CITIZENS Assemblies are "here to stay", the Scottish Government said today as it published its official response to the country's first such forum.

Parliamentary business minister George Adam told MSPs the model should be embedded in Scottish politics to help the public influence decision-making.

Scotland’s first £1million Citizens Assembly produced 60 recommendations in the spring after 100 citizens in a “mini-Scotland” debated long-term issues. 

The year-long forum called for Holyrood to have more powers over immigration, employment and tax, including hiking taxes on wealthy individuals and large corporations.

It also called for more power to the people, including a “house of citizens”, effectively an unelected second chamber, to scrutinise Scottish Government and Holyrood business.

Mr Adam said details were still being thrashed out by a participatory democracy working group, but there would be more assemblies.

He said: “The vision of the Citizens’ Assembly is long term and to realise the scope of its ambition will require change beyond the term of this Parliament.

“The next steps will include working with the Scottish Parliament and others, including the public, to address the central recommendations in the Assembly’s report to ensure that democratic institutions are properly connected and engaged with the people of Scotland and to secure a lasting legacy of the Citizens’ Assembly of Scotland.”

The Assembly was based on the Irish version that debated abortion and other divisive issues outside the normal political process, leading to changes in the law.

The Scottish version looked at three main questions: the kind of country we should be, overcoming challenges including Brexit, and giving people the information they need to make informed choices about Scotland’s future.