The Scottish Conservatives are set to force a vote on scrapping the controversial Hate Crime Act.

Douglas Ross’s party will use their opposition day on Wednesday to call for the new law to be repealed.

They have urged Labour, the Lib Dems and “the more sensible Nationalists” to back their motion.

The Scottish Government’s Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Act took effect on April 1.

READ MORE: Scottish hate crime laws see 7,000 complaints made in first week

In its first week, Police Scotland received more than 7,000 complaints, with just 240 – 3.3% – recorded as hate crimes.

The Act consolidated previous hate crime legislation and created an offence of stirring up hatred against certain protected characteristics.

Although the result of Wednesday’s vote will have no material effect on the legislation, it will see Labour and the Lib Dems forced to respond.

They both backed the change to the law when it went through parliament in 2021.

However, the two parties have been criticised for keeping a low profile during the furious row that dominated the Act’s first days.

Tory shadow justice secretary Russell Findlay said: “Humza Yousaf’s disastrous hate crime law has caused utter chaos in the fortnight since its introduction.

“It is proving every bit as unworkable as many critics warned – and must be repealed.

“As well as being an unacceptable risk to free speech, it is taking a huge toll on Scotland’s police officers. They're being deluged with thousands of complaints – many of them vexatious from individuals out to settle scores.

“Officer numbers are at their lowest level since 2008, and the police were already turning a blind eye to certain crimes, so this increased workload is completely unsustainable."

READ MORE: Hate Crime Act will pose new challenges for employers

“The Scottish Conservatives were the only party to oppose the SNP legislation when it went through parliament.

“We now appeal to Labour and Lib Dem MSPs – and the more sensible Nationalists – to admit they made a huge mistake and back our call for its repeal.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “The Hate Crime Act helps to tackle the harm caused by hatred and prejudice and provide greater protection for people in society and communities who face hatred just because of who they are.

“It does not prevent people expressing controversial, challenging or offensive views – nor does it seek to stifle criticism or rigorous debate in any way and the right to freedom of expression is built into the Act.

“Police Scotland has been clear that demand continues to be managed within its contact centres and the impact on frontline policing has been minimal.”

Speaking to journalists at the STUC annual congress in Dundee, Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar said issues around the implementation and communication of Act should be fixed and the issue is more complex than a “simple repeal”.

He said the law should be updated urgently to include sex and misogyny.

Mr Sarwar said: “The implementation of this has been an absolute disaster.

“And I don’t believe that what the government has implemented is actually reflective of the wishes or the intentions of the parliament.”

Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Liam McArthur said: “Hate crime can’t be tolerated and our legislation must be clear about that.

“I will be lodging an amendment that challenges the poor communication and preparation that has accompanied the implementation of this law.

“I hope that the government will admit that this has contributed to the confusion and concern that exists. We need this to happen so that Parliament can ensure that hate crime law is applied sensitively, practicably and in a way that fully respects essential freedoms such as expression.”