ALBA MPS IN COMMONS PUSH TO REPEAL “DRACONIAN” POWERS OVER SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT GROUNDS
“THE RIGHT TO PEACEFUL PROTEST MUST BE PROTECTED” – HANVEY
The ALBA MPs, Neale Hanvey MP and Kenny MacAskill MP have today (Thursday) tabled a motion to annul the Order which has been laid by the Home Secretary Priti Patel MP to transfer draconian powers under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 which would allow the police to remove protestors from the Scottish Parliament building and grounds under threat of criminal prosecution. The Order was laid by the Home Secretary on 9 September following a request by the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body (SPCB). The Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 (Designated Scottish Sites under Section 129) Order 2021 (SI 2021, No. 1021) will come into force on 1 October, unless it is annulled. The ALBA MPs are seeking a Debate and a Parliamentary vote on the issue.
In a statement Neale Hanvey MP, ALBA Westminster Group Leader said:
“I addressed a rally outside the Scottish Parliament today where there is growing anger at the prospect of peaceful protestors being removed from the grounds of the Scottish Parliament under threat of criminal prosecution. This attempt by the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body (SPCB) to limit the right to peaceful protest in the wider Scottish Parliamentary Estate and to attack fundamental rights and freedoms is unacceptable.
“The SPCB has sought to do this by making a request to the Home Secretary in Whitehall who has no jurisdiction over the criminal justice system in Scotland.
“ I am determined to do everything possible to stop these draconian powers from coming into force. That is why, along with my colleague Kenny MacAskill, I have tabled a motion to annul and effectively repeal the Order laid by the Home Secretary Priti Patel which would bring these powers into effect. This should be an issue which concerns every single Scottish MP. There is absolutely no impediment to SNP MPs signing this motion as their party conference has voted for a motion expressing concern at this move and urging Parliamentarians to call for this Order to be withdrawn.
“The right to peaceful protest must be protected. Therefore I urge all of my Parliamentary colleagues to get behind our effort to have this issue debated and voted on in the House of Commons”.