As-it-happened: First Minister's Questions on Thursday, 28 June

Key Points

  • Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond took questions from opposition leaders and backbench MSPs.
  • It was the last FMQs of the parliamentary year in which Mr Salmond was quizzed by Labour's Johann Lamont and the Tories' Ruth Davidson.
  • It's been a busy day in parliament as the final debates, statements and votes are made before MSPs go off for their summer recess.

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  1.  
    1144:

    Hello and welcome to our FINAL First Minister's Questions of the parliamentary session. (From next week onwards, you'll have to find something else to do at 12 noon on a Thursday because we won't be doing this again until the first week in September.)

     
  2.  
    Information

    Just because parliament is closing for the summer, it doesn't mean that political debate is going on holiday. So, before you head off with your bucket and spades, tune in to BBC Scotland tomorrow night when we will be broadcasting a TV special on the Scottish referendum debate.

    • Time? - 19:00 - 20:00 on Friday
    • Which station? - BBC One Scotland
    • Chaired by? - Political editor Brian Taylor
    • Panel? - Politicians from across the political spectrum
     
  3.  
    1158:

    Even though it's the last day of term, rather than bringing in their board games, MSPs have a busy afternoon ahead, with several new pieces of legislation to vote on.

     
  4.  

    Remember, if you want to follow this parliamentary debate on social media use #FMQ

     
  5.  
    1201:
    Johann Lamont

    Labour's Johann Lamont wishes the FM well for "mandela Day". Once again she mentions anker Fred Goodwin and fromer Rangers man David Murray. She goes on to ask why the FM didn't meet the Dalai Lama when he was in Scotland?

     
  6.  
    1201:
    Alex Salmond

    First Minister Alex Salmond (FM) says he's discussing arrangements later for Nelson Mandela Day, clebrated on his birthday, on July 18.

     
  7.  
    1202:

    FM goes over old ground from last week's FMQs, when Nicola Sturgeon was standing in, by saying the Dalai Lama visit to Scotland was a pastoral one.

     
  8.  
    1203:

    Ms Lamont has further digs at the FM. She implies he was to blame for his party's show in the Glasgow council election result; hiccups in his referendum campaign and the failure of the Edinburgh Zoo panas to mate. How does the first minister explain his sudden loss of form?

     
  9.  
    1204:

    FM says he'll "accept responsibility for many things", but jokes that the failure of the pandas to mate was not his fault.

     
  10.  

    @DuncMcKay tweets: Last #fmqs of the session and you can tell. SNP & Labour benches look a wee bit de-mob happy #fmq

     
  11.  
    1205:

    Ms Lamont says let's look at his radical plans - keeping the Queen, keeping the pound; keeping tha Union jack and in an independent Scotland "we will all be British". Is that what he and his colleagues joined the SNP for, to remain British? He is asking for a second question in the referendum because he has lost the first, she adds.

     
  12.  
    1208:

    FM says the Labour Party didn't bother to submit a response to the referendum consultation so asks why they have a right to comment on it. Mr Salmond starts talking about "civic" backing for a second ballot question on more powers, but says the government has set out its preferred, single question.

     
  13.  
    1208:

    Education Secretary Mike Russell is making a right racket in the chamber today - he is possibly a bit de-mob happy?

     
  14.  
    1208:

    Ms Lamont says Ms Sturgeon wwants just one question. She goes on: "When the FM was a nationist my complaint was that he didn't focus on health and education, just independence. He still doesn't foucs on what matters and now he doesn't believe in indepdennce any more." She believes the country has been put on pause while "he gropes around for his place in history".

     
  15.  
    1210:

    FM says reports put Scotland as a top destination for inward investment with crime lowest since 1975, NHS satisfaction high and 92% of schools hitting PE targets.

     
  16.  
    1210:
    Ruth Davidson

    Ruth Davidson, says thanks for the sorry letter. (FM had wrongly said Tories had not responded to the independence consultation)

     
  17.  

    @HolyroodKate tweets: Sorry to say it but today's #fmq = cringe

     
  18.  
    1211:

    Ms Davdison goes on referendum issues and says Greens have taken "ball away" over independence and a re-launch of the campaign was ordered. What is Dennis Canavan's view on the referendum question? (He is the new chair of the Yes Scotland campaign)

     
  19.  
    1213:

    FM says former Labour politician Dennis Canavan, who is taking a leading role on the Yes Scotland campaign for independence, is looking at the issue of a second question. Mr Salmond goes on to assert that Tory poll ratings are woefully low.

     
  20.  
    1213:

    Ms Davidson says "I am relatively new on this". She goes on: "I don't think the FM knows the views of Mr Canavan." She says Mr Canavan backs just a one-question ballot. She lists those in favour of a single question and then asks the FM if he is in favour of just one question on the referendum ballot paper.

     
  21.  
    1216:

    FM says the Scottish government has already set out its question, "Do you agree that Scotland should be an independent country?". The SNP has come under close questioning from the opposition over whether it's trying to find a way to include a second question on more powers short of independence on the ballot paper, in case there's a "no" vote to independence in 2014.

     
  22.  
    1216:
    Patrick Harvie

    Patrick Harvie, Green leader, goes on the activities of the Scottish Defence League. Does the FM recognise the racist approach of the SDL and how the police are perceived in their handling of the protests of the league.

     
  23.  
    1217:

    FM agrees with Mr Harvie's description of the Scottish Defence League, and says police will properly investigate the issue.

     
  24.  

    @littlegrumpyG tweets: A rare forray into #fmq from @PatrickHarvie, and a good question too

     
  25.  
    1217:

    Kenneth Gibson on constituency job losses in Dalry.

     
  26.  
    1219:

    FM says work is ongoing to help protect jobs at the Dalry life sciences company.

     
  27.  
    1219:

    Neil Findlay on the children's ward closure in Lothian. Will the FM intervene personally?

     
  28.  
    1220:

    FM says it's an "unsatisfactory" situation at St Johns Hospital, and says it's to do with recruitment problems.

     
  29.  
    1221:

    Joe Fitpatrick asks what will the impact of welfare reforms be in Scotland?

     
  30.  
    1222:

    FM sets out how he says UK welfare reforms will hit Scotland and adds there is a general agreement to the idea that "work should pay", but there is a "revulsion" to reforms hitting disabled and vulnerable people.

     
  31.  

    @GordonHerron tweets: #FMQ is a joke they seem to think its a comedy club for one up manship not a serious debating chamber! School kids show more respect! #joke

     
  32.  
    1222:

    What did FM discuss at the British Irish Council, asks Roderick Campbell.

     
  33.  
    1223:

    FM says he discussed, at the recent British-Irish council meeting in Stirling, increased youth employment and advances in the marine energy sector.

     
  34.  
    1223:

    FM says he will be telling the next council meeting: "Let my people go."

     
  35.  
    1224:

    Sarah Boyack asks: will there be a public inquiry into the Legionnaires' Disease outbreak in Edinburgh?

     
  36.  
    1224:

    FM says investigations are continuing into the outbreak, including the two deaths, which are subject to criminal investigations.

     
  37.  
    1225:

    Ms Boyack said that evidence to the health committee this week left many questions unanswered. What will be done to protect local communities? "We want a proper inquiry and questions answered," she adds.

     
  38.  
    1226:

    FM says work is on-going with the Health and Safety Executive and that the agency must be allowed to do its work. Mr Salmond adds that criminal investigations must take priority

     
  39.  
    1226:

    Jamie McGrigor asks about 5p charges on plastic carrier bags.

     
  40.  
    1227:

    FM says the 5p plastic bag charge is currently the subject of a consultation, which could encourage re-use of bags and cut waste.

     
  41.  
    1228:

    Jamie McGrigor gets a telling off from the presiding officer for using a "prop" in the chamber, ie his bag that he brought in.

     
  42.  
    1229:

    Mr McGrigor says while he agrees there needs to be a reduction in the use of plastic, he is worried about the retail sector's views. Are re-usable bages not a better way forward?

     
  43.  
    1230:

    FM says such a bag tax is being looked at on a UK government basis, according to press reports.

     
  44.  

    @OldGlenbogle tweets: I doubt very, very much that Jamie McGrigor shops at Tesco. Fortnums maybe... #fmq

     
  45.  
    1231:

    MSPs making points of order which are ruled out of order by the presiding officer.

     
  46.  
    1234:

    Well, that's it for FMQs this side of summer. Join us again in September. In the meantime keep abreast with all things political through our Scottish politics page.

     

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