Ministers have published proposed changes to the Councillors’ Code of Conduct that will explicitly prohibit harassment and bullying.

The amended code was submitted to the Scottish Parliament for approval following its endorsement from the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA).

This brings the councillors’ code in line with recent changes to the Scottish Ministerial Code. The code applies to all 1,227 councillors elected to the 32 local authority areas within Scotland.

Councillors have also agreed to update guidance on acceptable behaviour to accompany the changes to the Code.

The Minister for Local Government and Housing, Kevin Stewart said: “Despite the great progress that has been made in promoting and achieving equality, it is clear that harassment and bullying are still issues that need tackled and this is unacceptable.

“Government works for the people and we need to be unequivocal that prejudice of any kind will not be tolerated.”

COSLA President Councillor, Alison Evison, added: “This change sends a strong message that all forms of bullying and harassment are not only completely unacceptable but are considered a breach of the Code of Conduct.

“It is only right that elected members in all spheres of government are held equally to account for their behaviour and set a high example to the rest of society.”