Scotland politics

IndyCamp bid for Supreme Court appeal against eviction

IndyCamp
Image caption The camp was set up outside the Scottish Parliament in November 2015

Independence campaigners facing eviction from the Scottish Parliament estate have applied for leave to appeal their case in the UK Supreme Court.

The IndyCamp group have been ordered to leave Holyrood after a series of rulings in Scottish courts.

However the group insist they were not given a fair hearing and have applied for permission to appeal in London.

The Scottish Parliament said its "clear preference" was for the campers to leave voluntarily.

However it has obtained an order to have the camp removed, which can be enforced regardless of the latest move for an appeal.

The camp was set up on the parliamentary estate in November 2015, with the goal of staying in place until Scotland becomes independent.

But the parliament's corporate body took legal action, arguing the group were taking up space others could be using for an indefinite period, and endangering the neutrality of the parliamentary estate.

'Valid and enforceable'

Lord Turnbull ruled in favour of eviction at the Court of Session, and a panel of the Inner House judges subsequently found that he "did not err in his approach".

In a statement broadcast live from the camp on social media, the group said they would "use any and all legal means" to have this judgement overturned in order to protect their rights. They insist that they were not given a fair hearing and contest the way parliament fought the case.

During the court case they warned that an eviction ruling would set a "dangerous precedent" for future cases.

A spokesman for the Scottish Parliament said: "The order granted by the Court of Session to remove the camp remains valid and enforceable regardless of whether leave is sought for an appeal to the Supreme Court. The parliament is entitled to enforce the Court of Session judgment in the meantime pending any appeal.

"Our clear preference remains for the protesters to respect the court's judgement and to vacate parliament land in an orderly way. If they fail to comply with the judgement of the court, the SPCB will have no option but to have the camp removed."

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