Labour MSP Mike Watson (Lord Watson of Invergowrie) pleaded guilty to one of the two fire-raising charges against him in Edinburgh Sheriff Court on 1 September 2005 (see Nos 404 and 486 for background). Sentence has been deferred for three weeks; Watson has also announced that he will resign as MSP for Glasgow Cathcart. A not guilty plea to the second fire-raising charge was accepted by the court. As a life peer he will remain able to sit in the House of Lords at Westminster; but he has been suspended from the Labour Party since he was charged.
On the same day Rosie Kane, an SSP MSP, appeared in Helensburgh District Court in connection with her non-payment of a £150 fine imposed after a conviction for breach of the peace while participating in an anti-nuclear protest at Faslane in 2004. A warrant had been issued for her arrest, but she surrendered herself into police custody on 31 August. She will appear again in court on 12 September.