
Griffin, Mark (Central Scotland) (Lab)
Halcro Johnston, Jamie (Highlands and Islands) (Con)
Hamilton, Rachael (Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire) (Con)
Harris, Alison (Central Scotland) (Con)
Harvie, Patrick (Glasgow) (Green)
Johnson, Daniel (Edinburgh Southern) (Lab)
Johnstone, Alison (Lothian) (Green)
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)
Marra, Jenny (North East Scotland) (Lab)
Mason, Tom (North East Scotland) (Con)
McArthur, Liam (Orkney Islands) (LD)
Mitchell, Margaret (Central Scotland) (Con)
Mountain, Edward (Highlands and Islands) (Con)
Rennie, Willie (North East Fife) (LD)
Rowley, Alex (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Lab)
Rumbles, Mike (North East Scotland) (LD)
Ruskell, Mark (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Green)
Sarwar, Anas (Glasgow) (Lab)
Scott, John (Ayr) (Con)
Scott, Tavish (Shetland Islands) (LD)
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)
Whittle, Brian (South Scotland) (Con)
Wightman, Andy (Lothian) (Green)

The Presiding Officer

The result of the division is: For 60, Against 62, Abstentions 0.

Amendment 4 disagreed to.

The Presiding Officer

That ends consideration of the amendments.

As members will be aware, at this point in proceedings I am required under standing orders to decide, in my view, whether any provision of the bill relates to a protected subject matter—that is, whether it modifies the electoral system and franchise for the Scottish parliamentary elections. In my view, no provision of the bill does that. Therefore, the bill does not require a supermajority to be passed at stage 3.