Scottish independence: Former Labour MP Peter Kilfoyle backs Yes vote

Peter Kilfoyle Mr Kilfoyle resigned from Tony Blair's government in 2000

A former Labour government minister has endorsed Scottish independence.

Peter Kilfoyle told BBC Scotland that it was vital for Scotland and the English regions to loosen London's grip on power.

The former Liverpool Walton MP was speaking ahead of a speech by Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond in the city.

Labour has argued that Scots should vote "No" and then help elect a Labour government in the UK general election.

Mr Kilfoyle suggested that the Labour leadership's opposition to independence was motivated by a desire to maintain Scottish Labour MPs at Westminster.

Start Quote

This is a significant endorsement for the independence campaign - and it shows that a Yes vote is in line with traditional Labour values”

End Quote Alex Salmond Scottish first minister

And he said the nationalists were pushing a message which was "positive and aspirational" while the pro-UK campaign had been "very, very negative".

Mr Kilfoyle added: "As an issue it is bigger than any political party. It is about the aspirations of a country, and that is what is important to me. It (independence) will basically enable Scots to make decisions for themselves away from London.

"The sooner that people realise that this centralised country we call the United Kingdom actually mitigates the interests of people in the regions of England as well as of the countries of these British Isles, I think it will be to the benefit of all of us".

Mr Kilfoyle resigned from Tony Blair's government, where he had been a junior minister in the Ministry of Defence, in 2000, arguing that Labour was neglecting its roots.

'Labour values'

He became a vocal backbench critic of the Labour leadership until standing down as an MP ahead of the 2010 general election.

Earlier this month, another former Labour minister - Leslie Huckfield, who represented the Nuneaton constituency at Westminster but now lives in Perthshire - also said he was backing a "Yes" vote in the referendum.

Mr Kilfoyle's endorsement was warmly welcomed by Mr Salmond, who was making his last speech in England before September's referendum on Scottish independence.

Mr Salmond said: "Peter Kilfoyle is a Labour stalwart, and a much respected figure. This is a significant endorsement for the independence campaign - and it shows that a Yes vote is in line with traditional Labour values.

"Peter understands that what is happening in Scotland is a catalyst for change elsewhere. We've now had a range of key Labour figures endorsing Yes."

In his speech at a lunch organised by the FT newspaper on Thursday afternoon, Mr Salmond said that inequality in the UK had grown hugely under successive Westminster governments.

Alex Salmond Alex Salmond's speech will be his last in England before the independence referendum

Scottish independence would help to redress that inequality gap while also creating an economic counterweight to London to the benefit of the whole of the UK, he argued.

Mr Salmond said: "The UK now has the highest levels of regional inequality in the European Union.

"Scottish independence will provide a powerful example for those elsewhere in the UK, who are looking at how to change the current system; who want to see a model of growth which is fairer, more sustainable and more resilient than the one being pursued at Westminster.

"In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Liverpool, together with cities such as Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds and Newcastle had real political power to, as well as economic power.

"Since 2007, London's economy has grown approximately twice as fast as the rest of the United Kingdom's."

Mr Salmond claimed that nothing the UK government was proposing would "even come close" to addressing the scale of the problem.

And he said that local authorities and business organisations in the north of England would be invited to participate in a Scottish economic forum after the referendum aimed at rebalancing the economy.

He said: "It is a practical demonstration of co-operation and partnership - a partnership which will be strengthened further by an outward looking, prosperous and independent Scotland."

Start Quote

Sadly, Peter Kilfoyle seems to have confused devolution and decentralisation within the UK and separation from the UK”

End Quote Tom Greatrex MP Scottish Labour

Ahead of the speech, Mr Salmond argued that only independence could protect the Scottish NHS from the UK's government's "privatisation agenda".

The NHS is fully devolved to the Scottish Parliament, but Mr Salmond argued that cuts to its budget south of the border also impacted on Scotland.

"Scotland is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, with strong public finances," he said. "But, under the Westminster system, cuts to spending in England automatically trigger cuts in Scotland."

Responding to the remarks by by Mr Kilfoyle, Tom Greatrex, the Labour MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West, said: "Sadly, Peter Kilfoyle seems to have confused devolution and decentralisation within the UK and separation from the UK.

"The Labour Party devolved power to Scotland when we set up the Scottish Parliament, when we wrote the 2012 Scotland act and will continue to devolve power to the nations, regions and cities of the UK after we win the 2015 general election, decentralising within a pooling and sharing union to support communities throughout the UK.

"That is what many across England want to see, including Liverpool's city Mayor, Joe Anderson. Peter Kilfoyle seems to want the same thing without appreciating Alex Salmond's centralising of power since 2007 demonstrating that nationalists are not interested in devolution."

Responding to Mr Salmond's speech, Scottish Labour MP Ian Murray said: "Firms in Scotland have barrier-free access to a UK single market of more than 63 million people, rather than just 5 million people in Scotland. Where is the sense in creating a barrier between Scottish businesses and their customers elsewhere in the UK?

"As part of the UK we can have the best of both worlds for Scotland. We can have our strong Scottish Parliament, with the guarantee of more powers for Scotland, backed up by the strength, security and stability of being part of the larger UK economy.

\"Alex Salmond wants us to put that at risk on the strength of nothing more than his empty promises. We should say no thanks to independence in September."

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  1.  
    16:10: Reaction: Scottish Labour

    Scottish Labour believe Nicola Sturgeon's first Programme for Government is a "missed opportunity" to cut inequality.

    The party's shadow spokesperson for Social Justice Jackie Bailie said: "Those under 65, living at home, increasingly have to contribute a higher proportion of their benefits towards care costs.

    "This care tax is a tax on the most vulnerable members of our communities. It's a tax we can and should abolish.

    "That takes action, not warm words and that is the basis on which the Scottish government will be judged. If they truly believe in social justice, they will cut inequality, not public services."

    Labour Jackie Bailie speaking

    Commenting on the living wage, Ms Bailie said, "We believe the Scottish government should promote better pay with a living wage strategy and a living wage unit. In 2014 alone the SNP voted against the living wage no fewer than five times.

    "That takes action, not warm words and that is the basis on which the Scottish government will be judged. If they truly believe in social justice, they will cut inequality, not public services."

     
  2.  
    16:01: Tune in

    Newsdrive is getting under way on BBC Radio Scotland, with further reaction to Nicola Sturgeon's legislative programme announced at Holyrood.

    Listen live to the programme, from now until 18:00, here.

    BBC Scotland's Newsdrive
     
  3.  
    16:00: Reaction from the Greens

    Alison Johnstone MSP, speaking on behalf of the Scottish Greens, says her party supports the government's plans to allow 16 and 17-year-olds to vote, the focus on tackling in-work poverty, to end the collection of debts of the non-payment of the poll tax, and human trafficking.

    Ms Johnstone says what is missing from the programme is a way to deliver a step change of the energy efficiency of our homes and work places; and tackling fuel poverty.

     
  4.  
    Tweet using #ScotlandLive or #ProgForGov 15:56: Holyrood legislative programme

    Andy Wightman: Listening to MSPs is fascinating but I need to take the dog for a walk. She does not care about the ScotGov's legislative programme.

    Gordon Aikman: I'd rather @NicolaSturgeon outlawed care charges now, but glad commitment in #ProgforGov to legislate if need be #MND

    Holyrood legislative programme

    Gordon Aikman is responsible for getting the First Minister's agreement to examine the provision of Motor Neurone Disease (MND) care.

     
  5.  
    15:54: Lib Dems support voting plans

    Willie Rennie, the leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, says his party will support the government's plans to give 16 and 17-year-olds the vote for the 2016 Holyrood elections, and plans to give the islands more localised power.

    Voters at polling station
     
  6.  
    15:52: Reaction: Federation of Small Businesses cont.

    Mr Borland continued: "Similarly, the FSB is encouraged by news that the first minister is committed to fixing the education system, ensuring that the next generation entering the labour market have the right skills for modern workplace.

    "The first minister made it clear today that she expects more from the private sector. we accept that economic recovery is still to be felt in many parts of the country. However, if we are to revitalise many Scottish communities, then we need to harness, not dampen, the power of enterprise."

     
  7.  
    15:51: Reaction: Federation of Small Businesses

    The Federation of Small Businesses has welcomed Nicola Sturgeon's sustained commitment to the small business bonus scheme unveiled in the First Minster's programme for government.

    Colin Borland, the Federation of Small Businesses' (FSB) head of external affairs in Scotland said it was "more than just a new list of proposed laws" and that it marked a shift in direction.

    "Most welcome is the Scottish government's sustained commitment to the small business bonus scheme which continues to give Scottish small firms a competitive advantage over their counterparts elsewhere in the UK," Mr Borland added.

     
  8.  
    Text us using 80295 15:50: Holyrood legislative programme - Your Views

    Cath: I don't understand how the Scottish government can tell people what to do with their own land? Will it depend on how much land they own? If you only have a couple of acres will you be included in this? Surely landowners will employ their own legal advisors regarding this?

     
  9.  
    Tweet using #ScotlandLive or #ProgForGov 15:48: Holyrood legislative programme

    Fergie in Glasgow: Mostly love Nicola's #ProgforGov but concerned by 6 months terminally ill thing: often impossible to judge & patient may not want to know.

    Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Scotland: Good to hear @willie_rennie stress need to give parity to mental health treatment and physical health treatment #ProgForGov

     
  10.  
    15:47: 'Could have done more'

    Ruth Davidson, the Scottish Conservative leader, said where her party finds a common cause in issues like early release and extending childcare, they will work with the government.

    Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson

    She adds the SNP government has 18 months left of a five-year term with a majority "where it could have done a lot more".

     
  11.  
    Tweet using #ScotlandLive or #ProgForGov 15:41: Holyrood legislative programme

    Laura Mitchell: Thumbs up to reform, community empowerment, education, the living wage, votes at 16, human trafficking bill, gender equality. #ProgForGov

    Paul Cruikshank: I'll have a look at the #ProgForGov tonight - quick skim looks like "Good overall aims; slightly dodgy on the detail". #ScotGov

    Scot Lim Dem's Natalie Coupar: @willie_rennie pledges support for 16 and 17 year old votes and praises Islands campaign during #indyref #progforgov

     
  12.  
    15:39: Twelve planned bills

    Land Reform Bill - Banning business rates exemptions for shooting and deerstalking estates'

    Community Charge Debt Bill - End collection of debts from non-payment of the poll tax

    Education Bill - To give new rights to children who may have additional support needs

    Higher Education Governance Bill - To ensure that the governing bodies of universities are transparent, democratic and accountable

    Public Health Bill - To strengthen ability to reduce the attractiveness and availability of tobacco products and e-cigarettes and duty of candour where people have suffered from ill treatment or neglect

    Carers Bill - To give carers support and a say in the planning and delivery of services

    Community Justice Bill - To transfer responsibility to 32 community planning partnerships, and consultation on domestic abuse offence and on revenge porn

    Human Trafficking & Exploitation Bill - To strengthen ability to help victims and bring offenders to justice

    Budget Bill

    Fatal Accidents Inquiries Bill

    Succession Bill

    Harbours Bill

     
  13.  
    Tweet using #ScotlandLive or #ProgForGov 15:38: Holyrood legislative programme

    Martin Docherty: Empowering communities fund will need volunteers and not just in the Third Sector? #ProgforGov

    Anna Beck: Encouraging to hear Nicola Sturgeon's plans to lead a government which is more open, accessible and de-centralising.

    Connor McKenna: @NicolaSturgeon @theSNP #ProgForGov sounds great was delighted about free care for terminally ill. Good luck. Look forward to better days.

     
  14.  
    Email newsonlinescotland@bbc.co.uk 15:36: Holyrood legislative programme

    James, Glasgow: Cannot fault Nicola's ambition! Those changes will completely change Scotland. People will judge through time on her success. Sadly people will judge now, today, purely based on hatred of her party.

     
  15.  
    15:34: Change at the top

    Making reference to the new cabinet, Ms Baillie says " a new era means a new cabinet... change at the top means nothing if the new faces have the same approach".

    Ms Baillie then criticises the government's record on the health service.

     
  16.  
    15:31: Labour will support domestic abuse law

    On the issue of domestic abuse, Ms Baillie welcomes the government's intention to legislate on this and so-called 'revenge porn'.

    The Labour MSP says her party will support the government's plan.

     
  17.  
    15:30: Sturgeon's plans Andrew Black Political reporter, BBC Scotland

    Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced plans to take action against landowners who pose a "barrier" to development.

    She also said business rate exemptions for shooting and deerstalking estates would be scrapped as part of a series of "radical" land reforms.

    First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

    Ms Sturgeon's comments came as she outlined her government's latest plans.

    She also outlined plans to revisit alternatives to council tax, which has been frozen in Scotland since 2007.

     
  18.  
    Tweet using #ScotlandLive or #ProgForGov 15:28: Holyrood legislative programme

    Sancho-ho-ho: Is she taking back Berwick? RT "@BBCBreaking: Nicola Sturgeon pledges "radical" land reform for Scotland in her first legislative programme"

    Callum Dougan: Jackie Baillie claims to have "ended feudalism". Tell that to the manses. #progforgov

    Drew McGowan: @scottishlabour built SIX council houses - none of them on mainland Scotland! @theSNP govt champions affordable home builds #ProgForGov

     
  19.  
    15:27: 'Talks left but walks right' James Cook Scotland Correspondent, BBC News

    Scots should not have to put up with a government which "talks left but walks right," says Jackie Baillie.

     
  20.  
    15:24: Budget cuts

    John Swinney, in response to Ms Baillie's speech which highlighted 70,000 fewer council workers as a result of cuts, asks on how many occasions has Labour asked him to give more money to local government in the formal budget negotiations?

    He says they have never done so.

     
  21.  
    15:20: Hosie: SNP on 'side of the people'

    SNP deputy leader Stewart Hosie tweets: Solid, progressive #ProgForGov from @NicolaSturgeon puts @theSNP firmly on the side of the people. Grow the economy and deliver fairness.

     
  22.  
    15:18: Labour reaction

    Reacting to the first minister's legislative programme, Labour's Jackie Baillie says "business as usual" is no longer good enough for the people of Scotland.

    "We must all change and that includes the Scottish government," she says.

    Labour's Jackie Baillie

    "Voters will rightly judge the first minister and her government on results, not rhetoric.

    "They might even hold your feet to the fire on promises on social justice."

     
  23.  
    Tweet using #ScotlandLive or #ProgForGov 15:15: Holyrood legislative programme

    Gary Dunion: In general, pretty encouraging. Very interested to see what will come out of the local taxation and island devolution debates. #ProgForGov

    Jamie Keith: The Land Reform proposals sound like a good start, but still lots to do. #ProgForGov

    Allan Faulds: Just from listening to that, seems, to someone political but not hugely good with policy, pretty solid actually. Nae bad, First Minister.

     
  24.  
    Tweet using #ScotlandLive or #ProgForGov 15:13: Holyrood legislative programme

    Hazel McIver: In 2008 Swinney put out to consultation SNP's Local Income Tax plans. 6 years later looks like Sturgeon has abandoned LIT. #ProgforGov

    Hayley Johnson: No mention of private sector rent reform in #progforgov in fact very little mention of housing at all.

    Pilar Fernandez: Listening to FM @NicolaSturgeon #ProgForGov scottishparliament.tv presenting a government program 4 Scotland very ambitious and courageous.

     
  25.  
    15:11: Holyrood legislative programme

    The first minister says everyone in Scotland shares "a vision of a fairer and more prosperous country".

    Ms Sturgeon adds that she intends to lead a government which is "open, listening, accessible and de-centralising".

    She says she is "proud" of the legislative plans for the next 12 months.

     
  26.  
    15:10: Holyrood legislative programme

    Ms Sturgeon says in light of the publication of the findings into an inquiry investigating the C.diff outbreak at the Vale of Leven hospital, the government will legislate in the coming year to give the Healthcare Environment Inspectorate the power to order the closure of hospital wards on the grounds of patient safety.

    On the issue of carers who look after loved ones, Ms Sturgeon said she will introduce a Carers Bill. The bill will ensure the carers are involved in the planning and delivery of services.

     
  27.  
    Email newsonlinescotland@bbc.co.uk 15:09: Holyrood legisative programme

    Mr G Campbell: Nicola Sturgeon has announced that poll tax arrears are to be wavered. As a person who was against it at the time it was introduce, but decided to keep within the law I paid it. So does this mean that all the people paid it now get a rebate?

     
  28.  
    Tweet using #ScotlandLive or #ProgForGov 15:08: Holyrood legislative programme

    liarpoliticians: Nicola Sturgeon in Scottish Parliamnt "We need new powers on wealth creation" Politicians DON'T create wealth, they only STEAL it #BBCNewsChannel

    David Gardiner: If Nicola Sturgeon had a real commitment to Scotland's NHS, she'd match the Conservatives and pledge to protect the whole health budget.

    Meanwhile in Scotia: I may be biased, but Nicola Sturgeon's Government plan for the upcoming year is a thing of beauty. #boldambition

     
  29.  
    15:07: Land ownership Douglas Fraser Business and economy editor, Scotland

    End to business rates exemption on sporting estates, says @NicolaSturgeon More transparency on land ownership

     
  30.  
    15:02: Holyrood legislative programme James Cook Scotland Correspondent, BBC News

    "We will continue to increase the NHS budget above inflation. Every patient delayed in hospital is being let down. We and partners will invest £15m extra to tackle this problem."

     
  31.  
    15:00: Holyrood legislative programme

    Nicola Sturgeon pledges to help those in Scotland's most deprived communities to have the chance to go to university.

    First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

    At least 20% of university entrants should come from 20% of the most deprived communities, the first minister adds.

    She describes this as her "personal mission" and wants young Scots to benefit from university education, irrespective of background.

     
  32.  
    14:57: Holyrood legislative programme

    Ms Sturgeon says £100m will be available to mitigate the consequences of welfare cuts.

    She says an independent advisor on poverty and inequality will be appointed.

    The first minister announces a Community Charge Debt Bill to prevent the chasing of the non-payment of the poll tax.

     
  33.  
    14:56: 'New Highland land war'

    Iain Macwhirter, political commentator Herald and Sunday Herald tweets: Nicola Sturgeon launches new Highland Land war by pledging radical land reform and abolition of business tax exemptions of sporting estates.

     
  34.  
    Tweet using #ScotlandLive or #ProgForGov 14:56: Holyrood legislative programme

    JAC: #NicolaSturgeon speech as First Minister shows vision, passion & commitment. A refreshing side to UK politics shown.

    Iain Craig: Whilst the idiocy of Scottish Labour and their 40% of tax nonsense continues, radical land reform is on the agenda. Well done Sturgeon.

    Lauren Purnell: Nicola Sturgeon, outlining radical changes. More of this and spending on that. And who will pay for all of that; pray tell? England?

     
  35.  
    14:54: Holyrood legislative programme

    On land reform, Ms Sturgeon says Scotland's land "must be an asset which benefits the many, not the few". She says proposals of a land reform will be outlined next week. Among the plans are:

    • Powers for ministers to intervene where the scale of land ownership or the conduct of a landlord is acting as a barrier to sustainable development
    • Establishment of Scottish land Reform Commission
    • Measures to improve transparency and accountability of land ownership
    • Action to ensure charities holding large areas of land are under obligation to engage with communities
    • Removal of business rate exemptions of shooting and deer stalking estates
     
  36.  
    Tweet using #ScotlandLive or #ProgForGov 14:52: Holyrood legislative programme

    liarpoliticians: Nicola Sturgeon in Scottish Parliament to abolish collection Community Charge / Poll Tax debt, she admits it's to get [SNP] votes.

    Jon Jay: @theSNP @NicolaSturgeon "my government" Nicola Sturgeon says. She must think of herself as Queen Nicola, right enough.

     
  37.  
    14:51: What do you think?

    What's your reaction to what you've heard so far of Nicola Sturgeon's plans for government?

    Nicola Sturgeon in Holyrood

    Email us here or tweet using #ScotlandLive with your thoughts.

     
  38.  
    14:49: Holyrood legislative programme

    Ms Sturgeon says she will take forward a manifesto commitment to establish an independent commission to examine fairer alternatives to existing system of council tax.

    The value of international exports, she says, has grown by nearly a third, the government has worked hard to promote innovation and skills, working hard in a "tough economic environment".

    The Small Business Bonus will increase for the duration of this parliament, and should they be re-elected, continued for another term.

     
  39.  
    14:48: Holyrood legislative programme

    Ms Sturgeon wants money to be directed by communities themselves, to "harness the energies of local people".

    She says the government will establish a new empowering communities fund, encompassing the existing people and communities fund with an additional £10m.

     
  40.  
    14:47: James Cook Scotland Correspondent, BBC News

    Commission to examine local government funding to report by autumn 2015 says @NicolaSturgeon. Council tax freeze remains meantime.

     
  41.  
    14:42: Holyrood programme

    Ms Sturgeon says she will take part in a Facebook Q & A tonight as part of her plans to open up government.

     
  42.  
    14:40: Sturgeon address

    The first minister is addressing MSPs at Holyrood.

    First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

    Nicola Sturgeon begins her speech outlining the Scottish government's legislative programme by saying, if powers are granted following the Smith Commission, she will bring in legislation to give 16 and 17-year-olds the vote for the 2016 Holyrood elections.

    Ms Sturgeon describes creating an "open and accessible" government.

     
  43.  
    14:35: Holyrood legislation

    First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is to outline the Scottish government's legislative plans for the coming year.

    Ms Sturgeon has promised "radical" policies when she outlines her first programme for government at parliament.

    A ban on under-18s buying electronic cigarettes is also expected.

    Opposition politicians said the independence referendum had left Scotland "on pause", and action was needed on several fronts.

     
  44.  
    14:27: Bed blocking The Press and Journal

    New figures have shown Aberdeen is lagging badly behind other council areas in Grampian in addressing problems with bed blocking in hospitals.

    Hospital beds

    The statistics relate to the amount of time that patients are having to wait in wards - despite being fit to leave - because care packages provided by the local authority are not in place.

    The rate of bed days in Aberdeen for people aged over-75 is more than double that in neighbouring Aberdeenshire and Moray.

    Read the full story here.

     
  45.  
    14:21: Sentence cut for revenge murder

    A vigilante who murdered a man he blamed for supplying an ecstasy tablet that killed his 19-year-old friend has had his jail sentence cut.

    Dean Melnyk, left, was jailed along with his friend Andrew Brown earlier this year Dean Melnyk, left, was jailed along with his friend Andrew Brown earlier this year

    Dean Melnyk, 21, travelled from Lockerbie to Ecclefechan in Dumfries and Galloway along with his friend 23-year-old Andrew Brown, and repeatedly stabbed Kevin MacKay in August 2013.

    Mr Melnyk will now have to serve 17 years for killing Mr MacKay in 2013 before becoming eligible for parole. He was originally jailed for 20 years along with Brown earlier this year.

    Lawyers for Melnyk argued he had played the "minor role" in the murder.

     
  46.  
    14:07: Student stamps his authority The Herald

    A photograph of a Scottish-based student working in Antarctica features in a new set of stamps.

    Damon Davies, a postgraduate in geosciences at the University of Edinburgh, appears in one of four new British Antarctic Territory postage stamps.

    Antarctica stamps

    The wintry-looking set, issued for the start of the Antarctic summer, will be on sale at British research stations in Antarctica and the Falkland Islands.

    Read the full story here.

     
  47.  
    Text us using 80295 13:53: Your Views

    George. Glasgow: There was no detail or cross party agreement on new powers for Scotland prior to the referendum vote. Quite deliberately there is no quantifiable benchmark to judge the success of the Smith Commission. Therefore, what is Alistair Carmichael talking about on your news item?

    Sam, a driver in Glasgow: At a time when other councils in the UK understand bus lanes are a complete waste of time, one has to question the sanity of the Glasgow City Council's transport strategy. Who are these people that are are causing mayhem for pure greed in the city centre? Obviously not drivers.

     
  48.  
    13:41: Teenage Kicks BBC Radio Scotland

    Live in 5 - an insight into the lives of Scottish teens involved in #indyref @BBCGen2014

    Generation 2014
     
  49.  
    13:29: Tonev appeal date set

    Celtic's appeal against the seven-match ban given to winger Aleksandar Tonev for racially abusing Aberdeen defender Shay Logan will be heard on 4 December.

    Celtic's Aleksandar Tonev

    The Bulgarian winger, 24, was found guilty of "excessive misconduct" by the Scottish Football Association following an incident in Celtic's 2-1 win over Aberdeen in September.

     
  50.  
    13:26: Coming up...

    Wednesday's lunchtime edition of Reporting Scotland on BBC One will preview First Minister Nicola Sturgeon's plans for the coming year.

    Ms Sturgeon will reveal the government's legislative programme later this afternoon.

    BBC's Reporting Scotland

    Watch Reporting Scotland, from 13:30, here.

     
  51.  
    13:19: Glasgow bus gate plans

    Glasgow City Council has identified two new locations for controversial bus gates. Traffic would be limited on Renfield Street and Oswald Street.

    The report proposes making Sauchiehall Street into a more pedestrian-friendly "avenue"

    A bus gate at Nelson Mandela Place was introduced in June, earning the council at least £800,00 in fines in two months.

    The report estimates that if the measures were introduced, city-centre traffic would fall by 9% but general traffic journey times would increase.

    The council's transport strategy, which has not yet been approved, aims to identify problems and solutions for travel in the city centre.

     
  52.  
    13:05: Holyrood powers Tim Reid Political correspondent, BBC News

    Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael has promised that further powers will be delivered to the Scottish Parliament. He told MPs that the commitment to further devolution was made in good faith and would be kept to the timetable previously outlined.

    Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael

    The Smith Commission is due to publish a broad outline of recommendations tomorrow.

    In response to a question from a Labour MP about devolution for England and London - a move backed by the London mayor Boris Johnson - Mr Carmichael suggested further debate and consensus were required in England before that occurred.

    He told the Commons that Scotland had debated its constitutional future for decades.

     
  53.  
    12:51: 'Stop-and-search'

    You have been discussing our police stop-and-search story on the BBC Scotland News Facebook page.

    Nigel Rattray: Rather than being stated as "unsuccessful" they should saying successful! As the message is obviously getting across and people are not carrying offensive weapons etc.

    Stuart Duncan: Maybe they are unsuccessful because they are so successful.

    Paul McLaughlin: I was at school over 40 years ago, carrying knives happened. People were stabbed. It seems better now, well done cops.

     
  54.  
    12:42: Coming up... Gary Robertson BBC Radio Scotland

    Legislative programme from FM @NicolaSturgeon on Politics Scotland BBC2 Scotland @ 1430.

     
  55.  
    12:28: Cats poisoned

    The Scottish SPCA is appealing for information after two cats died from suspected antifreeze poisoning in the Stirling area.

    A post-mortem examination revealed she died after ingesting an antifreeze substance.

    Antifreeze, or ethylene glycol, has a sweet taste which appeals to cats and is usually colourless and odourless.

    The charity was unable to say whether the poisonings were deliberate or accidental.

     
  56.  
    12:15: Today's hot topics John Beattie BBC Scotland

    UKIP leader Nigel Farrage says male voters are more likely to take a risk at the ballot box than women. Do you agree?

    Nigel Farage

    Let us know: text 80295, email us or tweet using #ScotlandLive.

    And how do you fancy giving yourself a portable eye test? Designer of Peek Retina Dr Giardini from University of Strathclyde will be here to explain all.

     
  57.  
    12:08: Coming up... BBC Sport Scotland

    Tune in to BBC Radio Scotland now for the latest from the European Curling Championships, and to hear from Hearts owner Ann Budge.

    Listen live here.

     
  58.  
    12:02: Never Miss A Beatt... John Beattie BBC Scotland

    We're on air and you can listen live to the programme here.

    John Beattie
     
  59.  
    11:58: 'The List' soon to be free Angie Brown BBC Scotland, Edinburgh and East reporter

    What's on guide, The List, is to become a free title with an increased print run from next year.

    The list website

    The listings and reviews publication will also move from a monthly issue to every two months.

    The print run will increase from 18,000 to 25,000 and drop its £2.50 price with costs being covered by an increase in advertising.

    The preview and weekly issues during the Edinburgh festival season will continue.

     
  60.  
    11:57: Milking the moment

    Fast-growing dairy firm Graham's has reported a sharp rise in sales and profits.

    Graham's dairy cows

    The company, which works with more than 90 farmers across Scotland and employs 500 staff, said sales rose by 25% to £85m in the year to the end of March. Pre-tax profits also climbed from £1m to more than £1.3m.

    Graham's, which is based in Bridge of Allan near Stirling, said nearly half of Scottish households were now buying its products.

     
  61.  
    11:44: Girl indecently assaulted

    A 12-year-old girl has been indecently assaulted in Aberdeen.

    Police say the incident occurred in the Park Place and Princes Street area of the city at 08:45 on Tuesday.

    The suspect is described as a man of Indian appearance with short black hair and has brown eyes. He was aged between 30 to 40-years-old and was wearing navy blue jeans, a red hooded top and a black rain jacket.

    Officers say the girl was left extremely distressed.

    Police are liaising with schools to ensure parents are aware of the incident and have extra patrols in the area in an effort to reassure the local community.

     
  62.  
    11:32: Never Miss A Beatt... John Beattie BBC Scotland

    Here's a question for you ahead of the programme at 12 on @BBCRadioScot: why are women more cautious than men?

     
  63.  
    11:29: Borders railway Giancarlo Rinaldi South Scotland reporter, BBC Scotland news website

    Pupils from Stow Primary School have had a close-up view of Borders Railway rails being installed at the village's station.

    Pupils from Stow Primary School

    Stow is one of seven new stations being built as part of the project and is adjacent to the local primary school.

    Since construction began the pupils have had a front seat in tracking the progress ahead of trains returning to the Scottish Borders for the first time in more than 45 years next year.

     
  64.  
    11:23: Clutha charity match

    Police officers will face firefighters in a charity ice hockey match on Saturday to mark the first anniversary of the Clutha helicopter crash.

    Clutha victims

    Officers from the Scottish Police Ice Hockey Section will take on the UK Fire-fighter Ice Hockey Team at Braehead Arena near Glasgow.

    The helicopter crashed onto the busy Clutha bar on 29 November last year.

    The crash killed 10, including pilot David Traill and Pcs Tony Collins and Kirsty Nelis, who were on board.

     
  65.  
    11:14: Inquiry to be held for cyclist death

    The Crown Office has ordered an inquiry into the death of a cyclist who fell off her bike while delivering phone books.

    Sheila Hyslop, 50, died of her injuries five days after the fall in Dumfries in April.

    At the time, police dismissed rumours the popular amateur dramatics actress had hit a pot hole in the road.

    A Fatal Accident Inquiry will be held into the circumstances of her death in January at Dumfries Sheriff Court.

     
  66.  
    11:07: Hoops hero in hospital The Scotsman

    .@celticfc legend Tommy Gemmell is recovering in hospital after he collapsed at home http://bit.ly/1xT0gCo

    Tommy Gemmell
     
  67.  
    10:55: Mania eyes up media career BBC Sport Scotland

    Ryan Mania has told Jane Lewis he is looking forward to a life away from horse racing after announcing his retirement.

    Ryan Mania

    The Scot, who won the Grand National in 2013, admitted he had grown tired of the jockey lifestyle.

    "Racing's been great to me and I love it, but it just takes its toll and you think 'there's more to life than this'," Mania told BBC Scotland.

    "I'd like to do something completely different, I'd enjoy doing something in the media or TV, something like that."

     
  68.  
    10:49: Neil Findlay's pledge to Scotland

    Scottish Labour leadership candidate Neil Findlay aims to build 50,000 new social houses and end youth unemployment.

    "Any devolution of taxes must ensure that we secure a good deal for Scotland. But, let's be clear, constitutional change does not equal political change," he said.

    Neil Findlay

    "On tax, I believe in the principle of progressive taxation where the people with broadest shoulder bear a heavier burden to help the poorest. It will be that principal that will guide my thinking on taxation."

    The Labour MSP also launched a charter for greater rights in the workplace as part of his campaign for party leadership and pledged to "end exploitation and insecurity, tackle Scotland's deep-seated problems" and called for greater devolution of employment law.

     
  69.  
    10:40: New halls for Art School The Evening Times

    An empty office block in Glasgow city centre is undergoing a £7.5m makeover.

    Blythswood House is being transformed into student accommodation for the Glasgow School of Art.

    The conversion will create 218 study bedrooms, all with en-suite bathrooms. There will also be common rooms and flats containing up to eight bedrooms.

    Read the full story here.

     
  70.  
    10:32: Leg jibe case 'not proven'

    A Galashiels man accused of stabbing a friend in the neck after he had made a joke about his artificial leg has been cleared by a jury.

    They found an attempted murder charge against John Grierson, 27, not proven. He had denied assaulting Michael Mulholland, claiming the injury was accidental.

    Mr Grierson told the High Court in Livingston that Mr Mulholland had called him a "peg-legged pirate" and tried to pull his prosthetic leg off.

     
  71.  
    10:27: Naismith on Rangers

    "It was a horrible situation to be in."

    Steven Naismith

    BBC Sport's Matt Slater speaks to Steven Naismith about his departure from Rangers.

     
  72.  
    10:20: Capture the moment Steven McKenzie BBC Scotland Highlands and Islands reporter

    Images taken in Scotland are among the finalists in the Kendal Mountain Festival photography competition.

    They include a photograph of Skye-born stunt rider Danny Macaskill.

    A cyclist on top of the Inaccessible Pinnacle

    The shot was taken by Chris Prescott shows the cyclist on top of the Inaccessible Pinnacle, also known as the In Pin, on the Cuillin Ridge on Skye.

     
  73.  
    10:07: Mending broken Hearts

    Watch Hearts owner Ann Budge discuss her first six months at the Tynecastle club, women in football, the state of the Scottish game and handing power to the fans.

    Ann Budge
     
  74.  
    10:02: Accessible tourism

    Tourism businesses are to be encouraged to make themselves more accessible to visitors with disabilities, older people and young families.

    accessible tourism

    Since 2009-10, accessible tourism spend in Scotland has risen from £325m to £391m, according to VisitScotland.

    But the Highland Tourism Conference in Inverness will hear that there is potential to further increase spending.

    VisitScotland said accessible tourism was an emerging market that involved 1.3 billion potential visitors.

     
  75.  
    09:54: 'I'm A Granite Man...'

    Sir Elton John will play a concert in Aberdeen at a specially constructed outdoor venue next summer.

    Sir Elton, 67, will perform in front of about 14,000 fans on Saturday 20 June.

    Elton John

    The outdoor seated arena will be the first concert staged in this way at Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre. Tickets go on sale on Friday from 09:00.

    It will be the first Sir Elton has performed in Aberdeen since Pittodrie in 2004.

     
  76.  
    09:47: Do you really need A&E? Morag Kinniburgh BBC News Scotland

    A campaign is under way to help prevent unnecessary trips to A&E departments over the festive season.

    The Scottish government and NHS 24 are urging people to stock up with cold and flu remedies, have enough repeat prescriptions and know the opening times of the local pharmacy and GP.

    Emergency department

    Last winter there was an early start to the norovirus season, an increase in respiratory illnesses and greater pressure on accident and emergency departments at Scotland's hospitals so this year the government and NHS have developed this health-wise campaign.

     
  77.  
    09:42: Rents higher in Scotland

    Property rents have risen faster in Scotland than in England and Wales over the past year, according to a new report.

    Scottish houses

    Lettings agent network Your Move said average rents north of the border were 2.2% higher last month than a year ago.

    Its Buy-to-Let Index found rents in England and Wales rose by just 1.5% over the same period.

     
  78.  
    09:31: Archbishop of Canterbury's Scottish tour The Courier

    The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has visited Dundee and Fife as part of a two-day tour of Scotland.

    Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby

    He visited a church cafe project at St Luke's in Downfield, Dundee, which he described as "inspirational" and said his first visit to the city had been a positive one.

    Read the full story here.

     
  79.  
    09:17: National-winning jockey retires

    Grand National-winning jockey Ryan Mania has announced his retirement from the saddle at the age of 25, saying he no longer "got a kick out of winning".

    Ryan Mania

    The Scot shot to fame by winning the Aintree showpiece in 2013 on the Sue Smith-trained Auroras Encore at 66-1.

    Just 24 hours later, Mania was airlifted to hospital following a crashing fall at Hexham, in which he suffered a neck injury.

    Mania has taken a previous sabbatical, in 2011.

     
  80.  
    09:16: More women into work

    Former Scottish Government special adviser and columnist Jennifer Dempsie told Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland that she believed there will be three key themes in Nicola Sturgeon's government programme today: empowering communities, what could be done with additional tax powers for businesses, and social justice.

    "Budget cuts from Westminster have definitely reduced the abilities of the Scottish government, but they have done what they can," she added. "I think what Nicola will be very clear today - the more women we can get into work, the more that will strengthen Scotland's economy."

     
  81.  
    09:15: Tune in BBC Radio Scotland

    Morning Call: Scotland has its lowest crime figures in 40 years - Louise asks - do you feel safer? Have your say 0500 92 95 00.

    Listen live to the programme here.

     
  82.  
    08:59: 'Nuclear graveyard' Giancarlo Rinaldi South Scotland reporter, BBC Scotland news website

    An MSP has warned a Scottish site could become a "nuclear graveyard" if it is chosen to store radioactive waste from redundant Royal Navy submarines.

    Chapelcross

    Chapelcross, near Annan, is one of five possible locations across the UK. South of Scotland Lib Dem MSP Jim Hume said he hoped people would get involved in consultation and reject any plans to use Chapelcross.

    The UK government has pledged that public opinion will be taken into account in deciding the final location. Public meetings on the issue will get under way in the Dumfries and Galloway town this weekend.

     
  83.  
    08:50: Crowdfunding appeal for eyesight app

    The team behind a portable eye examination kit that uses smartphones is crowdfunding to raise funds for its new innovation.

    Eyesight app

    Peek Retina is a smartphone camera adapter engineered at the University of Strathclyde and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

    The company's apps and adapter help tackle avoidable blindness by making eye care widely available, and provide tools for those who cannot reach clinics or hospitals.

    Peek Retina, the team's newest creation, is an adapter that can be clipped over the camera of a smartphone to allow health workers to see inside the eye, save the photos and send them to experts for diagnosis and treatment.

     
  84.  
    08:44: Public service reform sought

    Today will see Scotland's new First Minister Nicola Sturgeon set out her programme for government.

    On Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland, John Downie, the director of public affairs for the Scottish Council of Voluntary Organisations, was asked how he would tackle the issues of poverty and inequality, something Ms Sturgeon pledged at the SNP conference to address.

    "I think we need to think about the root causes of poverty and inequality in Scotland," he said. "That takes us to the way our economy works, at a national and local level.

    "You can't do it by protecting public services. What public services need is reform. We need more control of their own lives, such as control over local budgets.

    "What we need to see is a different way of doing government."

     
  85.  
    08:41: On the move?

    Which English Premier League outfit are being linked with a move for Celtic's Kris Commons?

    Celtic's Kris Commons

    Read the latest football gossip and the rest of the back-page headlines in our newspaper round-up.

     
  86.  
    08:34: Most stop-and-searches 'unsuccessful'

    The majority of stop-and-searches conducted by Police Scotland failed to recover any illegal items, data obtain by BBC Scotland suggests.

    Nearly 85% of the 42,826 consensual searches carried out in August and September 2014 were unsuccessful.

    BBC Scotland has created a searchable database of recent stop-and-search data

    This type of search - which does not require reasonable suspicion - comprised two-thirds of all searches during the period.

    Police Scotland said the tactic had contributed to a reduction in crime.

     
  87.  
    08:32: I'm feline fine...

    A cat has been reunited with his owner after being missing for almost two years.

    Sheen was just a kitten when he disappeared in Bothwell, North Lanarkshire, the week before Christmas in 2012.

    Sheen vanished the week before Christmas in 2012

    Now, after the persistent detective work of Kirsty Adderton who found the stray on her doorstep, the "gobsmacked but thankful" owner has been traced.

    Sheen was in Renfrew, more than 30 miles away from where he vanished.

    His owner, who wishes to remain anonymous, told the BBC Scotland news website: "I was not thinking of getting a cat in the first place, but I saw one in a litter that was different - scrambling to get out - and I thought 'that is the cat for me'.

    "I had given up. Then, randomly, I got a letter with Kirsty's number."

     
  88.  
    08:27: Tax freeze 'stopgap' James Cook Scotland Correspondent, BBC News

    tweets: Former Scottish government adviser @JenDempsie on #bbcgms describing the council tax freeze as a "stopgap". Interesting.

     
  89.  
    08:26: Today's papers

    The Daily Record and the Scottish Sun lead with the news that the father of murdered toddler Madison Horn has been tormented by "sick" jokes about her death on Facebook.

    Newspapers composite

    The National looks at Jim Murphy's "conversion", after the Scottish Labour leadership candidate backed the full devolution of income tax powers - but in an editorial suggests it may be "too little, too late".

    The Herald, meanwhile, focuses on a "postcode lottery" for fertility treatment in Scotland with couples in Glasgow often having to wait more than a year for treatment.

    Read our full paper review here.

     
  90.  
    08:21: Travel update BBC Scotland Travel Latest

    Road traffic collision on M8 Eastbound at J2 M9 / B7030 Newbridge/Claylands. One lane - lane two of two - blocked between the exit and entry slip. In Queensferry, reports that Kirkliston Road partially blocked by road traffic collision near Scotstoun Avenue.

     
  91.  
    08:18: Missing runner found in Cairngorms

    A 25-year-old runner reported missing in the Cairngorms has been found safe and well after a five-hour search operation.

    Members of Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team, the RAF and Police Scotland were called in shortly after he was reported missing at about 17:00 GMT.

    The runner was found in the Lairg Ghru area

    The search for the runner, who has not been named, centred on Lairg Ghru area of the Cairngorm mountain range.

    The man was part of a group of six that had set off from the Sugarbowl, near Loch Morlich, together.

    It was understood he became separated and had no torch, map, compass or food with him.

    He was wearing only running shorts and a vest in sub-zero temperatures when he was located by a helicopter.

     
  92.  
    08:13: Coming up... Gary Robertson BBC Radio Scotland

    Scottish government figures suggest recorded crime reached lowest level in 40 years in past 12 months. What's behind this? #bbcgms 0815

    Good Morning Scotland

    Listen live to BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland programme here.

     
  93.  
    08:11: Weather update BBC Scotland Weather Latest

    Hi, it's Gillian. Chilly start, 3-5C for most, sub-zero parts of the Highlands. Mist & fog, especially in the Glasgow area, Perthshire, Aberdeenshire & the Highlands. Dry for most of the country today but cloudy, best of the sun in the northwest. Rain will affect the Borders & the east coast. Feeling chilly, at 7C.

     
  94.  
    08:07: Hearts on the move? Brian McLauchlin BBC Scotland

    Finances could eventually force Hearts to move from Tynecastle Stadium, according to owner Ann Budge.

    The Edinburgh businesswoman has been speaking in depth for the first time since her summer takeover.

    Tynecastle Stadium

    Budge explained that one of her priorities was to tackle parts of the stadium in disrepair.

    "But we've got to be realistic and it might be that it's a more cost-effective solution to actually move," she told BBC Scotland.

    "Tynecastle does have something magical about it. If there was some way we could actually do something with the stand, it might be that that would be the better option and I know a lot of people would prefer to stay."

     
  95.  
    08:02: Sturgeon to outline plans Andrew Black Political reporter, BBC Scotland

    Plans for an alternative to council tax are expected to be at the core of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon's plans for the coming year.

    Ms Sturgeon promised "radical" policies when she outlines her first programme for government at parliament.

    First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

    A ban on under-18s buying electronic cigarettes is also expected.

    Opposition politicians said the independence referendum had left Scotland "on pause", and action was needed on several fronts.

    The government's legislative programme, expected to include a list of about a dozen pieces of new legislation, may also look at placing a duty on health and social care authorities to own up when things have gone wrong.

     
  96.  
    08:00: Welcome Thomas McGuigan BBC Scotland News

    Good morning and welcome to Wednesday's edition of Scotland Live, as we bring you the latest news and sport between now and 18:00.

     

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