First Minister Humza Yousaf will be the target of a barrage on behalf of an unlikely uprising of Scots this week.

A usually mild-mannered swathe of Scottish B&B and guest house owners has raised its voice as part of a campaign against aspects of new short-term lets legislation and the argument is set to come to a head in the Scottish Parliament this week.

On Wednesday, a strong push is expected to force a vote in the debate called by the Scottish Conservatives. Already, a third of MSPs have written to oppose the start date of the law.

Scotland’s longest-serving Tourism Minister, Fergus Ewing, called for a halt to the legislation in an opinion platform week that was shared by Housing Minister Paul McLennan in The Herald’s special series on short-term lets this week.

The Herald:

“I never expected to see it: At Holyrood this week - bed and breakfast owners demonstrating against the Scottish Government!

"It’s hard to conceive of a group in society less likely to have become a protest group,” Mr Ewing wrote.

Part of the protest, however, was surprising for other reasons, although campaigners said they had no control over messages from those who attended.  

Meanwhile, Mr McLennan wrote: “Councils are ready to receive applications and the supportive approach is borne out by official statistics, which show many thousands of licences have been granted and none have been refused.”

It is a law though that has taken a lot of work to reach this far, and has in it merits. It was necessary to tackle the impact of the unregulated rise of Airbnb-style short-term in lets in Scotland.

In Edinburgh, community representatives have campaigned to retain homes instead of holiday flats. It is also argued hotels size up in price similarly to short-term lets when accommodating festival influxes.

It is understood that some councils may adopt a light-touch approach in the coming weeks and months to smooth the process. However, there are still fears that many of the 32,000 short-term let operators across Scotland will leave the sector rather than tackle what they see as onerous red-tape and costs that could reach thousands of pounds.

The Herald revealed this week there is already evidence of this at the Highland tourism hotspot.

PART ONE: Scotland’s short-term lets law: 'The failure of operators rests with them'

PART TWO: Highland tourism hotspot chief: 'We are running towards the cliff edge'

PART THREE: Airbnb-style short-term lets clampdown: Best B&B in Scotland faces closure

The Cairngorms Chamber of Commerce, whose 400 members are mostly tourism-based, said 16 had quit even before the licensing deadline.

Murdo Fraser, Scottish Conservative shadow secretary for business, economic growth and tourism, said: “This debate is crucial because the short-term lets regulations – however well-intended – will have huge and catastrophic unintended consequences if they go ahead next month.

"It must be halted until its flaws are addressed.”

Deputy business editor Scott Wright wrote in his Thursday column this week that “it is possible to see the row as the first major test of Humza Yousaf’s ambition to forge more harmonious links with the business world”.

Also this week, business editor Ian McConnell examined progress at Holyrood on fiscal matters.

“The Scottish Greens might not always be on the money when it comes to the economy but finance spokesman Ross Greer was spot on last week with his summation of what Scottish Conservatives leader Douglas Ross had to deliver on this front,” he wrote.

Elsewhere, Scottish legal firm Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie, whose roots date back more than 150 years in Glasgow, conceded independence as it joined forces with larger English counterpart Irwin Mitchell in what has been described as a "strategic investment". It is "effectively an acquisition", wrote business correspondent Kristy Dorsey.