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Live Reporting

By Ailsa Brown and Craig Hutchison

All times stated are UK

That's all folks

That concludes what has been a historic day at the Scottish Parliament.

Sturgeon hugs Salmond after final speech
BBC
Alex Salmond hugs Nicola Sturgeon, who is almost certain to be his successor as first minister

All of today's chamber business and this morning's Health Committee can be viewed at

BBC Scotland's Democracy Live.

Sturgeon
BBC

Join us tomorrow when the undoubted highlight will be another historic moment, when it is almost certain Nicola Sturgeon will be elected as Scotland's first female first minister.

'Miracle nurse'

The minister concludes by again praising Linda MacDonald and her work with MUMs and Charity Salima who he says is a "miracle nurse" having delivered thousands and thousands of babies without one death over the years.

External Affairs and International Development Minister Humza Yousaf
BBC
External Affairs and International Development Minister Humza Yousaf

Mr Yousaf says these two women and their teams have "helped re-establish my faith in humanity".

He concludes praising the greatness of their work.

External Affairs and International Development Minister

External Affairs and International Development Minister Humza Yousaf pays warm tribute to Linda MacDonald, Charity Salima and to Alex Fergusson for bringing the debate to the important debate to the chamber

Maternal health in Malawi is important to the Scottish government who fund eight projects there, says Mr Yousaf.

"I note and commend the range of good work done by MUMs."

The minister says he hopes that individuals and organisations will dig deep to contribute to the appeal.

Christmas donation

Lib Dem MSP Liam McArthur says Alex Ferugusson has been passionate about Malawi "to the point of being Annie Lennox's bag carrier" which was above and beyond the call of most presiding officers.

Liam McArthur
BBC

"The really remarkable work of what he called the true angel is the really hard stuff."

Mr McArthur pays tribute to Linda MacDonald and Charity Salima and says his family will donate to MUMs at Christmas.

Malawi cross-party group

SNP MSP Maureen Watt, who is the convener of the cross-party group on Malawi, commends Alex Fergusson for bringing the debate on the MUMs appeal to the chamber.

SNP MSP Maureen Watt
BBC
SNP MSP Maureen Watt

Ms Watt says the work of MUMs and Charity Salima is truly "remarkable and commendable".

'Truly remarkable work'

Mr Ferguson says that all who donate to the MUMs appeal will be "immortalised on a plaque when the new clinic opens" in Malawi.

Weighing baby
Fergus Walsh
Malawi has thousands of community-based health workers

The debate , he says , gives us an opportunity to thank Linda Ferguson and Charity Salima for the "truly remarkable work" they have undertaken over the last few years.

"Two of life's angels"

Mr Fergusson says Malawi Underprivileged Mothers (MUMs) is a charity led by "two of life's angels", one a Scot, one a Malawian.

He says the Scot is Linda MacDonald, who is in the gallery.

MUMs was founded in 2005 by Ms McDonald, who worked in Edinburgh, to raise funds for improvements at Bwaila Hospital in Lilongwe.

Conservative MSP Alex Fergusson
BBC
Conservative MSP Alex Fergusson

The second angel Mr Fergusson refers to is Charity Salima.

Ms Salima established the Achikondi clinic, which now helps to deliver between 40 and 50 babies per month, provide ante- and post-natal care to mothers and babies, runs an under-fives clinic and provides HIV testing and family planning advice.

Mr Ferguson is concerned that the clinic's privacy has been compromised, but said that Charity Salima has begun to build a new purpose-built clinic with a 17-bed capacity.

"She, Charity Salima, is one of the most remarkable human beings I have ever come across". He says.

The Conservative MSP also says that MUMs has launched a challenge to raise the £15,000 required to complete the clinic by the end of December 2014 and commends the charity pack that it has made available to individuals and organisations challenging them to raise £100 toward the target.

Next: Members' Business: MUMs' Last Big Challenge

Conservative MSP Alex Fergusson is leading a debate on MUMs' Last Big Challenge.

Decision time

The amendment from Labour is unanimously agreed to.

The Conservative amendment is passed with 70 MSPs backing it, 37 MSPs voting against and with two abstentions.

Kenny MacAskill's amended motion is passed unanimously.

Decision time approaches

As we approach decision time, here is a reminder of the debates motion amendments:

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill's motion: Lowering the Drink Drive Limit -That the Parliament supports the reduction of the drink drive limit, which will help to save lives and make Scotland's roads safer, bringing Scotland into line with most other European countries, and encourages drivers not to consume any alcohol at all before driving.

The Presiding Officer has selected the following amendments

Scottish Labour's justice spokesperson Graeme Pearson: Lowering the Drink Drive Limit- As an amendment to the motion in the name of Kenny MacAskill (Lowering the Drink Drive Limit), insert at end ―, and considers that the accompanying education and media campaign should cover the morning after effects of alcohol.

Scottish Conservatie justice spokesperson Margaret Mitchell: Lowering the Drink Drive Limit-As an amendment to motion in the name of Kenny MacAskill (Lowering the Drink Drive Limit), after ―roads safer‖ insert ―; considers that the application and penalties imposed should be proportionate.

Justice secretary

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill says: "It has been a remarkably consensual debate in the main, we expect no less when people's lives have been lost and people's lives could be saved."

"It is about, I think, saving lives, significant progress has been made."

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill
BBC
Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill

But it is important to remember it is not just about saving lives on the road, but is also about pedestrians being put in danger of their life, adds Mr MacAskill.

"This is about saving the lives not just those on the road but pedestrians who often suffer."

Labour closing

Scottish Labour MSP Elaine Murray says public attitudes to drink driving have to change.

Labour MSP Elaine Murray
BBC
Labour MSP Elaine Murray

Ms Murray says it is timely that the limit be reconsidered, "we are now behind the legal limit in the majority of European countries, it is time Scotland caught up."

"The message now has to be do not drink at all if you intend to drive."

Variable application of penalties

Scottish Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone raises the issue of the variable application of penalties.

Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone
BBC
Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone

Mr Johnstone says it is reasonable then to also have a good understanding in advance of the possibility of variable penalties. at the lower level of alcohol in the blood.

"We must enforce the drink drive limit effectively", he says and adds "We must educate people to understand they must not drink and drive."

BMA

Drink drive
Thinkstock

Mr MacAskill said the British Medical Association evidence shows that the relative risk of being involved in a road traffic crash for drivers with a reading of 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood was 10 times higher than for drivers with a zero blood alcohol reading.

BACKGROUND

In 2012/13, 4730 people were convicted of drink and drug driving offences in Scotland's courts, compared to 8,145 people convicted of these offences in 2003/04.

Drink drive
PA
Scottish ministers want to bring drink-drive limits in to line with many other European countries

Last month,

Reported Road Casualties Scotland 2013 was published.

The report revealed:

·580 casualties were estimated to be due to drink-drive accidents in Scotland in 2012.

·Around 10 fatalities were estimated to be due to drink-drive accidents in Scotland in 2012. A fall on 2011 figures, but the average for the last four years remains at 20 fatalities.

·Casualties resulting from drink drive accidents fell by over 50% since 2002 (from 1270 to 580).

·In 2013, 2.4% of drivers involved in injury accidents who were asked for a breath test registered a positive reading or refused to take the test.

Justice Committee convener

Justice Committee convener Christine Grahame says: "I don't understand Margaret Mitchell's amendment."

The amendment inserts: "considers that the application and penalties imposed should be proportionate".

SNP MSP Christine Grahame
BBC
SNP MSP Christine Grahame

Ms Grahame goes on to says the most important thing to her is the information campaign and "not just over Christmas".

BACKGROUND:

Statistics from the justice secretary:

Mr MacAskill said a survey of UK drivers published earlier this month found that:

•91% agreed drink driving was unacceptable; and

•92% of people said they would feel ashamed if they were caught drinking and driving.

This compares to over half of male drivers and nearly two thirds of young male drivers who admitted drink driving on a weekly basis in 1979.

'Most extensive driving campaign ever'

Scottish Lib Dem justice spokesperson Alison McInnes says: "If you have even one drink you should not drive."

Alison McInnes
BBC
Lib Dem MSP Alison McInnes

Ms McInnes says she cannot support the Conservative amendment as Margaret Mitchell had not put forward a coherent argument to make her do so.

She says getting the message across to every single driver will require the "most extensive driving campaign ever and I do have some concern that this can be done in two and a half weeks".

Highlands and Islands

During his speech the justice secretary paid tribute to Dave Thompson for his campaigning to lower the drink drive limit.

Drink drive
PA

On his website, Mr Thompson says he has been running a campaign on this since Northern Constabulary caught 28 drink drivers in a two week period in August 2007 and after finding out there were 27% more drunk drivers involved in accidents in the Highlands and Islands than the rest of Scotland.

Campaigning

SNP MSP Dave Thompson says: "I have been campaigning since I entered this parliament in 2007 to get the amount reduced from 80mg to 50mg."

"It was clear there was overwhelming support in this parliament to reduce the drink driving limit - but at that time we had no power over it."

SNP MSP Dave Thompson
BBC
SNP MSP Dave Thompson

Mr Thompson says following the devolution of the power to set the drink drive limit in the Scotland Act 2012, the rapid action of the Scottish government was "music to my ears", unlike the prevarication at Westminster.

Conservative view

Scottish Conservative justice spokesperson Margaret Mitchell says in the UK the penalties for driving or attempting to drive while above the legal limit (currently 80mg) are set by Westminster.

"They include 6 months' imprisonment, up to a £5,000 fine and/or a driving ban for at least 1 year."

Conservative MSP Margaret Mitchell
BBC
Conservative MSP Margaret Mitchell

"Whilst the SNP has been assiduous in asserting that the power to amend the penalties for drink driving should be devolved to Holyrood, as recently as last week absolutely no attempt was made to work with or even consult Westminster Justice Ministers about this important issue."

"The result, bizarrely drivers who live in England travelling in Scotland - who are over the 50mg but under the 80mg limit - potentially face severe penalties for a crime that has no statutory basis south of the border."

Labour response

Scottish Labour's justice spokesperson Pearson says: "Let me state from the outset Scottish labour supports the Scottish governments motion".

Labour MSP Graeme Pearson
BBC
Labour MSP Graeme Pearson

"There's no reservations about our support for the Scottish governments intentions in this matter."

"It's the right thing to do and the right rime to do it."

"We realise this is a public safety issue - it's not about criminalising members of our community."

Lowering the drink driving limit motion and amendments:

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill's motion: Lowering the Drink Drive Limit -That the Parliament supports the reduction of the drink drive limit, which will help to save lives and make Scotland's roads safer, bringing Scotland into line with most other European countries, and encourages drivers not to consume any alcohol at all before driving.

The Presiding Officer has selected the following amendments

Scottish Labour's justice spokesperson Graeme Pearson: Lowering the Drink Drive Limit- As an amendment to the motion in the name of Kenny MacAskill (Lowering the Drink Drive Limit), insert at end ―, and considers that the accompanying education and media campaign should cover the morning after effects of alcohol.

Scottish Conservatie justice spokesperson Margaret Mitchell: Lowering the Drink Drive Limit-As an amendment to motion in the name of Kenny MacAskill (Lowering the Drink Drive Limit), after ―roads safer‖ insert ―; considers that the application and penalties imposed should be proportionate.

'Limit has had its day'

The justice secretary says reducing the drink drive limit from 80mg to 50mg will save lives, "the current limit has had its day".

Reducing the limit to 50mg alcohol per 100ml in line with most European countries, "will make Scotland's roads safer".

Drink drive + police car
Tony Marsh
The drink-drive campaign warns road users of new alcohol limits

Mr MacAskill says the

Scotland Act 2012 devolved the power to lower the drink drive limit, but he says the Scottish government wanted more powers, like giving the police the power to breathalyse drivers anytime and anywhere.

Whatever the limit may be, it should not be forgotten alcohol at any level impairs driving, so the central message is "don't drink and drive" he concludes.

He says he will accept the amendments from Labour and the Scottish Conservatives.

'Sad truth'

The justice secretary says the "sad truth is there remains a persistent minority, who despite repeated warnings, put their lives and others at risk", by getting behind the wheel after drinking.

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill
BBC
Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill

"Too many people are choosing to ignore the warnings and drink and drive."

Drink driving costs lives that is why it is right that we take action to reduce risk on our roads, says Mr MacAskill.

He says there are 20 deaths each year where the driver has been over the limit.

Drink drive debate begins

And we're back as Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill gets to his feet to begin his speech on lowering the drink drive limit.

On twitter

John Giovanacci: Great comeback Alex, making Jackie Baillie squirm #ThanksAlex

Max Sefton: Salmond's resignation statement is going on longer than the act of union, Anyone wanna bet me he'll be deputy PM in six months? #Scotland

Andrew Scott Crines: As @AlexSalmond departs again, he reminds us that nationalism faces inwards & is reductive even when proclaiming social justice #salmond

Charley: To me, this picture says it all. #ThanksAlex for taking us this far and into the capable hands of #GoForItNicola :D

Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon
Charley

Lowering the drink drive debate next

That ends our coverage of Alex Salmond's final speech as first minister, but you will shortly be able to watch the entire proceedings on demand at

BBC Scotland's Democracy Live.

Our thanks to our colleagues at BBC Scotland's online politics team, Democracy Live marches on, however, and will now cover the next item of business in the chamber.

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill will lead a debate calling for support for the reduction of the drink drive limit, starting at 3.25pm.

The Scottish government has warned drivers "the best advice is none" as it rolled out a campaign, yesterday, to highlight changes to the drink-drive limit.

Drink drive
Getty Images
Police said there would be "no safe limit" when the changes come into force

The high-profile initiative aims to ensure drivers in Scotland are aware before the proposals come into effect on 5 December.

These would lower the alcohol limit from 80mg in every 100ml of blood to 50mg in every 100ml of blood.

MSPs in Holyrood will vote on the order at decision time.

Proceedings suspended

Tricia Marwick, the Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament, pays her respect to Alex Salmond before suspending the parliament.

'Goodbye'

Alex Salmond
BBC

The outgoing First Minister then wishes everyone in the Scottish Parliament "goodbye, and good luck".

On twitter

Euan McColm: Stewart Stevenson also appears to believe Salmond has died.

Colin McKinlay: I do enjoy Stewart Stevenson's rambles. #salmond #sp4

Shona Angus: Doesn't Alex Salmond realise rocks have already melted near the Scottish Parliament! Arthur's seat once once a volcano! #nomoreIndyrefs

Indy Matters: Willie imagines being FM is an ordeal. Your never know Willie, just keep imagining. #Salmond

Burns quote

Mr Salmond says the "rocks would melt with the sun" before Jackie Baillie said something nice about me. Mr Salmond used the Robert Burns quote as he

unveiled a monument at Edinburgh's Heriot Watt University.

'Our love'

Mr Stevenson says he hopes Mr Salmond will take "our good wishes, our thanks and our love".

On twitter

Sam Ghibaldan: A funny, warm and generous speech by @willie_rennie about the departing First Minister #Salmond

Campsiejoe: One thing is certain: Neither Baillie, Davidson or Rennie will ever achieve a fraction of what Salmond has

James King: Having seen Alex Salmond as elder statesman, I'm really hoping he'll jump back into frontline politics.

Robert Paul: Who is this guy addressing Salmond who keeps saying "black bitch"?

'Tough boss'

Stewart Stevenson
BBC

Stewart Stevenson, the SNP MSP, jokes about Mr Salmond's childhood in Linlithgow. He makes reference to the name of its townsfolk - they are known as "black bitches", (

after the burgh's coat of arms featuring a black bitch chained to an oak tree on an island)

He then compares the "formidable" Alex Salmond to the American President John F Kennedy, and says Mr Salmond is the "toughest boss I've ever had".

On twitter

Simon Brady: It's sad that neither Labour nor the Tories can find it in themselves to admit that Salmond's government has been a success to Scotland.

Wings Over Scotland: People going on about Salmond's "long farewell" - Iain Gray led Scottish Labour for SIX MONTHS after announcing his resignation. Do shush.

David Torrance: SNP MSPs are rolling their eyes at @RuthDavidsonMSP's speech, but it's actually a pretty good analysis of Salmond's strengths & weaknesses.

Fergie in Glasgow: Willie Rennie, the man who called those arguing for devo-max SNP fronts accuses Salmond of creating divisions.

Political awakening

Patrick Harvie
BBC

Mr Harvie also speaks about climate change, and praises Mr Salmond's work on the issue.

The Green MSP, who campaigned with the outgoing First Minister for a Yes vote during the referendum, says there is now a "movement for change" and highlights Mr Salmond for his role in this political awakening in Scotland.

Jim Murphy: 'I wish him all the best'

Labour Leadership candidate Jim Murphy

tweets: No matter our differences, Alex Salmond has served Scotland with real commitment. I wish him all the best in whatever he chooses to do next.

Critical point

Donald Trump
PA
Donald Trump, who ash golf clubs in Scotland, has had an up-and-down relationship with politicians

Patrick Harvie, the co-convenor of the Scottish Greens, starts his speech on Alex Salmond with criticism over the relationship with American businessman Donald Trump.

On twitter

Chris White: As Alex Salmond steps down as First minister opposition parties show their complete lack of class as they use it to for petty attacks on SNP.

How Curious: It's curious that Salmond has repeated his assertion that Scotland has the most informed electorate in Europe...

Caron Lindsay: Willie Rennie was funny but Salmond wasn't in Commons when he took his seat. He'd left in 2001.

Stuart Mckinnion: Salmond compared to both Terminator and Lazurus. A cyborg sent from future lends itself to more jokes. "Come with me if you want to live."