The leader of the Scottish Conservatives has announced his party will attempt to force ministers to withdraw their controversial proposals on hate crime.
Douglas Ross has insisted such a “blatant attack on free speech” must not progress any further.
The Tories will press a motion in Holyrood on Wednesday, calling on the Scottish Government to withdraw the Bill – which has already attracted a host of criticism.
The Humanist Society and BBC Scotland are among the organisations to voice concerns about the impact the legislation could have on freedom of speech.
Criticism of the Bill has centred on plans for a new offence of “stirring up hatred”, with opponents concerned this will stifle freedom of expression.
With opposition parties being given debating time at Holyrood again, the Tories will attempt to put more pressure on the Scottish Government – with Mr Ross urging ministers to “go back to the drawing board”.
Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf has already told MSPs he will consider whether changes need to be made to the Bill, saying he has noted the “particular concerns” that have been raised.
While some organisations such as the Equality Network and Victim Support Scotland have spoken in favour of the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill, the Tories say there are “clear flaws” in the proposals.
Mr Ross said: “Whatever the original good intentions of this Bill were, the breadth and depth of opposition to its clear flaws are too strong for the SNP to try to force it through.
“We cannot allow such a blatant attack on freedom of speech in Scotland to progress any further. ”
The Scottish Tory leader, who will not be able to take part in the debate as he does not currently have a seat in Holyrood, added: “Everyone agrees on the need for legislation to tackle hate crime in Scotland.
“But by trying to fix a doomed Bill that clearly needs to be reworked, we’re wasting time that the Parliament needs to hold the SNP Government to account on care home deaths and their domestic record.”
He likened the legislation to the Scottish Government’s controversial named person scheme – saying it was only after a costly legal challenge that ministers “eventually saw sense and dropped it”.
Mr Ross called on the other opposition parties at Holyrood to unite with the Tories for Wednesday’s vote, saying: “The Hate Crime Bill is too important to allow it to progress with these attacks on free speech.
“The SNP must withdraw it and go back to the drawing board.”
Liberal Democrat justice spokesman Liam McArthur said while his party is “supportive of the overall aim of updating hate crime law” there are “significant flaws” with provisions on “stirring up hatred”.
Mr McArthur said: “For this Bill to receive the support of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, these issues need to be addressed and the Justice Secretary must agree to remove any potential threat to free and open debate. ”
He added: “We remain committed to working with ministers and others to help deliver legislation that is effective but strikes the proper balance in this complex and sensitive area of law.”
Mr Yousaf said the Scottish Government will work to “find common ground” and “compromise where necessary” as Parliament considers the details of the Bill.
He added: “This is an issue around which the Parliament can and must come together and parliamentarians have a duty to work together to ensure we do our utmost to protect those who are most vulnerable and targeted by hate so they can live their lives free from harm or fear.
“Any attempt to have the Bill withdrawn before it has gone through the parliamentary process should be resisted as that would silence the voices of those most affected by hate crime.”
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