Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson has welcomed the passage of the Limitation Childhood Abuse Scotland Bill at Holyrood.

The Bill, which will have retrospective effect, removes the three-year time limit in which victims of childhood abuse may bring a civil action against their abuser.

Mr Matheson said: “This Bill is a big step forward in ensuring that survivors of childhood abuse are able to access justice later in life.

“While bringing a civil action might not be the right solution for all victims, it is vital that they have the choice to come forward as and when they feel ready to do so.

“Those who have suffered abuse as a child might delay disclosing the trauma for a whole host of reasons – including a difficulty processing what has happened to them, feelings of shame, suppressed memories or pressure from the abuser – so it’s important that they have the choice to take the time to come forward.

“While it remains the case that the courts will weigh up the available evidence in each individual case, these changes to the law will give survivors the all-important choice about what actions they may legally take to seek justice.”