Scotland politics

The day love was in the air at the Scottish Parliament

The final debate of the Scotland Bill at Holyrood sparked an unusual display of unity.

Many speeches were peppered with compliments and thank yous, particularly to those who will be leaving the parliament for good ahead of the election on 5 May. Here's a snapshot of some heartfelt - and more tongue-in-cheek - remarks.


Tory Alex Johnstone on SNP's Alex Salmond - 'Might he be the Muhammad Ali of Scottish politics?'

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Image caption Will Alex Salmond do a Muhammad Ali and be the comeback kid - again?

"This has been an opportunity for a number of distinguished members to make what will be their final contributions to this parliament. I pay particular tribute to Annabel Goldie, to Duncan McNeil.

"And finally of course Alex Salmond. But listening to Alex Salmond's final remarks, I was suffering a bit from deja vu because I think we've heard him do that before.

"The thing that worried me most was that he finished his speech with the words 'goodbye for now', so there is a possibility he may be planning to be the Muhammad Ali of Scottish politics and make that second comeback - let's watch this space."


SNP's John Swinney on Tory Annabel Goldie - 'I will miss her for many reasons'

Image copyright PA
Image caption Annabel Goldie was a member of the cross-party Smith Commission

"It will come as no surprise to members that I will miss Annabel Goldie for many reasons. She is the only individual I think I can conceive of who could ever say to parliament that the devolved powers were originally a corset on a political journey.

"Annabel has been a friend and colleague of mine for many years. Throughout her years as leader of the Conservative Party, as a committee member and as a wise voice in this process [Smith Commission] and the helpful and constructive role she has taken in the fiscal framework negotiations, for which I am profoundly grateful in getting to what I consider to be a good outcome.

"I wish her well in the House of Lords, I assure you I have no intention of joining her there."


SNP's Alex Salmond on late MSPs - 'Five different individuals, five different parities, five different viewpoints, but still diverse rather than divided'

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Media captionAlex Salmond: "We should reflect on some of those that we have lost - Bashir Ahmad, John Farquhar Munro, Tom McCabe, David McLetchie and Margo McDonald."

"We should reflect on some of those that we have lost.

"Bashir Ahmad, John Farquhar Munro, Tom McCabe, David McLetchie, Margo McDonald - five different individuals, five different parities, five different viewpoints, but still diverse rather than divided.

"Seventeen years ago, when this parliament was reconvened, Donald Dewar delivered the best speech of his life. In an elegant historical sweep he described Scotland as a 'journey begun long ago which has no end'."


Liberal Democrat Tavish Scott on the SNP's John Swinney - 'I genuinely want to thank him'

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Image caption John Swinney led key negotiations with the UK government on the financial rules relating to new Holyrood powers

"I want to pay tribute to John Swinney, not just for his role in that [the Smith Commission], but I also want to agree with Annabel Goldie and Iain Gray's assessment of what happened on the fiscal commission - I genuinely thank John Swinney for that, for now and for the longer term as well."


Labour's Jackie Baillie on Alex Salmond - 'This parliament will be a less noisy place without him'

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Image caption Back in time - Alex Salmond was the leader of his party when the Scottish Parliament opened its doors in 1999

"Let me also wish the former first minister well in his new career in the House of Commons. Or should I say his second career in the House of Commons.

"And in echoing his comments, there are certainly some people we will miss more than others, but we will certainly miss the fact that this parliament will be a less noisy place without him."


SNP's John Swinney on Labour's Malcolm Chisholm - 'Can I thank him for his distinguished contribution'

Image caption Malcolm Chisholm served in the House of Commons before becoming an MSP

"On a serious note can I thank Malcolm Chisholm for the insight that he demonstrated on the fiscal framework issues and the crucial issue of the block grant adjustment several months ago where he has been absolutely a steadfast advocate of what the government has argued for.

"Can I thank him for his distinguished contribution to both the House of Commons and the Scottish Parliament and his courtesy and friendship throughout that time."


SNP's John Swinney on Labour's Jackie Baillie - 'I agree wholeheartedly, unreservedly with her'

Image caption John Swinney would not normally be agreeing with Labour's Jackie Baillie

"Many members have been very kind about my contribution in this debate and I thank them for that.

"But I do want to close on an agreement with Jackie Baillie - I do agree with Jackie Baillie, and I urge my colleagues to listen very carefully.

"I agree wholeheartedly, unreservedly, with Jackie Baillie that there should be no limits on the ambitions of this parliament. That is beautiful music to my ears."