The Scottish parliament has suspended debate in light of Westminster attack

Mark Sands
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The Scottish Parliament building is pict
MSPs had been due to vote on Sturgeon's independence motion at 17.30 (Source: Getty)

Debates in the Scottish parliament have been suspended following today's terrorist attack in Westminster.

A police officer was stabbed and his alleged assailant shot in the grounds of Westminster Palace earlier today, and the site remains on lockdown. Metropolitan Police have confirmed they are currently treating it as a "terrorist incident".

MSPs in Edinburgh had been debating Nicola Sturgeon's plans for a second Scottish independence referendum, with a vote scheduled to take place at 17.30 today.

It had initially been decided that debate could continue as reports first emerged of the Westminster attack, but with some MSPs complaining that Holyrood was persevering, the decision was taken to scrap all of this afternoon's business.

Read More: Westminster terrorist incident: What the emergency services know so far

Holyrood presiding officer Ken Mackintosh told MSPs: "The fact that our sister parliament has had a serious incident is affecting this particular debate and it is affecting the contributions of members. And so it is for that reasons that we are deciding to suspend this sitting.

"We will find time to resume this debate and... we will resume this debate and we will be able to do so in a full and frank manner. But I think to continue at the moment would not allow members to make their contributions in the manner they would wish to."

Responding to the attack, Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon paid tribute to the emergency services currently working in London.

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