MSPs sign up for trial of online threat alert scheme at Holyrood

The plan is set to trialled in light of a review following the murder of Sir David Amess MP in 2021.

MSPs sign up for trial of online threat alert scheme at Scottish Parliament Getty Images

A new scheme aiming to give MSPs early warning of threats to their safety is set to be trialled by Holyrood bosses.

Six MSPs have signed up to take part in the new social media monitoring service trial, with parliament bosses hoping to increase this to a maximum of 20 by September 11.

The year-long trial is due to start at Holyrood on June 12.

The plan comes after the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body (SPCB) carried out a review of security provisions for MSPs and their staff in wake of the murder of Sir David Amess MP.

Amess was stabbed during a constituency surgery in 2021.

The new scheme will see searches carried out for threatening and abusive language on social media platforms with the aim of giving early notice to MSPs and staff of online threats to them.

Police Scotland will at that point be able to provide advice and support.

A Scottish Parliament spokesperson said: “The SPCB is acutely aware of the rising level of online abuse and intimidation towards elected representatives.

“This pilot service will help us to escalate potentially criminal matters to Police Scotland.

“It will also highlight other in-house sources of support to help MSPs and their staff stay safe online.”