Scottish Government have lost Offensive Behaviour at Football Act vote

  • Alfie Baron
In a blow for the minority SNP Government MSPs have voted to repeal the Offensive Behaviour at Football Act. The SNP continue to support the legislation citing there is no alternative being suggested to replace it.

Labour's James Kelly has been campaigning to scrap the act for some time and lodged a member's bill aiming to repeal the legislation. The Tories supported him and put the matter forward for debate.

The Offensive Behaviour at Football Act (OBFA) became law in 2012 after it was forced through by an SNP majority government. This was despite opposition from all other parties.

Opponents of the legislation suggest there are existing laws to tackle offences and that it unfairly targets football fans.

It is thought the SNP will not "tear up the act" - but will argue that there has to be some legislation in place and not rely on other existing laws to deal with issues such as "sectarian behaviour".

Conservative MSP Douglas Ross put forward a motion for debate underlining that "sectarian behaviour and hate crime are a blight on society in Scotland and should not be tolerated under any circumstances", but adding that "there are laws in place to prosecute acts of hatred" other than the OBFA.

Scottish Greens MSP John Finnie has said "there never was a shared political vision for this act".

Liberal Democrat Liam McArthur said the legislation was "flawed from the start".

Justice Secretary Michael Matheson said he was struck by the "lack of alternative approaches" suggested by opposition members.
SNP MSP Mark McDonald quits SNP in Sleaze Investigation
  • Alfie Baron

Aberdeen Donside MSP Mark McDonald has quit the Scottish National Party (SNP).

His resignations follows allegations of misconduct against at least two women.

McDonald resigned from the SNP with immediate effect - but will remain as an Independent MSP.