THE Scottish Parliament Corporate Body (SPCB) will not disclose the papers behind its controversial parliament protest law change, Holyrood has heard.

Scottish Greens MSP Gillian Mackay asked an urgent question on the matter today following days of public debate around the topic.

The cross-party panel has asked the Home Office to designate the building and its grounds as a "protected site" on national security grounds. Westminster and the Senedd already have that status, which allows police to take action against those found there "without lawful authority".

READ MORE: Protest restrictions plan for Scottish Parliament is poor on so many levels

Mackay said there is "significant concern" around the matter in an exchange with SPCB member Claire Baker this afternoon, when she also asked the panel to consider the release of background documents.

Baker said the body "does not publish papers which include security advice".

And she said the issue has been muddied by "significant misunderstanding and inaccuracies", telling the parliament: "We are not seeking to curb or limit protest." 

The Labour MSP said only individuals "who try to prevent parliament from meeting" or who "seek to interfere with the rights of others" to engage there, or whose actions "make it unsafe for others" will fall foul of the new rules, set to come into force on October 1.

Baker went on: "I myself have been at marches and demonstrations all my life and I would not support measures to curtail them. They are a valuable part of our democracy.

"This is about protecting the functions of parliament."

Mackay said statements from the SPCB "failed to recognise" public concern, stating: "I know many MSPs have joined protests outside this parliament, as I have, for a whole range of issues. Protest is a fundamental part of our democracy. The Scottish Parliament should be open, accessible, and welcoming of peaceful protest.

"I also have concerns about how this process has been conducted. The minutes of the SPCB’s meeting on June 24 note that the SPCB discussed the matter, and highlight that concerns were raised by Maggie Chapman MSP. 

"The minutes make no mention of consulting MSPs, nor the public, in fact MSPs were not even informed of the change until legislation had already been laid in the commons. The controversy around this matter could have been avoided if the SPCB had adopted a more transparent approach, in line with the Scottish Parliament’s key principles of accountability and open participation."

Baker said the decision had been unanimous.