The Catalan Parliament voted to declare independence from Spain on Friday afternoon, with 70 votes in favour, 10 against and 2 blank, in a 135-member chamber.

The Speaker, Carme Forcadell, read out part of the resolution from the Speaker's chair before separatists voted.

Opposition parties abandoned the chamber. Xavier García Albiol (PP) said separatists were cowards who were afraid of Spanish criminal law and that is why they wanted to vote in secret.

Junts Pel Sí asked for the vote to be secret, and the Speaker agreed, despite opposition protests. Those MPs who had remained behin...