MSPs may be helping protesters sneak into First Minister’s Questions, a senior Tory has suggested.

There has been disruption in the chamber nearly every week for some months now, with most of those taking part calling for politicians to do more to tackle climate change

Today’s session was interrupted again. A lone man shouted loudly over Douglas Ross’s opening question to Nicola Sturgeon. 

The Scottish Tory leader initially attempted to carry on despite the protester’s shouts but gave up seconds later when he realised he could not compete with the booming baritone of the red-jacketed objector. 

Four people were eventually ejected from the building.

Six of the last eight weeks have now seen proceedings suspended while police intervene.

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At the end of FMQs, Tory MSP Murdo Fraser asked Presiding Officer Alison Johnstone if the parliament could do anything to help.

“Over the last number of weeks, we've been subjected to increasingly tiresome interruptions from protesters in the public gallery. Now, in a democratic society, we recognise there is a right of peaceful protest. 

“But this is very disruptive for those of us in the chamber, for other people who have come to watch proceedings in the public gallery, for those watching at home who tuned in to see the First Minister and the Scottish Government being held to account."

He asked if Ms Johnstone could look at how members of the public obtain tickets to get into the chamber.

“Are these individuals obtaining tickets directly?” he asked. “Or are they doing that through the offices of MSPs?”

He asked if “sanctions” were “being applied to those who are being disruptive.”

“Are their names being taken? Or are they being prevented from coming back on another occasion?

“Or what other steps can be taken to try and address what is a weekly irritation to all members?”

READ MORE: Douglas Ross apologises for 'industrial language' during FMQs

Responding, the Presiding Officer said work was “underway with regards to the disruption that the parliament is experiencing and has done so over this last period of weeks.”

She added: “I have held discussions with the bureau, with the SPCB with party leaders and members more widely. They are ongoing. This issue will continue to be pursued and I will give members an update in due course.”

Mr Fraser told The Herald it was important to find out how the protestors acquired their  tickets. 

"If it was through a MSPs office, and there is a pattern of behaviour, then that needs to be considered and whether sanctions need apply – such as a withdrawal of rights to a ticket allocation," he said. 

"We also need sanctions against those who protest – at least they should not be allowed back in for future dates."

A Police Scotland spokesperson said:“Just after 12 pm on Thursday, 9 March 2023, four protestors were asked to leave the public gallery for breach of the code of conduct at the Scottish Parliament.

“There were no arrests and there is no further police action.”

There were a number of protests earlier this year during the Gender Recognition Reform Bill, resulting in the public gallery being completely cleared at points. 

In the Commons, MPs are separated from the public gallery by a protective screen. It was installed in 2004 shortly after a Fathers4Justice protester threw a condom full of purple flour at Tony Blair.