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Live Reporting

BBC Scotland News

All times stated are UK

  1. Key points

    • The first minister responded to criticism from the Scottish Conservatives about funding for hospitality businesses they are yet to receive which was promised to them before Christmas.
    • Ms Sturgeon said the government and local authorities were working to get the money to companies as soon as possible, and that money would reach hospitality businesses once they completed declaration forms.
    • Anas Sarwar, Labour's leader, asked about the impact of Covid on the health service. He said the problems it was facing were getting worse, not better.
    • The first minister said the Delta and Omicron variants had been "blows that we weren't necessarily anticipating". She added that she hoped recovery efforts could escalate and accelerate when Covid is back under control.
    • Labour MSPs raised concerns about NHS Lanarkshire, which they said has "reached crisis levels".
    • Ms Sturgeon said that although the level had been escalated in Lanarkshire, it was not in the most serious level of its GP escalation framework. The government has asked the board to review this weekly, she added. She said the decision made by NHS Lanarkshire was to allow access to essential GP services at a time of unprecedented demand and staff absences to be maintained.
    • Responding to a top Tory minister's comments that the leader in Scotland, Douglas Ross, was a lightweight figure in the party, Ms Sturgeon said that even she was not as derogatory about Mr Ross as his colleagues at Westminster.
    • The first minister said if Scotland became independent it would mean the country did not have to put up with being treated like something "on the sole of Westminster's shoe".
  2. Fast-track pathways for cancer diagnosis

    Tory MSP Brian Whittle asks about cancer diagnosis numbers now compared with pre-pandemic levels.

    Mr Whittle speaks of a friend who has been diagnosed with an aggressive prostate cancer at stage three having waited six months for tests.

    He asks for better data collection to improve planning for recovery strategies.

    The FM says figures in November showed the number of people diagnosed in earlier stages of cancer were lower than before Covid.

    SNP MSP Elena Whitham asks about three-hour diagnostic centres that the first minister mentioned were being developed.

    Ms Sturgeon said the urgent suspected cancer pathway refers people with traditional and more common symptoms of cancer. She says the early cancer diagnostic centres will provide primary care and a fast-track pathways for people with non-specific symptoms such as weight loss and fatigue.

  3. BreakingSelf-isolation time in England cut to 'five full days'


    The length of time people who have tested positive for Covid must isolate for is being cut to five full days in England from Monday, Health Secretary Sajid Javid announces.

    People who test positive for Covid in Scotland will be allowed to exit self-isolation after seven days if they have no fever and record two negative lateral flow tests.

    Currently, people in England have to self-isolate for at least seven days but are able to stop isolating if they return two negative lateral flow tests on days six and seven.

    From Monday with two negative tests people can leave isolation at the start of day six, Mr Javid says.

    Ministers have said cutting the isolation period would ease staff pressures in some sectors, such as the NHS, transport and education.

  4. 'Exams will go ahead' - FM


    Tory MSP Oliver Mundell asks what deadline the Scottish government has set for making any further changes to this year's SQA examinations process.

    The body in charge of exams in Scotland has told schools it is the "clear intention" that national qualifications will go ahead this spring.

    The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) said exams would only be cancelled if public health advice meant people were not allowed to gather.

    The first minister says contingencies are needed as we live through the pandemic, adding that the "firm intention this year is that exams will go ahead".

    Lib Dem MSP Willie Rennie also goes on the issue of exams, but the first minister robustly defends her education secretary.

  5. Lanarkshire residents calling Samaritans because they can't reach GPs

    Labour's Monica Lennon also brings up the current situation in NHS Lanarkshire where GP services are now being prioritised due to Covid pressures.

    She says people in Lanarkshire are "very afraid" of becoming sick and many have been on waiting lists for treatment since before the pandemic.

    She says the "code black" situation has been ongoing for 12 weeks and asks for an urgent meeting with the health secretary and all MSPs in Lanarkshire.

    She asks what she should tell constituents who are reaching for the Samaritans because they can't get through to GP surgeries and can't go to A&E?

    The first minister says the key to returning to normal is getting and keeping Covid under control. She says in NHS Lanarkshire it is about maintaining access to essential GP services at a time of unprecedented demand and staff absences.

    She says community pharmacies can be used, along with NHS Inform and adds that this is a short-term measure and all services will get back to normal as soon as possible.

  6. FM insists she is not as derogatory about Ross as his colleagues are

    Boris Johnson with Douglas Ross

    SNP MSP Audrey Nicoll asks if the "unmasked disdain" the Tory government has shown for their colleagues in Scotland makes it clear Scotland needs to become an independent country.

    Nicola Sturgeon says even she is not as derogatory about Douglas Ross as his colleagues at Westminster, referring of course to the "lightweight" comment from Rees-Mogg.

    The first minister says the Westminster cabinet has utter contempt for Scotland.

    She says if Scotland becomes independent it will mean the country does not have to put up with being treated like something "on the sole of Westminster's shoe".

    View more on twitter
  7. NHS was under-resourced before pandemic - Sarwar

    Anas Sarwar says the SNP have been in power for years, and that in that time the NHS was under-resourced and under-funded, even before the pandemic.

    "We need a recovery plan from 14 years of the SNP government," he says.

    Ms Sturgeon says Covid has had a significant impact on the health service.

    There's been a 65% increase in Covid-related staff absences in the NHS as it's been dealing with Omicron, she claims.

    The first minister claims that health spending is at a record high in Scotland, as is NHS staffing.

  8. Sarwar: NHS problems are getting worse


    Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar asks Ms Sturgeon about the impact of Covid on the health service. He says the problems it is facing is getting worse, not better.

    This week, he notes NHS Lanarkshire has "reached crisis levels" as it suspended many GP services for four weeks.

    Isn't it the case, he asks, that for people in Lanarkshire their entire health service has now been turned into an emergency-only service?

    Ms Sturgeon replies that this is not the case, and that NHS Lanarkshire is not in the most serious level of its GP escalation framework. The government has asked the board to review this weekly.

    She goes on to reflect on the impact on the health service across Scotland.

    The first minister says the Delta and Omicron variants have been "blows that we weren't necessarily anticipating".

    She adds that she hopes recovery efforts can escalate and accelerate when Covid is back under control.

    View more on twitter
  9. Ross accuses FM of breaking promise to businesses

    Back to the Conservative leader and he accuses the FM of breaking a promise to businesses to support them by not getting vital funding to them.

    He asks why Scottish jobs and businesses are always an afterthought for her and her government?

    Ms Sturgeon calls this "nonsense" and says she can't give more money to Scottish businesses because the Scottish government didn't get more money from the UK government.

    She says this is money which will get to businesses.

    She concludes that Douglas Ross' approach to a global pandemic is "to oppose everything the Scottish government tries to do".

  10. 'Why are hospitality businesses being held back?'

    Mr Ross brings up Omicron, saying the data is now more positive and that the first minister herself has "accepted that the government's projections were wrong".

    He asks why hospitality businesses are being held back by the SNP government and asks how it is safe for tens of thousands to go to stadia, but it is not safe to walk from a seat to the bar in a local pub?

    Ms Sturgeon says he must be the only person who did not hear "the howls of hospitality businesses south of the border" about the dire straits they were in. She says the difference in Scotland was that the Scottish government responded in a way much greater than the government in England.

    She adds that the projections before Christmas were not wrong. She says they were not accepted as inevitable and by taking action the Scottish government was able to change the course of those projections.

  11. Background: Nightclubs still waiting for funding support


    Nightclub owners have criticised the slow rollout of financial support for their businesses, which have been closed again under Covid restrictions.

    Clubs have been closed since 27 December with Nicola Sturgeon announcing the shutdown will remain in place until at least 24 January.

    But trade groups said Scottish government funding promised before Christmas had not yet materialised.

    Deputy First Minister John Swinney said the grants would be paid "very soon".

  12. Covid business support going 'at a snail's pace'

    Mr Ross says the process is going at "a snail's pace" and blames the Scottish government for delays in businesses getting funding. He asks if a month-long wait for the vital funding is good enough?

    The FM snaps back that "at least under an SNP government money is being allocated to businesses".

    She mentions the nightclub closure fund which is open for applications. She says once applications are received a payment will be made within days.

    She says hospitality businesses only have to complete a declaration.

    She also says councils are working hard to "get the money out the door".

    Once more she mentions lack of support from south of the border.

  13. Ross asks about business support cash


    Douglas Ross kicks things off for the Scottish Conservatives.

    He says he asked the first minister on 14 December about financial support for businesses and asks how many businesses have had funding so far and how many are still waiting?

    Ms Sturgeon says that the government and local authorities are working to get the money to companies as soon as possible.

    She says there are anti-fraud checks that have to be carried out and that money will reach hospitality businesses once they complete declaration forms.

    She reminds Douglas Ross that where the Conservatives are in power south of the border, some of the money is not being provided at all to businesses.

    View more on twitter
  14. What can we expect from FMQs today?

    Boris Johnson and Douglas Ross
    Image caption: Mr Ross, pictured with Mr Johnson in 2019, has said the PM's position was no longer tenable

    Boris Johnson's apology and indeed his future will almost certainly feature today.

    If Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross doesn't allude to the party at Number 10, the first minister is likely to raise the issue.

    Jacob Rees-Mogg has described Mr Ross as a "lightweight" within the party, after he called for the prime minister's resignation.

    Mr Ross said Boris Johnson should step down after he admitted attending the Downing Street party during lockdown.

    Jacob Rees-Mogg said Mr Ross was a "lightweight figure", and the PM had the support of more "important" MPs.

    He said this included the Scottish secretary, Alister Jack.

    View more on twitter
  15. Welcome

    Nicola Sturgeon
    Image caption: FMQs kicks off at 12pm

    Good morning and welcome to our live page coverage of First Minister's Questions on Thursday 14 January.

    We'll bring you reports, analysis and political reaction as it happens.

    As ever you can watch or listen to the proceedings here with us.