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Summary

  1. The Finance and Constitution Committee vote on amendments to the budget after evidence from Finance Secretary Derek Mackay
  2. Economy, jobs and fair work ministers and finance and constitution ministers are quizzed during portfolio questions
  3. Justice Secretary Michael Matheson makes a statement on undercover policing
  4. The government leads a debate entitled ‘Stemming the Plastic tide’
  5. Tory MSP Liam Kerr leads a member’s debate focussing on the work of the Aberdeenshire-based veterans charity Horseback UK

Live Reporting

By Craig Hutchison and Louise Wilson

All times stated are UK

  1. That's all from Holyrood Live today!

    Today's top story is the chief constable of Police Scotland resigning with immediate effect.

    Phil Gormley had been on special leave since September amid a series of investigations into claims of gross misconduct.

    Michael Matheson

    In a statement to the Scottish Parliament, Justice Secretary Michael Matheson said he respected Mr Gormley's decision, which he hoped would allow policing in Scotland to move forward.

    He also paid tribute to "all of those officers who have continued to serve the people of Scotland every day, helping to keep crime at historically low levels and making our communities safer".

    Phil Gormley
  2. Minister says Horseback UK helps the injured to help others

    Veterans

    The minister says Horseback UK have helped over 1,000 people.

    He says the charity helps the injured to help others.

    The Scottish government have provided funds to Horseback UK and other charities, says Mr Brown.

  3. Scottish Veterans Fund announcements due soon

    Veterans Minister Keith Brown
    Image caption: Veterans Minister Keith Brown

    Keith Brown commends to work of the Armed Services Advice Project, which helps veterans access benefits to which they are entitled.

    He says the Scottish government do not receive any money as part of the block grant for veterans, adding that any money that is spent comes as a result of Scottish government decisions.

    The veterans minister suggests more could be done if the UK government provided funding.

    The Scottish Veterans Fund is highlighted and Mr Brown notes projects this money feeds into, with funding from the next round to be awarded in the coming weeks.

    He confirms the veterans commissioners next report will be published in Spring, looking at improving health outcomes for veterans and their families.

  4. Minister says Horseback UK is able to reach veterans other organisations cannot

    Royal seal of approval as Princess Anne visits Horseback UK
    Image caption: Royal seal of approval as Princess Anne visits Horseback UK

    Veterans Minister Keith Brown pays tribute to all the veterans charities across Scotland including Veterans Scotland, Poppy Sotland and Combat Stress.

    Mr Brown says having visited Horseback UK, the charity was able to reach veterans in a way other organisations have been junable to do

    The cabinet secretary says the relationship with a horse and its ability to change people is quite extraordinary.

    Mr Brown backs the calls on the MOD to pass on complete health records of veterans.

  5. Veterans can feed into education says SNP MSP

    SNP MSP Tom Arthur
    Image caption: SNP MSP Tom Arthur

    SNP MSP Tom Arthur recalls Tory MSP Liam Kerr teasing today's debate back in November, when Mr Kerr told the chamber an anecdote that we are still awaiting the end of.

    Mr Kerr says he'll reveal the end of the story later.

    Mr Arthur notes the input veterans can have in schools and recalls an opportunity he had as a child to perform music instruments for veterans out in the community.

    He hopes there are more opportunities in the future to talk about the contributions veterans make to Scotland.

  6. Tory MSP asks about financial support for veterans charities

    Tory MSP Maurice Corry

    Tory MSP Maurice Corry says: "I want to thank Horseback UK for the work they do with our wonderful veterans."

    Noting his previous calls to provide financial support to veterans charities, he urges the minister to update the chamber in his closing statement.

  7. SNP MSP Graeme Dey praises the excellent work of Horseback UK

    SNP MSP Graeme Dey
    Image caption: SNP MSP Graeme Dey

    SNP MSP Graeme Dey praises the excellent work of Horseback UK with veterans and service personnel.

    Mr Dey says he raised funds for Horseback UK by cycling around Arbroath and met the Horseback UK CEO Jock Hutchison, who he says has a larger than life aura.

    However he says it was the severely wounded veterans he met that praised the charity that struck him most.

    Mr Dey pays tribute to Ian Wren, Emma Hutchison and vetetran Jay Hare who says doing the course gave him a spark back in his life and who now works for the charity.

  8. Praise for Age Scotland veterans' project

    Lib Dem MSP Mike Rumbles
    Image caption: Lib Dem MSP Mike Rumbles

    Lib Dem MSP Mike Rumbles tells the chamber he was in the army for 15 years.

    Mr Rumbles he was disappointed to see the withdrawal of the Veterans First Point service in Grampian.

    He goes to praise Age Scotland veterans' project.

  9. Labour MSP praises work of ssafa

    ssfa

    Labour MSP Jackie Baillie praises the important work done by Horseback UK and veterans charities across Scotland.

    Ms Baillie congratulates the work of ssafa the armed forces charity.

  10. Background: Horseback UK

    Video content

    Video caption: Horseback UK boss on 'fulfilling and challenging work'

    Jock Hutchison, founder of Horseback UK, explains the fulfilling and challenging work involved in running a military charity.

  11. Tory MSP wishes all the veterans charities well

    Tory MSP Edward Mountain says he is a veteran but insists he is not old, despite what his children say.

    Mr Mountain says when he was in the military he was taught to ride a horse and he rode on the Queen's birthday parade.

    He says he learnt a lot about horses and he saw young soldiers grow in maturity by trusting the horses.

    This is what he understands Horseback UK is about.

    Tory MSP Edward Mountain
    Image caption: Tory MSP Edward Mountain

    Mr Mountain says he recognises the need for a community with veterans.

    He concludes saying he wishes all the veterans charities well.

  12. Background: The importance of military charities

    Video content

    Video caption: General Sir Mike Jackson on importance of military charities

    In 2016 General Sir Mike Jackson talked to Samantha Poling about the importance of military charities.

  13. SNP MSP says the support of veterans charities is as important as ever

    SNP MSP Clare Haughey
    Image caption: SNP MSP Clare Haughey

    SNP MSP Clare Haughey says the support of veterans charities is as important as ever.

    Ms Haughey says the MOD must be less retentive about medical information it holds on veterans.

    She says veterans charities are having to step in where government should be providing support.

  14. Background: Double amputee: Charity transformed my life

    Video content

    Video caption: Double amputee says charity helped transform his life

    In 2016 Former Royal Engineer and double amputee Clive Smith explained how charity helped him transform his life.

  15. Background: Armed forces veterans to get ID to recognise 'sacrifice'

    Veteran

    British armed forces veterans could have their driving licences stamped with a "V", as part of plans to improve the recognition of their service.

    The move, similar to a US scheme, could see 2.5 million ex-military personnel issued with the new licence to "clearly distinguish" them as veterans.

    The card would give holders easier access to specialist services and to offers, including retail discounts.

    PM Theresa May said veterans deserved "recognition for their sacrifice".

    The scheme, to be announced by the prime minister later, could be implemented in the early 2020s.

    Read more here.

  16. Tory MSP welcomes the work of the Veterans Gateway

    Mr Kerr

    Mr Kerr says the impact of Horseback UK on people's lives has been extraordinary.

    The Tory MSP welcomes the work of the Veterans Gateway.

    He says he welcomes the UK government's plans to introduce veterans ID to show recognition for their service.

    The Tory MSP welcomes the Legion Scotland and Poppy Scotland Count Them In campaign

  17. Background: Horseback UK

    Horseback UK
    Image caption: Horseback UK

    HorseBack UK uses horsemanship to inspire recovery, regain self-esteem and provide a sense of purpose and community to the wounded, injured and sick of the military community.

  18. Veterans should return to communities as people to look up, not to look after

    Tory MSP Liam Kerr
    Image caption: Tory MSP Liam Kerr

    Tory MSP Liam Kerr notes many veterans face challenges relating to mental and physical health.

    He notes a survey indicating many veterans feel isolated or suicidal upon finishing their service.

    Health and wellbeing, education, advocacy, and housing services are among those provided by charities across Scotland, Mr Kerr states.

    Veterans should return to communities as people to look up, not people to look after, the Tory MSP adds.

    He says the work of organisations such as HorseBackUK aids mental and social recovery.

  19. Tory MSP praises veterans charities

    Soldiers

    Mr Kerr uses his motion to recognise the important work undertaken by veteran charities and organisations in Scotland.

    He highlights the difficulty some veterans faceseeking help for physical or mental health problems, especially within the armed forces community.

  20. Here's the motion to the veteran's debate

    Motion