The Scottish Parliament returns from its Easter recess this week and our MSPs certainly have a lot to get on with. 

While Holyrood might not have been sitting, it won’t have escaped Glasgow Times readers that the political headlines have been dominated by the Hate Crime Act over the last two weeks. 

This dangerous piece of legislation – brought forward by Humza Yousaf when he was justice secretary – came into force on April Fools’ Day. 

However, sadly this new law is no joke. 

Yousaf’s law is already having a chilling effect on free speech and is putting incredible strain on our police force, which is already bearing the brunt of SNP cuts. 

Officer numbers are at their lowest since 2008, yet Police Scotland will investigate every complaint made under this new law, no matter how vexatious it is. 

By contrast, SNP cuts mean our police no longer have the resources to tackle real crimes and keep communities safe. 

The Scottish Conservatives repeatedly warned this legislation would be targeted by those seeking to weaponise it for their own causes but Yousaf would not listen. 

As much as the SNP First Minister must take responsibility for this shoddy law, other parties cannot escape what they did too when this was passed by MSPs in 2021. 

Labour and Liberal Democrat MSPs joined the SNP and Greens in backing it, leaving the Scottish Conservatives as the only party to oppose it. 

That’s why my colleagues will be bringing forward a motion asking MSPs to repeal the Hate Crime Act. 

This is a perfect opportunity for Anas Sarwar – who has remained silent on the issue over the last two weeks – to admit he has got it wrong and back our calls to see it scrapped. 

Sarwar talks about opposing the SNP but the reality is you couldn’t get a cigarette paper between Scottish Labour and the nationalists on so many issues. 

From the Hate Crime Act to Nicola Sturgeon’s flawed gender self-ID laws, Labour was joined at the hip with the SNP. 

Scots crying out for change won’t get it with a Labour Party all too happy to support some of the SNP’s worst policies. 

You only need to look here in our city to see how Labour deal with tough issues they would clearly rather avoid. 

Meanwhile, we might be from different political parties, but I have seen how hardworking councillor Audrey Dempsey is and how much of a local champion she is for her communities. 

Councillor Dempsey wished to raise her legitimate concerns about a rise in racially motivated attacks happening in our schools, including in her own ward. 

Labour’s response was to suspend her and undermine her with a hatchet job of leaks and character assassination. It is utterly shameful, councillors should not be afraid to raise these sorts of concerns on behalf of constituents simply because those higher up in party HQ are uncomfortable. 

Change won’t happen simply by doing the same things the SNP have been doing. 

It is only the Scottish Conservatives who are standing against the cosy consensus that has engulfed political chambers across Scotland. 

Voters can be rest assured we are 100% committed to binning Yousaf’s Hate Crime Act. 

They’ll know tomorrow as to whether Sarwar and his Labour MSPs feel the same. I won’t be holding my breath.