The Scottish Government will need to find their own legal fix to overturn the convictions of postmasters wrongly prosecuted because of the faulty Horizon IT software.

Ministers in Edinburgh had pleaded with the UK Government to include Scotland in their legislation and had suggested a number of amendments to the Post Office (Horizon System) Offences Bill making its way through the Commons. 

However, they have been told it is for the Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliament to bring forward legislation specific to those caught up in the scandal north of the border.

READ MORE: Scots post office victims will need to wait for Holyrood legislation

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

The UK Government's Bill will overturn convictions of theft, fraud, false accounting, money laundering and any linked offences handed down in connection with prosecutions in England and Wales 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, ministers in London have been equally clear that as justice is devolved and as prosecutions were undertaken in a completely separate system it is for ministers in Edinburgh to come up with their own solution.

Lord Advocate Dorothy Bain KC has also said that there can be no quick solution for the Scottish victims 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.

On Thursday, Justice Secretary Angela Constance wrote to UK enterprise minister Kevin Hollinrake setting out 15 “relatively simple” amendments which she said could extend the UK Bill to Scotland.

She said this would “ensure there is no delay to the quashing of convictions and access to compensation.”

A UK Government spokeswoman said: “In Scotland, prosecutions were undertaken by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.

“Is it therefore right that overturning convictions in Scotland is determined, delivered and scrutinised by the Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliament.

“The Scottish Government has already indicated that they are bringing forward legislation and we are working closely with them as we progress legislation to ensure equitable outcomes for victims across the UK.”

READ MORE: Post Office: Constance demands urgent meeting with UK Government

During First Minister’s Questions, Mr Yousaf said there were difficulties in identifying exactly which cases in Scotland are linked to Horizon.

Unlike south of the border, the Post Office is not able to bring its own prosecutions under Scots Law.

He said: “We want no delay whatsoever, we’ll continue to work with the UK Government to do what is the simplest thing, which is to ensure the UK legislation applies UK-wide.”

He was asked by SNP backbencher Fergus Ewing to “publish the proposed Scottish legislation in draft, rather than let the matter drift on further into the autumn."

Mr Yousaf said there was “nothing stopping” the government from introducing specific Scottish legislation.

“And we are working on what a bill would look like in the event that the UK Government does not accept the very reasonable amendments that have been tabled to ensure that the Westminster bill is UK-wide.”

He said the Scottish Government would have to wait until the UK Government’s bill has passed, which, he warned would mean those caught up in England able to access compensation ahead of their counterparts north of the border.

“We cannot allow a situation where sub-postmasters and sub-postmistresses in Scotland are treated differently from how they are treated in England in relation to access to compensation,” he added.