A GROUP of female MSPs are considering what action to take over “misogynistic behaviour coming from mostly within the Scottish Tory ranks”.

Several members of the Scottish Parliament have spoken to The National about their concerns of aggressive and disruptive behaviour from the Conservative benches, with warnings that things have “most certainly” worsened recently.

Green MSP Gillian Mackay claimed that Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross is either the “architect” of the behaviour or has “lost all control” of his MSPs at Holyrood.

The issue came to a head during the debate on gender reform, which saw the Tories attempt to filibuster proceedings by forcing numerous points of orders and nonsense votes – including one on whether or not to include the word “and” in a sentence.

READ MORE: Did MSPs vote 'to allow sex criminals to change gender'?

While the Conservatives have claimed their MSPs “always” conducted themselves in a measured and respectful way, party leader Ross was warned during the debate that he was “skirting close to contempt of Parliament” by the deputy presiding officer.

Mackay (below) said that the behaviour was a sign that the Tories are “trying to turn the chamber into a Westminster-style circus and none of us should have to accept that”.

The National:

“Scotland should be proud of its parliament and of all the good work that goes on as we have seen for almost a quarter of a century. It is modern, it is progressive and the complete antithesis of the broken husk of democracy Westminster has become,” the Green MSP said.

“But all these efforts are being undermined by the baying provocation and quite frankly misogynistic behaviour coming from mostly within the Scottish Tory ranks.

“Many female politicians, including myself, have found the culture in the chamber intimidating and disrespectful and we are trying to find the best way forward in addressing this increasingly worrying development.”

She added: “The Tories may well shake their fists in faux outrage at this, but anyone who witnessed their most recent behaviour leading up to recess will have seen for themselves the increasingly toxic nature of their comments and utter contempt for proceedings.

“Douglas Ross has either finally lost all control of his MSP group, or he is the architect of this outrageous behaviour. It must stop, otherwise the consequences for politics in Scotland and the reputation of our parliament could be very damaging indeed.”

Without naming anyone involved, the Greens said that a group of female MSPs was "actively considering what to do" about the behaviour.

READ MORE: Tory MSP poses with pubic wig and Holyrood 'flasher' amid police probe into incident

SNP MSP Emma Roddick, who has spoken out previously about the patronising tone which she is often subjected to by other Holyrood politicians, said that Mackay’s comment “about sums it up”.

“Women are targeted with condescending comments and nasty heckles,” she said. 

“We constantly hear that this is the most diverse Parliament Scotland has had so far, but it's disabled MSPs and those with caring responsibilities who suffer most when certain individuals try to bring the whole parliament down to their level and start sneering, shouting, banging on desks, and drawing out debates for hours.

“It's blatant: the Tories want to make Holyrood look unprofessional, but they're the ones who look daft at the end of the day. Everyone looking can see how utterly childish their behaviour is and how little they care about the wellbeing of colleagues, from MSPs to Chamber and broadcasting staff.”

Karen Adam, another female SNP MSP, said things had "almost certainly" worsened, and echoed Mackay and Roddick in saying that the shouting and banging on desks made it very difficult to hear Holyrood proceedings.

READ MORE: MP says UK Tories opposing gender reform may 'help Scotland get independence'

She went on: “One point l was observing the roars, while they leaned forwards and jeered the First Minister, who you can see is a woman standing up alone speaking – it hit me how misogynistic the visuals of that were. It’s certainly not anything you would see in any other line of work.

“Our parliament must have robust and challenged debate, it must have MSPs scrutinising each other in the open in chamber, but it’s not a place to cover aggression as passion.

“There’s heckling which I have no issue with, but there is also the fine line on how that is delivered and what is actually said. I would welcome a debate on this, and cross-party dialogue.”

The National: Karen Adam MSP SNP free.

Adam (above), a vocal proponent of the gender reform bill, said the “culture of disruption by the Scottish Conservatives had never been so apparent” as it was during the final Holyrood debate on the issue.

“What I found most disturbing about the disruptions was the denial and pantomime bad acting faces when challenged on it,” she said. “When attempting to disrupt proceedings, at least be honest about it. It’s the lying and pretence that’s strange and childish.

“Why deny what we see right in front of us?”

READ MORE: Scots ‘should be affronted’ by UK loophole which lets Lords be MSPs

When approached for comment, the Scottish Conservatives did not respond to questions about concerns of misogynistic behaviour from their MSPs. Instead, they only issued a statement from Pam Gosal MSP focusing on the gender reform debate.

Gosal said: "The SNP and the Scottish Greens were intent on railroading their contentious [Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill] through parliament at breakneck speed before Christmas.

"So we make no apology for subjecting this rushed legislation to as much parliamentary scrutiny as was possible.

"The Scottish Conservatives were the only party at Holyrood to give their members a free vote on this sensitive issue. While other parties tried to silence those in their ranks with legitimate concerns about the bill, Scottish Conservative MSPs were free to speak up on behalf of the majority of the country.

"But we recognise this was a sensitive debate with passionately-held views on both sides, which is why our MSPs always conducted it in a measured, tolerant, respectful fashion.

"In contrast, some of the most inflammatory language came from the Scottish Greens, who showed themselves to be totally intolerant of anyone who didn't wholeheartedly back the bill."