HOLYROOD'S Presiding Officer has promised a security crackdown after Humza Yousaf’s debut First Minister’s Questions was disrupted five times by environmental protesters.

Alison Johnstone was forced to take the unprecedented decision to close the public gallery during FMQs.

Incredibly, one of those protesting today had been thrown out of the chamber just three weeks ago. 

READ MORE: Margaret Ferrier faces 30 day Commons ban

Mike Roswell, a retired army officer from Rosewell has long used direct action to campaign on the climate crisis.

The activists first shouted as Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross challenged Mr Yousaf over his choice of Cabinet and ministerial appointments.

After the protester was removed, Ms Johnstone told MSPs: “This Parliament rightly prides itself on being open and accessible. And of course, we want to maintain that. 

“Visitors are welcomed into the gallery to watch their elected representatives at work. 

“But far too regularly disruption is causing members to lose the opportunity to ask questions and to represent their constituents' interest. 

“And I'd like to assure members that work is underway on a range of measures that may be implemented to protect parliamentary business from persistent disruption.”

The Herald:

Mr Ross then asked the SNP leader about his decision to appoint a minister for independence, describing it as a “taxpayer funded nationalist campaigner.”

The First Minister said he would “make no apology whatsoever for having a minister for independence because my goodness we need independence now more than ever before.” 

Mr Ross said he found himself “in the bizarre place that I was actually hoping there might be another intervention from the gallery just to stop that long rant from Humza Yousaf.”

A protester obliged, causing proceedings to come to a halt again. 

After they were turfed out, Mr Ross started again only for another protester to intervene.

There were two further disruptions, forcing Ms Johnstone to clear out the gallery.

Only a party of schoolchildren were allowed to remain. 

READ MORE: Yousaf's judgment under fire over 'transgender laydees' minister

Mr Ross blasted the protesters, saying: “This shower have been doing this week after week, and the image of genuine constituents being forced out of our Parliament is one we will all regret and one none of us want to see repeated.”

He said he was grateful that school children had been permitted to remain, but added: “We must do something to stop this going forward.”

Mr Yousaf told the Presiding Officer he agreed with the action taken, adding he was “delighted” the school children had been permitted to remain.

“Can I commend the young people for behaving much better than some of the adults that were in the public gallery,” the First Minister said.

In a statement posted on Instagram, Just Stop Oil and This is Rigged claimed responsibility for the protests: “New First Minister, same demands.

“Humza Yousaf will you commit to ending all new oil and gas projects including: Rosebank, Jackdaw, Abigail & Peterhead?

“As the new First Minister you must ensure a fully funded, fair, transition for Scotland’s oil and gas workers.

“Scotland can rapidly transition to renewables while ensuring that our people reap the benefits and that workers are able to retrain without damage to their lives and communities.

“If you do not do this you are choosing violence. You are choosing profit over life and you are complicit in the suffering of the Scottish people and people across the world.”

READ MORE: SNP MP on Standards Committee attempted to soften Ferrier punishment

Speaking to journalists after First Minister's Questions, Mr Yousaf said: "There is absolutely a right to protest in this country and nobody is ever going to deny that, but disrupting members of the Scottish Parliament from asking questions that are important to their constituents I don't think is the right way to do that.

"So I'm fully supportive of the Presiding Officer taking the action and exploring the action that she can take to stop that disruption."

Earlier this week, Holyrood said members of the public would be banned from taking their phones into the public gallery.

The Scottish Parliament's Corporate Body has also formally requested Police Scotland "engage with the protest groups that have been disrupting business" to "explain that their actions have wider consequences for all members of the public observing FMQs."