As-it-happened: First Minister's Questions on Thursday, 26 April

Key points

  • First Minister Alex Salmond took questions from party leaders and backbenchers at FMQs, due to begin at 12 noon in the Holyrood chamber.
  • Opposition leaders, including Labour's Johann Lamont, the Conservative's Ruth Davidson and the Lib Dems' Willie Rennie all took part
  • Mr Salmond was quizzed on his relationships with US tycoon Donald Trump and News Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch.

Live text


  • Deirdre Kelly 
  • Stuart Nicolson 
  • Andrew Black 

Last updated 26 April 2012


Hello, and welcome to our regular Thursday coverage of First Minister's Questions. Alex Salmond is due in the chamber at 12 noon to face questions from opposition leaders and backbench MSPs.


To follow the debate surrounding Holyrood's First Minister's Questions use #fmq


Ministers are taking general questions from backbench MSPs. John Swinney talks about the small business scheme and the government's intention to keep the scheme. He said this was "essential assistance" to many small businesses.


Andrew Black, Political reporter, BBC Scotland

Alex Salmond is almost certain to be questioned on his relationship with Rupert Murdoch and News Corp - the first minister has insisted it never crossed the line.

STANDARD Information

The BBC's news website is covering in depth the Leveson Inquiry. Keep informed with all the evidence by logging on to our Live Page. Also, keep up to date with all of the Scottish stories on this issue by going to our Scottish politics web page.


Labour leader Johann Lamont says the first minister has finally defended his postion regarding his support for BSkyB. When did he first talk about this publicly and how many jobs would be coming to Scotland?


First Minister Alex Salmond says correspondence related to the significance of BSkyB as an employer in Scotland, which he says provides more than 6,000 jobs


Paul tweets: Watching #fmq for the first time in ages. For the first time ever I'm actually quite impressed by Johann Lamont.


Ms Lamont says she always welcomes jobs coming to "my own city". She would also welcome if the FM answered the question he was asked. She goes on to say that:

  • one of Mr Salmond's MSPs, Angela Constance, was against the call centre changes by News International
  • and all six of Alex Salmond's MPs supported a withdrawl of the bid for BSkyB

Why did the FM support his own MPs in opposing the takeover deal?


FM says there was a huge risk last year of thousands of BSkyB jobs being lost in Scotland last year due to changes at the company and he was doing his job as first minister by getting involved in that apect