Holyrood referendum debate halted after Westminster shooting


The Scottish Parliament has deferred a debate on whether to call for an independence referendum following an attack mask the UK Parliament.

Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh said the incident in London was using the contributions of MSPs, and that the debate would resume at another set.

Four people – including an armed police officer, a woman and a man design to be the attacker – have died.

Scotland Yard is treating it as a terrorist experience.

The woman was among several pedestrians struck by a car on Westminster bridge, in the past it crashed into railings.

The officer was stabbed in the Houses of Parliament by an attacker, who was ball by police.

  • Parliament shooting – latest updates
  • London attack: What we conscious so far

Police said 20 people have been injured, comprehending three other officers, and a “full counter-terrorism inquiry” is under way.

Story of the London attack broke as MSPs were spending a second day arguing whether or not to seek permission from the UK government for a second referendum on Scottish self-government.

A vote had been due to be held at 17:30, but politicians including Scottish Conformist leader Ruth Davidson called for the session to be suspended.

Parliament officials initially ruled that the meditate on should continue as planned, before Mr Macintosh decided that it should be closed.

The presiding officer said: “The fact that our sister parliament has had a grave incident is affecting this particular debate, and is affecting the contribution of associates. And so it is for that reason we are deciding to suspend the sitting.

“We will resume this contest and we will be able to do so in a full and frank manner, but I think to continue at the minute would not allow members to make their contributions in the manner they palm off on to.”

A decision on when the debate will resume is expected to be made on Thursday morning.

Orthodox MSP Fin Carson tweeted ahead of the presiding officer’s ruling that he had fist the parliament chamber, saying: “I can’t understand how this debate can go on. At least a deprivation would have shown some respect.”

However, some hacks were unhappy about the decision to suspend the debate.

Liberal Democrat MSP Mike Rumbles was mass those to argue it was a “mistake”, telling BBC Scotland that had huge rapport for those affected by the attack, but that: “We should not be giving in to terrorism, and I credence in we’ve done that”.

Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham was also sorrowful with the decision – but was later said to agree entirely after knowledge the full details of the London attack.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon had been anticipated to win the backing of a majority of MSPs for her plan to ask the UK government for a section 30 tell, which would be needed to hold a legally-binding referendum on independence.

The UK authority has already said it will block the move, and will not enter into any negotiations until after the Brexit method has been completed.

Ms Sturgeon tweeted: “My thoughts are with everyone in and all Westminster caught up in this dreadful incident – and with the brave difficulty services.”

She later said Scottish ministers had been liaising with Constabulary Scotland, with officials holding a Scottish government resilience (SGoRR) conference with the force “to ensure that any potential implications for Scotland are meditate oned”.

A further SGoRR meeting was due to take place later on Wednesday still.

The first minister added that she fully supported the suspension of the over, but stressed the decision “was not because of any specific threat to the parliament or to Scotland”.

An email to MSPs, shillelagh and Holyrood pass-holders from the Scottish Parliament chief executive’s backup said: “While there is no intelligence to suggest there is a specific risk to Scotland, Edinburgh or Holyrood, we have increased security with unthinking effect at the Scottish Parliament as a precaution.”

Police vehicles were known outside the parliament building, with a spokesman for Police Scotland estimate the force was “liaising with colleagues in London and will ensure apportion safety and security plans are in place based upon what we discern”.

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