Page last updated at 12:36 GMT, Wednesday, 27 June 2012 13:36 UK

Police and Fire Reform Bill amendments 1

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Opposition party efforts to create a Scottish Policing Commission failed as MSPs debated and voted on a series of amendments to the Police and Fire Reform(Scotland) Bill on 27 June 2012.

Scottish Labour MSP Graeme Pearson's amendment, which called for the creation of a parliamentary commission made up of MSPs to scrutinise the new single police force, was defeated with 55 MSPs backing it and 62 against.

Mr Pearson said there would not be a member who had not been approached by a constituent expressing concern about the democratic accountability of the new force.

Scottish Conservative MSP John Lamont backed the amendment saying it was necessary to "plan for the worst case scenario".

Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Alison McInnes said the bill put "unprecedented power in ministers hands" and it was sensible to have a formal standing body to scrutinise them.

SNP MSP John Finnie tabled an amendment calling for the formation of a committee in the parliament to scrutinise the implementation of the reform.

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said he concurred with the need for robust parliamentary scrutiny of policing and said he was receptive to the establishment of a new committee under existing standing orders, but that that was a matter for the parliament not a minister.

Opposition party amendments on directions on the examination of police service costs, the local authority role in policing and fire and rescue services and introducing a gender quota were also defeated.


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