Opposition MSPs voted for a Tory motion calling on the Scottish Government to repeal the Act, which has been important in tackling sectarianism, prejudice and discrimination. SNP MSP Mr Beattie has questioned why the opposition parties view this issue as a priority over education, health, jobs, the economy and protecting Scotland’s interests in Europe.
Commenting after the vote, Mr Beattie said:
“This vote shows that the priorities of Holyrood’s opposition parties are staggeringly skewed, with opposition MSPs across Midlothian and East Lothian believing scrapping hate crime legislation is the top issue facing the country.
“The legislation is backed by 80% of the population, and it is extraordinary for opposition MSPs in my constituency to be rallying behind the Tories in their efforts to repeal an anti-sectarian law.
“People across the country will now be asking – rightly – what on Earth the opposition are playing at. At a time when the SNP Government is focused on education, health, jobs, the economy and protecting Scotland’s place in Europe, other parties would rather see us remove legislation that tackles sectarianism, prejudice and discrimination, whilst offering no alternative in its place.
“It is time the opposition parties got their priorities in order, backed efforts to tackle sectarianism and other hate crimes, and focused on the other issues that really matter to people across the constituency.”