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  1. Next Ministerial Statement: Child protection
  2. Next: Human rights debate
  3. Next: Armed services advice project in a year of remembrance debate

Live Reporting

By Ailsa Brown and Craig Hutchison

All times stated are UK

Parliament is adjourned

That concludes our coverage of the Scottish Parliament on 11/11/2014.

We will be back tomorrow morning at 10am with coverage of the Economy, Energy and Tourism committee, until then have a peaceful night.

Keith Brown

Veterans Minister Keith Brown congratulates the excellent work of ASAP and said that earlier today he had unveiled the plaque at Glasgow Central Station, pictured below.

Mr Brown highlighted the success, determination and hard work of ASAP and the support it offers.

Veterans Minister Keith Brown MSP
Veterans Minister Keith Brown MSP

He says the ASAP report makes very interesting reading.

The minister is critical of the UK government welfare reforms and the impact they have on veterans.

War dead remembered across Scotland

Ms McKelvie's debate of course deliberately coincides with Remembrance Day which has been marked across Scotland:

Here are some of the images from around Scotland:

edinburgh waverley station
Wreaths are laid at Edinburgh's Waverley Station
edinburgh piper
A piper leads the commemorations in Edinburgh
frank mulholland
Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland pays his respects outside the High Court in Livingston where crosses carry the names of fallen soldiers
war veterans in inverness
War veterans in Inverness
Aberdeen Lord Provost
Lord Provost George Adam leads the two-minute silence in Aberdeen
plaque at central station
A plaque is unveiled at Glasgow Central Station for the thousands who left to serve in World War One and Two

ASAP report

According to its website, the

Armed Services Advice Project (ASAP) was established in 2010 to be a focal point for the Armed Forces Community (AFC) in Scotland for access to advice, information and support, while working closely with key partner organisations to ensure that clients receive the most appropriate support.

edinburgh piper
The report was published on the same day a piper led the commemorations in Edinburgh

The organisation published

'Supporting the Scottish Armed Forces Community in 2014' earlier today, providing an update to the findings of the 'Civvy Street: The New Frontline report' which was published in 2012.

The new report concludes that veterans have distinct support and advice needs when compared with other client groups at citizens advice bureaux.

This shows the value of having a dedicated project aimed at addressing these needs.

'Successful transition'

Scottish Conservative Alex Fergusson says most service people make a successful transition back into civilian life.

Conservative MSP Alex Fergusson
Conservative MSP Alex Fergusson

"It is to be fervently hoped that the number making that successful transition has increased and will increase with time."

ASAP praised

SNP MSP Christina McKelvie says a lot of veterans have problems when they return from service and when they try to settle and find a job.

Ms McKelvie ends by quoting a service user who said: "ASAP have been absolutely brilliant."


The SNP MSP congratulates ASAP for providing this support to forces and their families across Scotland, and delivering benefits to over 5,300 clients across Scotland, putting £3.5 million back into client's pockets and resolving countless debt, housing and benefit issues every week.

In the summer it was announced that vulnerable ex-service personnel were to receive specialist support if they come into contact with the police.

British soldiers in Iraq
Police and Citizens' Advice Scotland are to work together with former service personnel who encounter problems after leaving the armed forces

A new scheme will see veterans - whether they are victims, witnesses or offenders - referred to Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS).

The Armed Services Advice Project aims to help troops who encounter problems after returning to civilian life.

CAS chairman Dominic Notarangelo said: "Vulnerable veterans are a hard-to-reach group."

Most veterans successfully reintegrate after leaving the forces.

But for some, additional support is needed to deal with problems arising from drug or alcohol abuse and homelessness.

Remembrance debate

SNP MSP Christina McKelvie is leading a debate on armed services advice project in a year of remembrance.

In her motion Ms McKelvie commends the work undertaken by the

Armed Services Advice Project (ASAP), a service funded by
Poppyscotland and delivered by the
Citizens Advice Scotland for serving and former armed forces personnel and their families.

SNP MSP Christina McKelvie
SNP MSP Christina McKelvie

Ms McKelvie says that most service people make successful transitions back into civilian life but that, for those who do not, ASAP is a lifeline that can help people in a time of need.

She says in this year of remembrance that suffering and sacrifice is sadly not a thing of the past and believes that society owes it to the armed forces and their families to help them out in their time of need.

Decision time

MSPs vote on the motion and amendment from the Scottish government debate on human rights.

The amendment from the Scottish Conservative MSP Jackson Carlaw was rejected, with 10 MSPs backing it and with 100 MSPs voting against it.

Community Safety and Legal Affair's Minister Roseanna Cunningham saw her motion passed with 100 MSPs backing it and 10 voting against.

Scottish government closing

Community Safety and Legal Affairs Minister Roseanna Cunningham says "Scotland isn't interested in ditching the Human Rights act" or leaving the European Convention of Human Rights.

Community Safety and Legal Affairs Minister Roseanna Cunningham
Community Safety and Legal Affairs Minister Roseanna Cunningham

Ms Cunningham says Scotland's views on this issue matter and says the unequivocal support for the Human Rights Act and the ECHR.

The minister says they should not be used for "cheap political advantage".

Labour closing

Labour MSP Elaine Murray says she finds it somewhat shocking that the UK might in future backslide on human rights.

Labour MSP Elaine Murray
Labour MSP Elaine Murray

If a bill is brought to repeal the Human Rights Act, Ms Murray hopes every party will unite to oppose such measures.

Conservative closing

Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser asks the chamber "where do we draw the line" in the balance between codified European judgements and the views of the majority of people in the country.

Mr Fraser says: "We all agree with human rights."

Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser
Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser

He says everyone agrees with the codification of human rights and goes on to praise the work of David Maxwell Fyfe in the drafting of the European Convention of Human Rights.

It is the way the convention is interpreted by the European courts that causes the concern, says Mr Fraser.

Scottish Lib Dems

Earlier in the debate Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Alison McInnes MSP said

"A tiny minority of cases, portrayed as meddling in our domestic affairs, have led to it being unfairly maligned. It is disappointing that the conservatives' amendment today, which seeks to remove expression of support for the Human Rights Act 1998, echoes such attitudes.

Liberal Democrat Alison McInnes
Liberal Democrat Alison McInnes

"Driven by fear of UKIP, their plans to selectively ignore the convention, limit its powers or withdraw entirely are ill-considered.

"What message would this send to others - to those countries which account for tens of thousands of cases at the ECHR?"

Scotland's National Action Plan for Human Rights

Independent MSP John Finnie, begins his speech by declaring his membership of Amnesty International.

Independent MSP John Finnie
Independent MSP John Finnie

He praises

Scotland's National Action Plan for Human Rights saying it is leading the way.

Mr Finnie says, however, "everything is not rosy in the garden of Scotland either", citing the treatment of Gypsy/Travellers in the country.


The Tories at Westminster have also said they would be prepared to exercise their right to withdraw from the European Convention if Parliament and the British courts could not veto laws from applying to the UK.

The Council of Europe, comprising European Convention member states, said it was "inconceivable" that the UK, as a founding member, could leave

European Court of Human Rights
Getty Images
European Court of Human Rights

Under the plans, Strasbourg judgements would be treated as "advisory" rather than binding while the UK's Supreme Court would be "the ultimate arbiter" on human rights matters.

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling added: "We have taken strong legal advice on this. The attorney general has looked at our plans and agreed they are fine, viable and legal."

But But former Attorney General Dominic Grieve - who was sacked as attorney general in July - questioned how such changes could be enforced in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.


Analysis by legal correspondent Clive Coleman

The European Convention on Human Rights was concluded in the aftermath of World War Two, drafted by British lawyers and supported by Winston Churchill.

Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill

It enshrined human rights that applied equally to all, the good guys and the bad guys.

The UK signed up to that and to a 'club', The Council of Europe, whose members work cooperatively on matters relating to human rights and the rule of law across Europe.

A condition of membership is abiding by the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights.

These proposals address what is described as mission creep, decisions of that court into areas never intended.

They amount to saying, we want to change the rules of the club as they apply to us and we want to be able to limit human rights in respect of some people who abuse their responsibilities.

The Conservatives say they'd write the text of the European Convention into UK law, but with limitations on some rights.

But critics say this is human rights "a la carte", and that it is not legally possible without the UK leaving not just the Council of Europe, but the EU.

Human Rights Act 1998

Labour's Elaine Murray says there is no need for an amendment to this debate as her party agrees with the Scottish government's motion for the human rights debate.

Labour MSP Elaine Murray
Labour MSP Elaine Murray

Ms Murray also defends Labour's Human Rights Act 1998.

Jackson Carlaw

Mr Carlaw says a future UK Conservative government will prepare a new bill of British rights.

Conservative MSP Jackson Carlaw
Conservative MSP Jackson Carlaw

He says the prime minister will repeal Labour's Human Rights Act if re-elected.

In the eventuality of a Conservative government at Westminster there will be a UK bill of rights and responsibilities in which "we all have confidence" says Mr Carlaw.

Conservative amendment

Conservative MSP Jackson Carlaw's amendment:

As an amendment to motion S4M-11484 in the name of Roseanna Cunningham (Human Rights), leave out from "expresses its confidence" to end and insert "believes that human rights must be protected in a manner that promotes public confidence and remains fitting to the spirit of the convention and other international statements of rights; recalls the UK's role in composing the convention and its status as the first nation to ratify it; acknowledges the work of David Maxwell Fyfe in the drafting of the convention, and welcomes the position of the UK as a prominent supporter of democracy, human rights and the rule of law internationally, taking real steps to end abuses of human rights around the globe."


The Conservatives have described their plans to stop British laws being overruled by human rights judgements from Strasbourg as "viable and legal".

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said if the Tories won the 2015 election, a new Bill of Rights would give UK courts and Parliament the "final say".

There should be no "legal blank cheque to take human rights into areas where they have never applied", he added.

But former Attorney General Dominic Grieve said the plans were flawed.

The European Court of Human Rights
Council of Europe
UK ministers say the European Court of Human Rights is over-reaching itself

The Tory MP said they would be "difficult to implement" and risked "undermining" the UK's - and his own party's - tradition of upholding human rights.

Labour and the Lib Dems have said the proposals are politically motivated while the UK Independence Party claimed they were "worthless".

The Conservatives have pledged for a decade to scrap the 1998 Human Rights Act, introduced under the Labour government, which incorporates the European Convention on Human Rights into British law.

Rosanna Cunningham

Ms Cunningham says it is no accident that human rights are mentioned in four out of the five submissions to the Smith Commission.

She says the potential withdrawal from the European Convention on Human Rights is a danger this parliament has a duty to confront.

Community Safety and Legal Affairs Secretary Roseanna Cunningham
Community Safety and Legal Affairs Secretary Roseanna Cunningham

The minister says Scotland's membership of ECHR and the Council of Europe must be a part of any constitutional settlement.

Human rights debate begins

Community Safety and Legal Affairs Minister Roseanna Cunningham opens the debate on human rights.

Coming up human rights

Community Safety and Legal Affairs Minister Roseanna Cunningham will lead a debate on human rights.

Her motion is available in full below:

Human Rights-That the Parliament re-affirms and re-asserts, on behalf of all of the people of the community of Scotland, the inalienable human rights and fundamental freedoms that are the common inheritance of all members of humanity; recalls the particular importance to the Parliament, through its founding statute, its founding principles and in all aspects of its day-to-day work, of human rights in general and of the European Convention on Human Rights in particular; acknowledges the constitutional responsibility of the Parliament to uphold the principles and values expressed in the convention and to respect, protect and realise the rights and freedoms that it enumerates; further acknowledges the importance of that work not only in relation to Scotland, but also in establishing and maintaining standards of best practice, which provide a benchmark for human rights elsewhere in the world; expresses its confidence in, and support for, the Human Rights Act 1998 as a successful and effective implementation of the convention in domestic law, and believes that the principles and values that inform the convention, the rights and freedoms that it enumerates and the Acts that incorporate it into law, should be a source of unity and consensus across the whole of society and should enjoy the unequivocal backing of all who are committed to upholding human rights, democracy and the rule of law.

Ministerial Statement: Child Protection

We apologise for the interruption in video coverage of the Scottish Parliament, but thankfully we have resolved the issue.

Education Secretary Michael Russell is answering questions on child protection.

The statement comes after a children's charity said lessons must be learned in Scotland from the Rotherham child abuse scandal, according to a children's charity.

A report published last month found at least 1,400 children were abused in the South Yorkshire town from 1997 to 2013.

Barnardo's Scotland said child sexual exploitation was a "severe problem". It has urged government and child protection agencies not to be complacent.

The charity said Rotherham should be "a wake-up call for Scotland".

The full video of the ministerial statement will be available to watch on demand or live at

BBC Scotland's Democracy Live website.

Apologies for the loss of video

We apologise for the loss of video at this time we are working to resolve the technical problem.


Welcome back first up today we will have time for reflection delivered by Ian McGregor from


Poppy Scotland

That will be followed by topical questions where MSPs will ask questions on the Jim Clark Rally and wild animals in circuses.

Petition consideration deferred and coming up

The Public Petitions Committee is now in private session, having agreed to defer

PE1524 by James Macfarlane on free Wi-Fi in Scottish public buildings and
PE1525 by Catherine Fraser on access to justice.

You will be able to watch the committee on demand at

BBC Scotland's Democracy Live shortly.

We will be back for a special time for reflection from Mr Ian McGregor from Poppyscotland.

Topical questions will be followed by a ministerial statement on child protection.

Scottish Parliament

This will be followed by a government debate on human rights, following Tory plans at Westminster to stop British laws being overruled by human rights judgements from Strasbourg.

The very topical member's debate marks the Armed Services Advice Project in a Year of Remembrance and will be led by SNP MSP Christina McKelvie.

'No to Page 3'

PE1521 by George Eckton and Jane O'Donnell on no more Page 3 in the Scottish Sun and Scottish Parliament is continued.

Petitioner Jane O'Donnell
(C) British Broadcasting Corporation
Petitioner Jane O'Donnell

Labour MSP Anne McTaggart says she is "absolutely disgusted" newspapers like the Sun are in the Scottish Parliament.

David Stewart says they will write to EHRC and to Rupert Murdoch asking their views on the petition.

Mesh plant implants petition continued

Committee convener David Stewart says the committee will write to the health secretary about the concerns around the mesh implant petition and defer it to 2015 await the opinion from the European Commission.

Mr Stewart thanks Mr Findlay and the campaigners in the gallery.

'Very concerning'

Two weeks ago Labour MSP Neil Findlay raised the issue during

general questions, saying "one health board alone, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, has implanted a further 29 women with these tainted products" since the health secretary's request for a suspension of the use of mesh implants".

Neil Findlay MSP
Labour MSP Neil Findlay

Today Mr Findlay says it is believed people are being hoodwinked into participating in trials with mesh implants despite the suspension request which is a "very concerning situation".

Mesh implants

PE1517 by Elaine Holmes and Olive McIlroy, on behalf of the Scottish Mesh Survivors - "Hear Our Voice" campaign, on polypropylene mesh medical devices is now considered.

Committee convener David Stewart says this has been a first class petition and he welcomes some of

those who gave evidence earlier this year.

In June Health Secretary Alex Neil appointed a retired director of public health to review the effectiveness of mesh implant surgery in Scotland.

Dr Lesley Wilkie examined how many women have suffered complications as a result of receiving implants to treat incontinence.

All health boards were asked to suspend the use of implants while the review is underway, but it has emerged not all have complied.

Mr Neil announced the review during an appearance before the committee on 17 June.

Glasgow Prestwick Airport

PE1506 by Alison C Tait, on behalf of the Robert Burns World Federation Ltd, on renaming Glasgow Prestwick Airport to "Robert Burns International" is closed by the committee.

Glasgow Prestwick Airport
Glasgow Prestwick Airport
Glasgow Prestwick Airport

Petitions continued

PE1431 by Nick Riddiford, on behalf of the Fair Isle Community, on a marine protected area for Fair Isle and
PE1493 by Peter John Gordon on a Sunshine Act for Scotland are both continued

School bus safety

MSPs continue

PE1098 by Lynn Merrifield, on behalf of Kingseat Community Council and from Ron Beaty on school bus safety

The committee agrees to contact Transport Scotland about a pilot scheme of better signage on school buses and a meaningful consultation with the petitioner.

SNP MSP Stewart Stevenson led his

member's debate entitled "The Importance of School Bus Safety Around Scotland" recently.

Every MSP in the debate paid tribute to campaigner Ron Beaty, who has campaigned tirelessly on the issue, since his granddaughter Erin was left wheelchair bound after she was knocked down after getting off a school bus.

Armed police petition

The committee then consider

PE1532 by Garry Stagg on stopping public bearing of arms by police, which the petitioner says he no longer wishes to proceed with so it is officially closed.

Planning Democracy petition conclusion


David Stewart says the committee will continue the petition.

Planning Scotland Bill

MSPs approved the

Planning (Scotland) Bill which was passed by 104 votes to 13, with one abstention in 2006.

Calls for a third party right of appeal in the bill were defeated.

The act aims to make the planning system more efficient and inclusive.

Planning Democracy

SNP MSP Chic Brodie says businesses disavow the view that appeals that prolong the planning process do not have an economic impact.

Mr Brodie asks what businesses the witnesses have spoken to about the issue of planning.

Helen McDade replies

Planning Democracy does not have the resources to carry out detailed research but she would welcome the Scottish government doing so.

The organisation are a group of volunteers who include representatives of three community councils with years of experience in planning issues.

Its website says all its members share a belief that a robust, democratic planning system is crucial for shaping fairer and more sustainable places.

Third party right of appeal

Ms Symonds says when debating a planning system the agenda is set by developers rather than the quality of the outcome of decision making.

She says in Ireland the right of appeal has worked well, it is called the third party right of appeal and there is no evidence of a detriment to the economy as a result the system.

Planning inequality

Ms Symonds, the petitioner says: "We are calling for equality in planning."

Claire Symonds

"We question in what other aspect of life is there such inequality.

"The current system is prejudiced against the people of Scotland."