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Live Reporting

Craig Hutchison and Louise Wilson

All times stated are UK

  1. MSPs pass bill giving some prisoners the vote

    Prisoners serving a sentence of less than 12 months get the right to vote
    Image caption: Prisoners serving a sentence of less than 12 months get the right to vote

    MSPs pass the Scottish Elections (Franchise and Representation) Bill, which will give some prisoners the vote.

    The passing of this bill is a historic moment in the history of the Scottish Parliament, as it is the first legislation that required a super majority (two thirds of all MSPs) to back it.

    92 MSPs voted to pass the bill reaching the required super majority, with 27 voting against it.

    The bill extends the electoral franchise in local and Scottish elections to prisoners serving a sentence of less than 12 months, as well as anyone legally resident in Scotland including refugees and those granted asylum (but not asylum seekers).

    Constitution, Europe and External Affairs Secretary Michael Russell said this "radical and progressive bill" shows Scotland welcomes those who want to live here.

    Saltire voting

    Extending voting rights to prisoners serving a sentence of up to one year was the most popular option to emerge from the consultation, Mr Russell adds.

    Tory efforts to block what Tory MSP Adam Tomkins called the "horrible" proposal to give prisoners the vote failed.

    Scottish Green efforts to make the threshold for prisoners not being able to vote a sentence of four years or also failed, as did their efforts to enfranchise asylum seekers.

    The passing of this bill is a historic moment in the history of the Scottish Parliament, as it is the first legislation that required a super majority, or two thirds of all MSPs, to back it.

  2. Terrorist early release legislation agreed

    MSPs back the legislative consent motion on the Terrorist Offenders (Restriction of Early Release) Bill.

    105 MSPs backed it while 11 voted against and three abstained.

  3. BreakingMSPs end prisoner voting ban

    MSPs

    MSPs pass the Scottish Elections (Franchise and Representation) Bill, which will give some prisoners the vote.

    The passing of this bill is a historic moment in the history of the Scottish Parliament, as it is the first legislation that required a super majority (two thirds of all MSPs) to back it.

    92 MSPs voted to pass the bill reaching the required super marjority, with only 27 MSPs voting against it.

    The bill extends the electoral franchise in local and Scottish elections to prisoners serving a sentence of less than 12 months, as well as anyone legally resident in Scotland including refugees and those granted asylum (but not asylum seekers).

  4. Minster calls for MSPs to approve the terror bill LCM with reservations

    Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf
    Image caption: Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf

    Humza Yousaf understands why John Finnie has decided to oppose the LCM on this emergency terror legislation.

    The justice secretary says he has deep reservations about the rush to pass this bill and the UK government's policy intent.

    He explains, however, why the government has to back the LCM due to the impact it would have on the law and executive competence if MSPs did not.

  5. Greens oppose legislating 'in haste'

    Green MSP John Finnie

    Green MSP John Finnie criticises the lack of consultation and impact assessment of the UK legislation.

    If the legislation is meant to alter sentencing policy, prison rehabilitation, risk assessment around prisoner release or the role of parole board in England and Wales, they should be properly reviewed.

    "We legislate in haste and repent at leisure."

    If approved, this change will mean different treatment within our legal system he warns.

    He urges MSPs to vote against it.

  6. MSPs consider an LCM for emergency terror legislation

    Police have been carrying out searches after the attack in Streatham
    Image caption: Police have been carrying out searches after the attack in Streatham

    MSPs will now consider a Legislative Consent Motion for the Terrorist Offenders (Restriction of Early Release) Bill.

    Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf expressed concerns about this emergency legislation earlier this week.

    The bill is designed to end the release of people convicted of terrorism offences halfway through their sentence and was approved by MPs last week.

    The measures - which would apply to England, Scotland and Wales - were drawn up after the attack in Streatham, south London, earlier this month.

  7. 'We should be tearing down walls, not building them'

    Lib Dem MSP Liam McArthur

    Lib Dem MSP Liam McArthur says the UK is a nation of immigrants and those who want to make Scotland their home should be helped to contribute to their communities.

    "We should be tearing down walls, not building them."

    Mr McArthur says diversity should be celebrated and this bill will help to do this.

    A blanket ban on prisoner voting is not legal or fair, nor does it help rehabilitative efforts he says, adding he is not convinced the 12-month threshold goes far enough.

    "I remain hopeful of more progress in the future," he concludes.

  8. Government's one year cut off for prisoner voting open to challenge

    Green MSP Mark Ruskell
    Image caption: Green MSP Mark Ruskell

    Green MSP Mark Ruskell welcomes a tangible extension of human rights by granting the vote to foreign national residents in Scotland.

    Mr Ruskell remains disappointed MSPs are not extending franchise and candidacy rights further, which will create barriers that act against integration.

    He lambastes the government for not sorting out the difficulties that prevented it supporting the enfranchisement of asylum seekers.

    On prisoner voting the government's one year cut off is open to challenge, he suggests.

  9. Call for voter registration and education process

    Labour MSP James Kelly

    Labour MSP James Kelly says giving prisoners with sentences of under 12 months the vote will help establish them as more responsible citizens.

    The extension of the franchise to foreign nationals residents in Scotland is "logical" he adds, highlighting many of them already work here in importance sectors like health and care.

    There must be a process of voter registration and voter education within all this, he states.

    I hope the parliament will deliver the super majority required for this bill, Mr Kelly concludes.

  10. Scottish government has 'jettisoned its own principles' by backing prisoner voting

    This bill will bring prisoners into elections before they have been rehabilitated or reintegrated into society, says Mr Halcro Johnston.

    He adds convicted criminals spending time in jail will be brought in as part of our democracy, a U-turn by the SNP on its previous position.

    The Scottish government has "jettisoned its own principles and put itself firmly at odds with the views of the voters we in this place serve".

  11. Decision time is now at 5.15pm

    MSPs have agreed decision time should be moved back to 5.15pm

  12. Tory MSP rejects bill introducing prisoner voting

    Tory MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston
    Image caption: Tory MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston

    Jamie Halcro Johnston says the European Court of Human Rights looms over MSPs' decision today and he reiterates the Tory rejection of giving prisoners the vote.

    The Tory MSP says when someone commits a crime they lose some rights.

    He argues the bill does not address rehabilitation, decisions of the court or exclude unpleasant crimes.

    We should not gold plate the requirements the European Court of Human Rights imposes on us, he says.

  13. Bill shows Scotland welcomes those who want to live here

    Turning to the extension of voting rights for foreign nationals, Mr Russell says it will allow people who live here to feel they can participate in society.

    We should use the powers we have to send out the message that Scotland is welcoming and open to those who want to live here, he says.

    This will also extend to refugees, he explains, though he regrets asylum seekers could not be enfranchised at this time.

    I hope future reforms continues to reflect what this bill reflects: that Scotland is committed to human rights and welcomes those who seek to join our society, the minister tells the chamber.

  14. 12-month threshold for prisoner voting most popular option

    Constitution Secretary Mike Russell
    Image caption: Constitution Secretary Mike Russell

    Constitution Secretary Mike Russell says 15 years ago the ECHR ruled a blanket ban on prisoner voting was a breach of human rights.

    Noting European nations have been given some room to maneouvre around compliance with this ruling, he suggests the UK government's decision to apply the bare minimum does not go far enough.

    He highlights that enfranchising those with sentences under 12 months was the most popular option following consultation on the change.

  15. MSPs debate extending the franchise to prisoners...

    Prison

    MSPs debate the Scottish Elections (Franchise and Representation) Bill for the final time.

    It seeks to extend the right to vote in local and Scottish elections to prisoners serving a sentence of less than 12 months, as well as anyone legally resident in Scotland.

    This would add 55,000 people to the electoral register.

  16. Holyrood history: Elections bill requires 'super majority' to pass

    Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh
    Image caption: Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh

    Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh reminds MSPs that a super majority is required to pass Scottish Elections (Franchise and Representation) Bill

    This is the first time a super majority has been required to pass legislation in the history of the Scottish Parliament.

    So 86 members (two thirds of MSPs) must back the bill or it won't pass.

  17. Last amendment calling for review of Act rejected

    Group 5: Review of the Act.....Amendement 39
    Image caption: Group 5: Review of the Act.....Amendement 39

    It is right that these changes are reviewed by the Scottish government and that review is brought before the Scottish Parliament, argues Tory MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston.

    Mike Russell says Liam McArthur has already secured a review and urges this be rejected, but James Kelly for Labour says his party will back it.

    The amendment is rejected.

  18. Tory prison election meeting amendment rejected

    Tory MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston sees his amendment that would require all candidates to agree to an election meeting in prison for one to go ahead defeated.

    No other party supports it.

  19. MSPs reject Tory effort to prevent prisoner voting

    MSPs back extending the enfranchisement of prisoners serving up to one year but do not back the proposal to make that up to four years.

    Tory efforts to remove the government's proposal of up to one year were rejected by all the other parties.