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  1. Nicola Sturgeon is quizzed by opposition MSPs during first minister's questions
  2. Scottish Lib Dem MSP Liam McArthur leads this afternoon's members' debate entitled 'Island Health Boards'
  3. Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse says there underground coal gasification has "no place in Scotland's energy mix at this time"
  4. The Scottish government lead a debate on the draft BBC Charter

Live Reporting

By Craig Hutchison and Colin Bell

All times stated are UK

That's all folks, have a happy recess

Unanimity on the LCM on the Investigatory Powers bill and on bureau motions brings us to the close of today's play.

Scottish Parliament
Scottish Parliament

Indeed that is it for Holyrood Live until after the recess, some two weeks from now.

Until then have a peaceful and lovely time. 

Point of order

Labour MSP Jenny Marra raises a point of order.

Ms Marra says the timing of laying a section 22 report on NHS Tayside after first minister's questions was solely down to the government.

She says NHS Tayside's finances are in disarray.

Labour MSP Jenny Marra
Labour MSP Jenny Marra

The Labour MSP asks if the presiding officer can compel the government to lay reports so parliament has a chance to question ministers and not bury bad news over recess. 

The presiding officer says this is not a point of order but is a matter for the government.

He asks the government to reflect on future reports.

Minister concludes saying the BBC must be bold and ambitious and serve Scotland

Ms Hyslop says this is the end game of the charter process.

The culture secretary says she also found Robot Wars strangely addictive.

Fiona Hyslop

The SNP MSP says decentralisation would allow more autonomous decision making at a board level.

She says there are a few things to reflect on and says she is against any privations of Channel 4.

The minister concludes saying the BBC must be bold and ambitious and serve Scotland.

Culture secretary says she wants the investment of the BBC in Scotland to be 'fair and just'

BBC sign

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop says the improved scrutiny will allow the parliament to address the BBC spend in Scotland.

Ms Hyslop says the government wants to "make sure the investment of the BBC in Scotland is fair and just".

BBC can go further than draft budget

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop says this debate has shown the progress since the Smith Commission and has been very constructive.

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop

Ms Hyslop says the draft charter framework has delivered on some of the government's proposition but not all of it.

She says she wants the BBC to go further. 

Tory MSP welcomes BBC commitment to appear before committees at Holyrood


Tory MSP Jamie Greene welcomes BBC commitment to appear before committees at Holyrood.

'Federalisation of the BBC does not work'


Mr Greene says it is important to ensure commissioning commitments are honoured.

The Tory MSP says federalisation of the BBC does not work.

He says the charter, overall, represents progress in promoting the Scottish interests within the BBC.

Jamie Greene and Andy Pandy, never in the same room at the same time

Conservative MSP Jamie Greene says he worked in television for thirteen years, including the BBC, and he stresses the dedication of BBC staff.

Mr Greene says creative industries work best from a variety of cultures and traditions.

Andy Pandy and Jamie Greene
Jamie Greene is likened to BBC's Andy Pandy by his colleague Jackson Carlaw

He says Scottish viewers and listeners benefit from output from across the UK.

Mr Greene welcomes many of the charter proposals.

The Tory MSP says Andy Pandy was way too long ago for him, but his colleague Jackson Carlaw says he bears a remarkable resemblance to him. 

'The BBC is evolving' - Scottish Labour MSP

Scottish Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald says it has to be welcomed that the Scottish government have went for a consensus approach. 

Mr Macdonald says he is disappointed that SNP MSP Joan McAlpine couldn't find anything positive to say.

Scottish Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald
Scottish Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald

Ms McAlpine intervenes to ask if Mr Macdonald doesn't think senior management should held to account.

Mr Macdonald says he does, but there has got to be an effort from both sides.

The Labour MSP says it is not fair to suggest some Scottish production companies are somehow more Scottish than others because of what they produce. 

He says we do want to make reflective content but also want to make other content too.

"The BBC is evolving" to reflect modern life, he says. 

SNP MSP says for too long the BBC has not been serving the people of Scotland

SNP MSP Emma Harper
SNP MSP Emma Harper

SNP MSP Emma Harper says the Scottish people and this Scottish government value the vital role the BBC plays as a national broadcaster, but for too long it has not been serving the people of Scotland.

Ms Harper says BBC Scotland raises £323m from the licence fee, but only £190.5m is spent here.

She says there have been savage cuts in the BBC in Scotland, while services in England have been protected.

Ms Harper says BBC Scotland will continue under the spectre of job cuts.

BBC must adopt political dimensions of devolution

Scottish Conservative MSP Alexander Stewart says the BBC must adopt the new political dimensions of devolution.

Scottish Conservative MSP Alexander Stewart
Scottish Conservative MSP Alexander Stewart

Mr Stewart says the fact that BBC have to lay their accounts before parliament is a good thing because it increases scrutiny.

The Conservative MSP says speakers across the chamber have touched on the fantastic programmes the BBC broadcast.

He says he welcomes the provisions that have been put forward today and Scotland have a big part to play in the BBC. 

Multiple references to UK government or Tories in fmqs

Green MSP says the BBC has fallen behind the curve in representing Scotland

Green MSP Ross Greer begins by giving warm praise to the BBC.

Mr Greer says there is however deep seated dissatisfaction with the BBC in Scotland.

Ross Greer

He says only 48% of people in Scotland think the BBC is good at representing them in news and current affairs.

Mr Greer says there is a responsibility to represent the people of Scotland.

He says Scotland has come along way but the BBC has fallen behind the curve in representing it.

Gremlins are duly excised

Getty Images

We're back after a short hiatus and having excised the technical gremlins. 

SNP MSP Stuart McMillan has the floor.

Government observations on investment should be separate from interfering in editorial

Scottish Lib Dem MSP Tavish Scott says the cabinet secretary set out a fair assessment and Ms Hyslop made a sensible speech.

Mr Scott says no government can resist in interfering with the public service broadcaster, it happens all over the world.

The Lib Dem MSP says, of course, there are observations to be made in terms of investment but that should be completely separate from the editorial. 

He says one of the big challenges for the BBC is to invest in news, news gathering and support for journalists. 

Labour MSP says 'the BBC is a valued and trusted institution'

Labour MSP Claire Baker says she welcomes the greater engagement with the BBC and BBC Scotland.

Ms Baker says: "The BBC is a valued and trusted institution."

Labour MSP Claire Baker
Labour MSP Claire Baker

She says the BBC faces a challenging financial settlement and it faces a decade of declining resources.

The Labour MSP says there is much to be welcomed in the BBC Charter.

She says Ms Hyslop has achieved her goals in the charter.

BBC Radio Scotland the 'poor relation' - SNP MSP

SNP MSP Stewart Stevenson says the original Director General for the BBC was "dour-faced Scot" Lord Reith. 

Mr Stevenson says the BBC Scotland produces one of the best current affairs programme in Eorpa, which is a subtitled BBC ALBA programme.

SNP MSP Stewart Stevenson
SNP MSP Stewart Stevenson

The SNP MSP says BBC Radio Scotland is the "poor relation" nowadays with all the digital platforms. 

He says if you lose the digital reception it does not have the technology to fallback to FM like Radio 4.

"Lets hope the BBC continue to reflect the world to Scotland, but also to reflect Scotland to the world," he says. 

Labour MSP tweets from the chamber floor, as he is allowed to do now....

Tory MSP says the BBC has listened and now its time for action

Conservative MSP Rachael Hamilton
Conservative MSP Rachael Hamilton

Conservative MSP Rachael Hamilton says reform of the BBC is essential.

Ms Hamilton says the BBC has affirmed its commitment to increase Scotland's share of network production.

The Tory MSP says the stakeholders want to see high quality production in Scotland and avoiding "lift and shift".

She says the BBC has listened and now its time for action.

SNP MSP calls for draft charter to be 'toughened up'

Ms McAlpine says the charter goes some way to tackling problems in the BBC, but she calls for it to be toughened up.

She says she wants the BBC to be less centralised.

Deputy DG 'point blank denied' prejudice to London programme makers

SNP MSP Joan McAlpine says Deputy Director General Anne Bulford did not appear to share the same understanding of the need for more commissioning in the nations as Director General Tony Hall.

She says this is worrying because Ms Bulford is in charge of the finances.

SNP MSP Joan McAlpine
SNP MSP Joan McAlpine

Ms McAlpine says the "lift and shift" of programmes is a problem. 

The SNP MSP says Ms Bulford "point blank denied" that there was any evidence of a prejudice towards London programme makers.

She says programme makers from  the other nations have trouble accessing London based commissioners to pitch their ideas.   

The summary of fmqs in gif-form

Labour MSP says Scotland has lost ground on TV production

Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald says the appointment of Ken MacQuarrie as director of nations and regions is to be welcomed.

Mr Macdonald says Scotland has lost ground on TV production compared to the rest of the UK, particularly Northern Ireland.

He says the success in Northern Ireland is down to partnership working and it is that culture that must be produced here in Scotland.

BBC ALBA should make 10 hours of new programming per week - Labour MSP

Scottish Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald says the UK government have accepted that the BBC themselves should elect board members and not ministers.

Mr Macdonald says the draft charter strengthens the original charter for the nations and regions.

Scottish Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald
Scottish Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald

The Labour MSP says his party want to see a commitment to 10 hours per week of new programmes on BBC ALBA which is line with the BBC's Welsh language service. 

He says the draft charter provides a framework, it is not prescriptive, but it gives a direction.

Background: Changes to the BBC

In May the government set major changes to the way the BBC was to be run.


Here are some of the key points of the then Culture Secretary John Whittingdale's White Paper, as he outlined in the House of Commons:

  • All employees and freelancers who earn more than £450,000 will be named, although salaries will only be revealed in "broad bands". The BBC will continue its current practice of publishing details of managers with pay packages of more than £150,000.
  • The "iPlayer loophole" will be closed - meaning people watching BBC programmes on-demand must have a TV licence.
  • The licence fee will continue for at least 11 years, and will increase in line with inflation until 2021-22. It is "likely to become less sustainable" in the longer term.
  • There are no plans to replace the licence fee with a subscription model, but the BBC will be given an opportunity to consider and explore whether to make any of its content available on a subscription-only basis.

Tory MSP calls for help for independent producers to win tenders

Game of Thrones
Sky Atalantic
Northern Ireland has had success in a number of TV productions, including Game of Thrones.

Scottish Conservative MSP Jackson Carlaw says the BBC has announced a key number of programmes will be up for tendering.

Mr Carlaw says Northern Ireland moved very quickly on the same day as the announcement through Investment Northern Ireland.

The Conservative MSP says Creative Scotland needs to help independent producers in that fashion.

He says he hopes the proposal for Pentland studios succeeds.

Established programmes were moved to Scotland instead of being created here

Scottish Conservative MSP Jackson Carlaw says the cabinet secretary finished her speech in the exact same way as one ended yesterday "save the day, seize the moment."

Mr Carlaw says throughout his life the BBC have provided him with entertainment and he also pays tribute to the world service.

Scottish Conservative MSP Jackson Carlaw
Scottish Conservative MSP Jackson Carlaw

He says there is a question of editorial independence and commissioning in Scotland.

Mr Carlaw says, after the last charter, producers worked around having more programmes made in Scotland by moving already established programmes to the country instead of making new ones here.

He says that this clearly did not open many creative opportunities in Scotland.

Background: BBC Scotland finances from February story

BBC Scotland

Background: UK government position

Broadcasting House
Broadcasting House

The UK government's white paper set out the intention to establish an 11-year Charter to 2027, to separate Charter Review from the political cycle and enhance the BBC’s independence.

This Charter will be the first to include a process for the next Charter Review process and to formalise a role for the devolved administrations in that process.

 The UK government will carry out a mid-term review of the Charter, focussing on governance and regulatory arrangements.

The department for Culture, Media and Sport says this will give the opportunity to ensure that the significant changes to governance and regulation in this Charter are working effectively and that action can be taken before the end of the Charter if improvement is needed, rather than waiting for the next Charter Review.

'Now is the time for the BBC to be bold and ambitious'

Culture secretary

Ms Hyslop says "now is the time for the BBC to be bold and ambitious" for itself and for BBC Scotland.

BBC funding clash in committee

The European and External Affairs Committee convener Joan McAlpine accused the BBC of failure in the percentage of the licence fee revenue raised in Scotland which is spent in Scotland:

Ms McAlpine said Scotland received just 55 per cent of licence fee revenue generated here, while in Northern Ireland, the proportion is 74 per cent, and in Wales the proportion is more than 90 per cent.

Ms McAlpine told the BBC's new director of nations and regions Ken MacQuarrie he had presided over this failure as the director of BBC Scotland. 

Scottish Parliament
Scottish Parliament
Joan McAlpine and Ken MacQuarrie during last week's evidence session

Mr Macquarrie said he did not regard the situation as a failure of management.

He admitted the figures have fallen relative to the licence fee that is collected in Scotland.

The new BBC director of nations and regions said during the past seven years, the money spent in Scotland had tripled. 

Minister says BBC funding in Scotland is 'unjust'

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop says is "unjust, unfair and plain wrong" that the BBC only keeps 55% of the licence fee generated in Scotland for spending in Scotland.

Culture secretary says the BBC must invest more in radio in Scotland

The minister says the BBC must take audience views into account.

She says a strong and well resourced Ofcom is crucial for its role in regulator.

BBC Radio Scotland

Ms Hyslop says BBC radio is part of the fabric of life in Scotland.

The culture secretary says the BBC must invest more in radio in Scotland.

The minister calls for more diversity in the BBC's decisions

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop says the fact that STV may steal a march on the BBC with an STV Seven before a Scottish Six shows what can be done.

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop
Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop

Ms Hyslop says there should be increased content and programming made in Scotland.

She says there should be greater visibility for stories from Scotland.

The minister calls for more diversity in the BBC's decisions.

Background: Draft new charter and agreement

Alongside the BBC Charter sits an agreement between the BBC and the UK Government. 

This agreement was laid in the UK Parliament in July 2006.

BBC Scotland logo

It provides details of many of the topics outlined in the Charter and also covers the BBC's regulatory duties and funding. 

There have been three amendments to the Agreement since 2010.

In September 2016, a new draft BBC Charter and draft Agreement were published.

A new era of scrutiny of the BBC with Holyrood now having a role

Ms Hyslop says there is a new era of scrutiny with Holyrood now having a role.

The culture secretary says Scotland should have its own national board.

Fiona Hyslop

Ms Hyslop says the government believes the BBC must keep pace with devolution.

She calls for parity of funding for BBC Alba with S4C.

Background: BBC Charter Review 2016


The BBC is governed by a Royal Charter, rather than an Act of Parliament, to underline the BBC's independence from the government of the day.

An accompanying Framework Agreement recognises the BBC's editorial independence.

The Charter and Agreement are drawn up by the government and, together, they set out how the corporation should be run, structured and funded and what its purpose should be.