MSPs have recommended that Holyrood should be able to conduct its business remotely on a permanent basis.

A cross-party group which has been investigating the Parliament's response to the pandemic has called for some of the temporary changes should be adopted full-time.

The Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee said remote voting, along with virtual or hybrid meetings where some MSPs join by video link, should be allowed to continue beyond the pandemic if necessary.

They also recommended creating a new rule which makes it easier to change the parliament’s standing orders.

In February last year, before the pandemic began, SNP MSP Gail Ross announced she was stepping down at May’s election because of “the demands of travelling to Edinburgh and being away from home for sometimes five days a week, every week”.

Committee convener, Bill Kidd said: “The pandemic had an immediate impact on the work of the Scottish Parliament, with huge changes to how we operate and conduct our business being made quickly.

“We should rightly reflect on the success of these in allowing all MSPs to not only contribute to debates, but to scrutinise and vote on legislation. Something that has not happened in all legislatures.

“What has been clear to us during this inquiry, is that many of these changes need to become permanent to help ensure that parliament is as resilient as possible for all future challenges.”

Deputy convener Patrick Harvie added: “There is little doubt that the world has changed dramatically in the course of less than a year.

“The changes that were introduced in the parliament were done initially out of necessity, but they have taught us that the parliament must be ready to face future challenges and carry out its vital function of holding the government to account. Something that is even more crucial in times of crisis.

“Our report today makes it clear that, not only do we think that some of these innovations should stay, but that in the next session of parliament work should be done to ensure that these procedures are as robust as possible as we move out of the pandemic, and beyond.”