Scottish politicians need to be taught that homophobic and sexist comments are not 'banter', an MSP has said.

Alison Johnstone, Scottish Green MSP for the Lothian region, issued the call after attending a mandatory training session on respect for all staff at the Scottish Parliament.

Ms Johnstone said the training was welcome, but suggested it did not sufficiently highlight the differences between 'banter' and harassment.

She also highlighted the fact that only one man attended the session she was at.

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And she called for more women to be promoted to senior jobs to change the culture.

The sessions were organised after a report into sexual harassment at the Scottish Parliament by Holyrood's standard’s committee last summer called for urgent action.

The report made several recommendations including mandatory training to encourage “positive culture change “ for all those responsible for staff at the parliament, including MSPs.

A Scottish Parliament survey on sexual arassment showed that 30% of women had experienced harassing behaviour.

However, 40% of those who experienced harassment did not speak up about it.

In a blog on the training Ms Johnstone said: "On the afternoon I attended were about a dozen people on the course, all women apart from one man in this particular instance.

"We explored helpful techniques to encourage a change of behaviour when ‘banter’ we’re unhappy with is used.

"In my opinion, however, more training explaining what is unacceptable and why it’s unacceptable is clearly required.

"Homophobic and sexist comments are not banter and shouldn’t be described as such. They are never acceptable, regardless of the spirit in which they were made."

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Ms Johnstone said training alone would not bring about the change required.

She said: "We need to do more to prevent sexist behaviour and sexual harassment in the first instance.

"Two well-evidenced ways to do so are by teaching bystanders to intervene and by promoting more women.

"Research has continually shown that companies with more women in management have less sexual harassment.

"It’s devastating that in 2019 such a service is required, but by shining a light on this behaviour we can begin to bring about an end to sexism and sexual harassment."