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Live Reporting

By Craig Hutchison and Emma Gordon

All times stated are UK

  1. That's all from Holyrood Live

    Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon

    That's all from Holyrood Live on Tuesday 8 January 2018.

    First Minister Nicola Sturgeon apologised to the two women who made complaints about Alex Salmond's conduct - saying she was sorry the process was not robust.

    Ms Sturgeon made a statement to Holyrood after a judge ruled the Scottish government acted unlawfully while investigating sexual harassment claims against Mr Salmond.

    The first minister said it was deeply regrettable that the Scottish government had to settle this matter.

  2. Cabinet secretary pays tribute to campaign groups

    Michael Matheson

    Transport Secretary Michael Matheson responds by saying good transport links are vital to the area, and asserts that significant investment has been made by the Scottish government.

    He says construction work on the Maybole bypass will start "early this year" pending the awarding of the contract.

    Mr Matheson says the new road will take many of the lorries from nearby ports, like Cairnryan, off local roads.

    He adds that the port is important to Scotland's economy.

    The cabinet secretary also pays tribute to campaign groups.

  3. Concerns raised about south west transport infrastructure

    Stena Line ferry
    Image caption: The A77 and A75, which are the main road links used by traffic travelling to and from the Stena Line and P&O ferry terminals at Loch Ryan, are single carriageway roads over much of their length.

    Mr Whittle will use the debate to raise concerns about increasing demand on the following:

    • A77
    • A76
    • A75
    • the Bellfield interchange
    • the Stranraer-Ayr and Dumfries-Kilmarnock rail lines
  4. 'Chronic lack of investment'

    Brian Whittle

    Brian Whittle starts by thanking campaign groups involved in attempting to improve transport in the area.

    The Tory MSP says there's been a chronic lack of investment in the south west, and says the 20 and 30 mph speed limits on many roads do not serve the volume of commercial traffic heading for ports like Cairnryan well.

    The A75, A76 and A77 "are not fit for purpose" he adds, pointing out large potholes add to traffic woes.

    Mr Whittle accuses the Scottish government of "missing promises" when it comes to improving transport links in the area.

  5. MSPs will now debate the transport infrastructure of the south west of Scotland


    Tory MSP Brian Whittle will now lead a debate calling for improvements in the transport infrastructure in the south west of Scotland.

  6. Meetings with Salmond not government meetings, stresses Sturgeon

    Nicola Sturgeon on her feet

    Tory MSP Annie Wells asks about Scottish government support for the two women in the future.

    The first minister reiterates that the permanent secretary has spoken to them and offered support.

    She says again that the problem was that one of the people offering support in the past became the investigating officer which created the impression of parity, but only that.

    Labour MSP Rhoda Grant calls on the first minister to make the content of her five meetings with Alex Salmond public and if not why not.

    Ms Sturgeon says they were not government meetings.

  7. Rennie says police must be allowed to get on with their work free from political pressure

    Willie Rennie

    Scottish Lib Dem Leader Willie Rennie says the rights of people to speak up must be protected and it is important nothing today gets in the way of that.

    Does the first minister agree the police must be allowed to get on with their work free from political pressure?

    Ms Sturgeon agrees and reiterates her view it was not the Scottish government's procedure that was flawed but rather the application of the procedure that was flawed.

    She says Mr Rennie is right to say today is not a victory for anyone and it does not affect the substance of the complaints.

  8. Leonard asks what action the first minister can take to restore faith to complainants

    Richard Leonard

    Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard says the first minister is, in the end, responsible for the actions of this government and it has let these women down badly.

    Mr Leonard says it is paramount that their access to justice is a priority.

    If this government cannot be trusted to deal with the case of a former first minister what faith can complainants have, he says.

    And he asks, what further action is the first minister prepared to take to restore trust?

    The first minister says she is responsible for the Scottish government, notwithstanding her not being involved in the process.

    She stresses that given the error that has occurred, it is her responsibility to rectify the position.

    "I deeply regret the position that two women have been placed in," she says.

    She adds that she has apologised to the two women and offered support.

  9. Sturgeon 'deeply, deeply regrets' one aspect of procedure that was flawed

    Nicola Sturgeon

    Ms Sturgeon says she won't respond to the more blantantly political elements of that question saying comments about a civil war are frankly "ludicrous".

    The first minister says the Scottish government put in place a "robust" procedure for dealing with complaints of sexual harassment, with only one aspect failing.

    "I deeply, deeply regret that," she says.

    The first minister admits she does not know what is going on in the investigation as the procedure dictates that she should not know.

    She says her responsibility is to make sure people with complaints are encouraged to come forward by putting in place robust procedures.

    The first minister adds that lessons must be learned.

  10. Carlaw accuses SNP of a seemingly 'civil war'

    Jackson Carlaw

    Scottish Conservative deputy leader Jackson Carlaw says the first minister rightly mentions the two complainants at the centre of this matter.

    What we have witnessed today is extremely disappointing, seemingly an "SNP civil war" being played out at the taxpayers expense, says Mr Carlaw.

    He asks if the first minister did not know what was going on in her own office and asks why the first minister was involved with Alex Salmond, which seems "completely inappropriate".

  11. Sturgeon regrets the difficult position both complainants have been placed in

    Ms Sturgeon explains there is one final point about the process, stressing the government has never revealed the substance of the case.

    The first minister stresses there is an ongoing police investigation that must be alllowed to take its course.

    She says she met Alex Salmond on three occasions last year and details them, adding that she has not spoken to him since 18 July.

    The first minister explains that Mr Salmond detailed his concerns about the process, but she was always clear she had no role in the process.

    She says it is deeply regrettable, perhaps that is an understatement, that one procedure led to this case having to be settled.

    Ms Sturgeon said she also regrets the difficult position both complainants have been placed in.

  12. Sturgeon backs decision of permanent secretary to settle the case

    First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says the permanent secretary has issued a statement in response to this morning's ruling.

    Ms Sturgeon says the decision to settle the case was taken by the permanent secretary with her support, in relation to one procedure that could have been perceived to be flawed.

    The first minister explains that the government reassessed the situation and says it is a well-established principle that the process must be seen to be impartial and that is why the permanent secretary came to her conclusion.

    This judicial review was never about the complaints but rather about the process.

  13. Nicola Sturgeon's statement begins....

    First Minister Nicola Sturgeon gets to her feet to begin her statement.