A TORY MSP has launched a bid to "reform" the Scottish Parliament in a new think tank paper.

Think tank Reform Scotland published the paper authored by Murdo Fraser, who is calling for "essential" change to be brought to Holyrood.

The report makes a number of recommendations including reviewing the number of MSPs, currently 129, with the review considering the fact that the Scottish Parliament has more powers than it did when established in 1999 and work in committee and chamber level has increased.

It also suggests that the number of ministers should be regularly reviewed in proportion to the number of MSPs, with a view to introducing a cap if the number of ministers is above what the Parliament deems to be acceptable or necessary.

The National: Holyrood chamber interior

Fraser said: “The Scottish Parliament was once seen as a beacon of democracy, but now finds itself in a complex web of political polarisation and institutional stagnation.

“Despite the various achievements throughout the Scottish Parliament’s first quarter of a century, it now stands at a crossroads, grappling with a crisis of confidence and effectiveness. Reform is not only desirable but essential if the institution wants to continue its promise to serve the people.

“The ambition to create a more European-style legislature which would encourage collaborative working and build consensus has not been fulfilled. Instead, Holyrood now mirrors the Westminster confrontational dynamic.

“The influence of party politics within committees has diluted their effectiveness, turning them into arenas for partisan debates and exchanges rather than a place of constructive communication and consensus-building.

“The checks and balances system in the Scottish Parliament has been seen to show multiple flaws, especially in the formation and scrutiny of legislation.

“Reforms are necessary to restore confidence in Holyrood.”

Polls consistently show that Scots have more trust in the Scottish Government than the UK Government.

Other recommendations include replacing the current three-stage legislative process with a five-stage process to include pre-legislative and post-legislative scrutiny.

The paper also proposes electing, and paying a supplement to, Committee Conveners in order to enhance the status of the role and help separate the committees from the political parties.

It also proposes giving Parliament the power to initiate judicial inquiries and the power to compel ministers and law officers to appear before committees and in the Chamber, as well as enhancing the role of the presiding officer.

Former Scottish first minister Jack McConnell (below), chairman of Reform Scotland, said: “Murdo Fraser and I have our differences. My solutions to these problems would not be exactly the same as those he outlines in his pamphlet.

The National:

“But Reform Scotland is here to encourage and stimulate debate and I welcome his willingness to address these issues and begin a debate with some concrete proposals.

“This is the time for serious review of these original arrangements. Previous efforts have not gone far enough.

“I hope that this pamphlet does generate debate but also action to rebuild the Scottish Parliament into an institution that we can be proud of once again.”

READ MORE: 25 years ago Scotland awoke to its first democratically-elected MSPs

The paper, titled A Blueprint for a More Effective Scottish Parliament, has been published to mark the 25th anniversary of the first sitting of the Scottish Parliament in May 1999.

It proposes reforms for implementation at the start of the next Scottish Parliament elections in May 2026.

The Scottish Government has been asked for comment.