THE SNP has sought legal advice on how to get more people from ethnic minorities elected to Holyrood, it has emerged.

It comes amid criticism that only four MSPs in the history of the Scottish Parliament have been from black and minority ethnic backgrounds. No women from BAME backgrounds have ever been elected to Holyrood.

At their last conference, SNP delegates agreed a motion recognising the progress made in increasing the number of women elected.

However, it warned that BAME, disabled people and other minority communities continue to be under-represented at Holyrood.

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The motion mentioned “setting aside” seats for groups that struggle to overcome barriers and called on the party to investigate whether selection procedures could be changed.

Ahead of a meeting of the SNP’s governing national executive committee last week, activists submitted a proposal which would have likely increased the number of BAME MSPs.

They called for four SNP seats in which the sitting member is standing down - Glasgow Cathcart, Uddingston & Bellshill, Falkirk East, and Renfrewshire North & West - to be filled by BAME women.

A party insider told the Record there was a “real mood” at the NEC to boost the number of BAME candidates, but the source said: “The main concern was that the Equality Act doesn’t allow for that in the same way that it does for all-women ballots. It’s going to need an effort at local level to make progress happen.”

Similarly, Scottish Labour recently agreed to review their candidate selection proposals over concerns their plans did not cater for minority groups.

It also comes after nearly 40 groups signed a letter calling for greater representation of Muslims at Holyrood.

The four people from ethnic minorities to have been elected to Holyrood are Labour’s Anas Sarwar and Hanzala Malik, current Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf and the late Bashir Ahmad.