ECO-protesters who disrupt First Minister's Questions will be banned from Holyrood for six months, the parliament's Presiding Officer has warned. 

Alison Johnstone announced the unprecedented crackdown after campaigners interrupted Thursday's session five times. 

One of those protesting had been thrown out of the chamber just three weeks ago. 

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

The Herald:

Police Scotland said 11 protestors were asked to leave the public gallery.

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

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. 

In an email to MSPs, Ms Johnstone said: "I know you will all agree with me that the disruptions at FMQs today were wholly unacceptable. Parliamentary business cannot, and will not, be jeopardised by the actions of a small number of people.  

"The SPCB met this afternoon to consider the Parliament’s response. Under my authority, all those who disrupted business today will be issued with a ban from the chamber public galleries for six months.   

"The SPCB was also clear that we must be in the strongest position possible to prevent further disruptions to business. 

"With that in mind we will introduce, at the earliest opportunity, more stringent measures to identify those who disrupt our proceedings.  We will also amend our visitor access policy to explicitly state that anyone who wilfully disrupts business will be excluded from our public galleries."

She said this would be in addition to a mobile phone ban announced earlier in the week. 

"Excluding individuals is not a step we take lightly - indeed this is the first time such action has been necessary in this way," she said. 

"Over the last 25 years, this Parliament has prided itself on its openness to the public and that is an ethos that we want to retain.   

"However, the individuals who disrupted the Parliament today did not attend to observe parliamentary democracy but to disrupt.

"The Parliament must consider the impact on the welfare of others in the gallery where such action may result in alarm and distress.

"In such circumstances, we must act. "

During the debate, 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.”

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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."