THE Scottish Conservatives have been accused of filibustering Tuesday night’s marathon debate on the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill. 

MSPs gathered to debate 153 amendments which were lodged at stage three of the proposed legislation. 

It appeared the Scottish Tories were attempting to make the proceedings take as long as possible, tabling four amendments to the agenda from four members, forcing a vote on the timetable for the consideration of amendments, raising a further motion which MSPs had to vote on and a number of points of order. 

This all came before the debate on the amendments had even started. The party also opted to push amendments to a vote, even when the proposer of the changes had not done this. 

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Writing on Twitter, SNP MSP Emma Roddick said: “Let's be clear: the Government did not timetable a debate to last into the wee hours of the next day.

“It timetabled a debate within a normal timescale and the Scottish Tories blatantly and shamelessly filibustered all afternoon and evening then complained about the time.”

Scottish Green MSP Gillian Mackay said she was “frustrated and angry” at the behaviour of some MSPs. 

Writing on Twitter, she said: “I’ve sat looking at this open tweet for so long trying to organise my thoughts. As a business manager I’ve fought to get everything done we could for our constituents. 

“I’m frustrated and angry at the conduct of colleagues trying to argue there is not enough time for scrutiny while trying to talk the debate out. 

“I’m hugely grateful and very sorry to Parliament staff who have had to be in the building to support us.”

By 11pm, MSPs had only dealt with about 64 of the amendments with the session finishing shortly after midnight when the timed lights in the Holyrood chamber went out. 

Mackay continued: “I’m so aware of how inaccessible nights like this make Parliament. I’m one of the members with a disability and I’m already paying the price for the time and stress tonight has taken. 

“I saw colleagues taking calls with their kids. None of us take this lightly.

“None of what has happened today has diluted my resolve to get this bill finished tomorrow. This is far more than political games in the chamber, it has a real-world impact.”

Proceedings also had to be suspended at the beginning of the debate for several minutes after the Tory group failed to circulate their own amendment among members.

Labour MSP Neil Bibby said it was “evident” the Tories were “wasting time”, a sentiment which was backed by Green MSP Ross Greer. 

He said on Twitter: “The Tories have just wasted an hour of Parliament’s time complaining about how Parliament does not have enough time. They have failed. 

“Now we start Stage 3 of the Gender Recognition Reform Bill. They have immediately started more procedural wrecking tactics. It will fail too.”

Writing at midnight on social media, he added: “The Tories are blatantly trying to grind proceedings to a halt and discredit Parliament, then weaponise it against this bill and the government. 

“It is utterly transparent and we won’t let it succeed. That finishes tomorrow.”

The Scottish Conservatives have been contacted for comment.