Kenny MacAskill dismissed opposition calls for his resignation over concerns about policing in Scotland.
The Justice Secretary defended the performance of the new national force, Police Scotland, and insisted he could not “interfere” in operational issues amid recent concerns over armed police and the spiralling use of stop and search.
Labour MSP Graeme Pearson led attacks on Mr MacAskill, saying he had “abandoned his responsibilities” and should resign over his handling of controversial policies in policing and court reform.
The former senior police officer lodged a motion at Holyrood claiming the Justice Secretary had ‘’failed to provide effective governance’’ of Police Scotland.
The move follows recent unease about the stop-and-search of children, armed police on routine patrols and claims about the “manipulation” of crime figures.