Scottish sub-postmasters wrongly convicted because of the faulty Horizon IT system will need to wait for the Scottish Government to bring in its own legislation, the UK’s Post Office minister has said.

Kevin Holinrake said that given that justice was devolved in Scotland and Northern Ireland it would be for the devolved administrations to act.

The First Minister said he was “greatly disappointed” that the Post Office (Horizon system) offences Bill would not apply across the UK.

Humza Yousaf said Scottish-specific legislation could only be brought forward when the UK Government’s Bill has passed each of its parliamentary stages in Westminster.

READ MORE: ‘Extremely disappointing’ Scotland not included in Horizon law

The new law will overturn convictions of theft, fraud, false accounting, money laundering and any linked offences handed down in connection with prosecutions brought between 23 September 1996 and 31 December 2018.

The First Minister has repeatedly said his preference is to pass a Legislative Consent Motion to allow the UK Government's legal fix to apply north of the border.

However, Lord Advocate Dorothy Bain KC later told MSPs that there could be no quick solution and that it was “imperative that due process is followed.”

She said the “right process” for people to clear their names was through the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) and the High Court of Appeal.

There have been more than 900 convictions linked to the scandal, including around 60 in Scotland.

It is thought that another 3,000 former Post Office workers across the UK could also be affected.

Mr Hollinrake described the law as “an exceptional response to a factually exceptional situation.”

“Without government intervention many of these convictions could not be overturned, either because all the evidence has long been lost or because quite simply postmasters have lost faith in the state and the criminal justice system,” he told MPs.

Post office operators who have their convictions quashed can receive a fixed compensation payment totalling £600,000, or choose to have their case considered on an individual basis. They are eligible to receive an interim payment of £163,000 within 28 days of applying.

The government is also extending compensation to those who were never convicted or took part in legal action against the Post Office, making them eligible for £75,000 redress payments.

READ MORE: Angela Constance urges UK Government to rethink post office law

The SNP’s Marion Fellows, who has long campaigned on behalf of Horizon scandal victims, welcomed the legislation and the enhanced financial redress.

She added: “From a Scottish perspective—I am sure my Northern Irish colleagues will agree with me—I am deeply disappointed that the legislation is confined to England and Wales only.

“That needs to be addressed. We should include Scotland and Northern Ireland to ensure parity.

“The Westminster Parliament is sovereign, but the Scottish Parliament can be challenged on its legislation, and this needs to be looked at.”

Ms Fellows warned that the devolution process risked “slowing things down.”

She added: “It is vital that victims in Scotland and Northern Ireland do not have to wait any longer for justice than their English and Welsh counterparts. Victims across these isles suffered enormously at the hands of a wholly reserved institution, so complete parity is essential.”

Mr Hollinrake said there was “constitutional sensitivity” around Scotland and Northern Ireland.

“These are tough decisions, and I understand that Scottish Ministers will have to make similar decisions.

“They can decide to do what we are doing and, if they do, we will support them in how they legislate.

“Given the sensitivities, we thought that, where justice is devolved, the devolved Administrations should make the decision.

“I again commit to making sure that we work across the piece, wherever we can, to deliver the consistent compensation that she requires, without forgetting that the redress schemes are UK-wide.

"As soon as people’s convictions are overturned, they will be able to access compensation, just as they can in England and Wales.”

Earlier, Mr Yousaf said he and Ms Constance had been working on Scottish-specific legislation.

The First Minister continued: “The difficulty, of course, with Scottish-specific legislation is we’ll have to wait to see the details of UK-specific legislation, not just when it’s introduced, but as it gets amended through the UK parliamentary process.

“If we have legislation which diverges significantly, that could have an impact on compensation that subpostmasters here in Scotland could get access to and, of course, we don’t want that.”