The National:

FRUSTRATION with Tory scaremongering and the spreading of disinformation about Scotland’s new hate crime legislation has no doubt been felt by many MSPs over the past few weeks.

The breathless hyperbole spread by the Scottish Conservatives doesn’t serve anyone – except, of course, the Tories themselves, who appear unconcerned about the negative impact of hate crimes on Scots.

Today, though, SNP MSP Christine Grahame looked to have had enough and undertook what can only be described as a verbal evisceration of her Tory colleague Russell Findlay during a debate on the Hate Crime Act in the Scottish Parliament.

After discussing analysis of the legislation from former Tory MSP and legal expert Adam Tomkins – who criticised those who wrongly suggested the law would criminalise comments deemed merely offensive to others – Grahame took aim Findlay.

She said: “Unfortunately for me, the charge is not led by considered contributions such as [those from] Liz Smith or even Jamie Greene but as usual by Russell Findlay, who is not known for similar forensic talents to Adam Tomkins with regard to legislation.

“But has apparently an insatiable appetite for the next tabloid banner headline with his self-indulgent, flamboyant and frequently reckless contributions here and indeed in committee.

“That may offend Mr Findlay but I trust he will appreciate that it is an example of my right to expression of free speech, which I know he will defend to the hilt.”

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The debate was brought forward by the Tories, who are calling for the Hate Crime Act to be repealed.

This is despite the fact that doing so would render crimes aggravated by prejudice – such as scrawling antisemitic abuse on a synagogue – less punishable by law.

Still, if nothing else the debate provided the opportunity for Grahame to skelp Findlay.

For that, at least, the Jouker is grateful.