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17 December 2015, 12:04
Legal proceedings have been launched in a bid to evict independence supporters who have set up camp on Holyrood grounds calling for a second referendum.
The Scottish Parliament lodged a petition at the Court of Session in Edinburgh on Wednesday seeking a means to recover the area occupied by the camp, which sprang up last month.
Court officers served the petition on the campers shortly after 10am on Thursday.
They have been given until January 7 to respond to the Parliament's action to recover the land, including setting out any claim on their entitlement to occupy the property.
A Scottish Parliament spokesman said: "We recognise the importance of peaceful protests in a democratic society.
"However, by seeking to occupy this land on a long-term basis, and refusing our request to vacate, we have had no alternative but to commence legal proceedings to return the land to wider public use.''
Earlier this month the campers were told they would face legal action if they did not vacate the land within 48 hours.
Holyrood bosses have raised concerns about the size of the People's Voice camp and its message, which it says is at odds with the parliament's ''politically-neutral position''.