LEADERS are being urged to “embed real people power in Scottish politics” by creating a permanent Citizens’ Assembly.

More than 2000 people have signed a petition calling for the creation of a House of Citizens, which it is claimed could stand in stark contrast to the House of Lords at Westminster. It comes after the SNP’s election manifesto included a commitment to hold an annual Citizens’ Assembly to look at “some of the more complex issues we face as a country”.

Meanwhile, the Citizens’ Assembly established by the previous SNP government concluded that this kind of body should be made a permanent feature of Scottish politics, to scrutinise legislation and hold MSPs to account.

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Michael Gettins, a mental health support worker who took part in the Citizens’ Assembly of Scotland, said: “I think it’s great that the Scottish National Party are taking the views of ordinary Scottish people seriously.

“But if they believe, as I do, that citizens’ assemblies can act as a voice of Scottish people in Parliament, then that means listening to what they say.

“Our assembly put forward a recommendation for a permanent second chamber at Holyrood, run as a Citizens’ Assembly, to scrutinise bills and hold members of the Scottish Parliament to account.

“We need a commitment from the politicians now to embed real people power into Scottish politics.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “We welcome this further evidence of the strong and continuing interest in the work of the assembly, which was established to involve the public in our democracy and enable the widest possible range of voices to be heard on key issues.

“Before the election ministers were delighted to meet with assembly members to hear more about their recommendations and the experience of being part of this unique process. A formal response to the assembly’s report will be made in due course.”