As-it-happened: First Minister's Questions on Thursday 15 November

Key points

  • Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond answered questions from opposition party leaders and backbenchers at his weekly chamber appearance.
  • In the hot seat for Scottish Labour was leader Johann Lamont and Scottish Tory questions came from party leader Ruth Davidson.
  • Mr Salmond was asked about funding of colleges in Scotland and the role of Education Secretary Mike Russell.

Live text

Reporting:

  • Deirdre Kelly 
  • Sandy Murray 
  • Andy Campbell 

Last updated 15 November 2012

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Hello and welcome to our live video and text coverage of First Minister's Questions Time with Alex Salmond. Before SNP leader gets to his feet at 12noon, ministers are currently answering general questions from backbench MSPs.

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The issue of the Ash dieback disease, apprenticeships and work for disabled people are some of the themes being raised.

STANDARD Analysis

Brian Taylor, Political editor, Scotland

"Trite it may be to say so, but there is an obvious human dimension to the latest unemployment statistics. These are not just numbers - these are people; people without jobs; people who want to work; jobseekers..... read more from my blog"

STANDARD Information

The latest figures on unemployment in Scotland show...

  • Jobless numbers up for the third time in a row
  • A further 4,000 people join the unemployment list north of the border
  • Scottish unemployment rate at 8.1%
  • In the UK as a whole, unemployment falls by 49,000 to 2.51 million
  • UK-wide unemployment rate at 7.8%

For more on the story and further analysis from BBC Scotland's business editor, click here.

TWEET

To follow the debate on social media, use #FMQ.

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Minister Fergus Ewing answers questions on renewable energy.

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Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont begins her questioning.

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Ms Lamont joins Mr Salmond in offering condolences to the family of a fallen Scottish soldier. She turns to college issues, and quotes Education Secterary Mike Russell in saying that there would be no reduction to college funding. Was he right or was he misleading the parliament, asks Ms Lamont?

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The first minister says the resource funding for colleges has increased over the past year.

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Ms Lamont says the truth is that the cabinet secretary "was wrong", and that college budgets had been cut. She again asks, was the education secretary misleading parliament?