Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.


  1. Next: Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE) debate
  2. Next: Members' Business: Holocaust Memorial Day 2015

Live Reporting

By Craig Hutchison and Ailsa Brown

All times stated are UK

Good night

That's all from

BBC Scotland's Democracy Live today on Tuesday 27 January 2015.


We'll be back tomorrow morning with live coverage of the Finance Committee.

Until then have a good night.

End of the Holcaust Memorial Day debate

That concludes our coverage of the Holocaust Memorial day debate.

Children brought candles to the site of the Theresienstadt Nazi concentration camp in the Czech Republic
Children brought candles to the site of the Theresienstadt Nazi concentration camp in the Czech Republic

For further BBC coverage of events

marking Holocaust Memorial Day around the world click here.


Ministerial closing

Learning, Science and Scotland's Languages Minister Alasdair Allan details the significance of the Holocaust and the many events around Scotland to mark its memorial day.

Mr Allan praises the Holocaust Educational Trust, whose book of commitment is in the parliament this week.

Learning Minister Alasdair Allan
Learning Minister Alasdair Allan

He says when visiting Auschwitz-Birkenau it is said the only appropriate thing to say is nothing, as words are inadequate.

The minister praises Lucy Paterson and Kieran Smyth who he says he understands led "a very moving time for reflection" earlier today.

'Shameful acts'

SNP MSP Colin Keir says the attempted wiping out Jews and others in Europe "is one of the most shameful acts in modern times, if not in the history of mankind".

A giant tent was erected at the Birkenau site for the commemoration
A giant tent was erected at the Birkenau site for the commemoration


This year's Holocaust Memorial Day is expected to be the last major anniversary event survivors are able to attend in considerable numbers.

Delegations made their way through the snow to lay candles at the Birkenau Memorial.
Delegations made their way through the snow to lay candles at the Birkenau Memorial.

Ronald S Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress, told the commemoration: "Jews are targeted in Europe once again because they are Jews...

"Once again young Jewish boys are afraid to wear yarmulkes [skullcaps] on the streets of Paris, Budapest, London and even Berlin."

'Tolerance, education and debate'

Lib Dem MSP Liam McArthur says some of those groups of people persecuted by the Nazis continue to be persecuted around the world today.

The only way of charting a path these troubled times through "tolerance, education and debate".

Never losing sight of the past is key he says and he too praises the work of the Holocaust Educational Trust.


SNP MSP Graeme Dey says "it is so important we remember the atrocities perpetrated by the Nazis".

Not only those involving the six million Jews that were murdered but also the five million others, he says.

Mr Dey highlights Gypsies, priests, people with physical or mental disabilities or ill health, communists, trade unionists, resistance fighters, Jehovah's witnesses, anarchists, Poles and other Slavic people who were all sent to the concentration camps/


At the scene: Kevin Connolly, BBC News

Those who survived Auschwitz lived through one of the 20th Century's worst acts of hatred and inhumanity. Many of those still alive today were children in 1945 but they are elderly now and this may be the last significant anniversary where so many will gather.

Watchtower at Auschwitz

A huge, white temporary building has been erected over the brick railway buildings where many of the Jews of Europe were sorted into those who were fit enough for slave labour and those who would be taken straight to the gas chambers.

Candles have been lit at the Death Wall where prisoners were executed - small points of light in this wintry landscape of snow and ice, where Europe is remembering a time of darkness.

Scottish Jewish community

Conservative MSP Jackson Carlaw says many survivors within Jewish families in Scotland kept silent - in many cases because the horror of what they had endured was so great or they felt shame that they had survived.

"Far too many people knew exactly what was going on and far too few raised a hand to stop it." says Mr Carlaw.

Conservative MSP Jackson Carlaw
Conservative MSP Jackson Carlaw

He too highlights that 70 years later anti-Semitism is back in Paris again.

Survivor's accounts

Paula Lebovics, an 81-year-old survivor from Encino, California, told the AP News agency that she remembered how as a small, hungry girl of 11 she was lifted up by a Russian soldier who rocked her tenderly in his arms, tears coming to his eyes.

She did not know who that soldier was but she still felt enormous gratitude to him and the other Soviet soldiers, Ms Lebovics said, adding: "They were our liberators."

Survivors walk out of the gate at Auschwitz, 27 January 2015
Survivors walk out of the gate at Auschwitz ealirer today

Renee Salt, 85, from north London, visited the camp for the first time 10 years ago and "buried the ghosts",

she told the BBC, and has been going back ever since.

"I'll do it for as long as I can. Why? There are still a lot of Holocaust-deniers the world over and if we don't speak out, the world won't know what happened."

'Hope that survives our despair'

Labour MSP Ken Macintosh says Holocaust Memorial Day fills him with "questions and hope and anxiety in equal measure to know if we've learnt our lessons".

Mr Macintosh highlights the resilience of those survivors which he praises.

They represent the "hope that survives our despair".

Labour MSP Ken Macintosh
Labour MSP Ken Macintosh

"When we face another rise in anti-Semitism it has ever been more important than it is now to learn lessons of the Holocaust."

It is up to us and the young Holocaust ambassadors to keep the memory alive says Mr Macintosh.


Auschwitz survivors have urged the world not to allow a repeat of the crimes of the Holocaust as they

mark 70 years since the camp's liberation.

"We survivors do not want our past to be our children's future," Roman Kent, born in 1929, told a memorial gathering at the death camp's site in Poland.

Auschwitz survivors at the 70th anniversary ceremony, 27 January
Auschwitz survivors at the 70th anniversary ceremony, 27 January

Some 300 Auschwitz survivors returned for the ceremony under a giant tent.

Some 1.1 million people, mostly Jews, were killed there between 1940 and 1945, when Soviet troops liberated it.

'Never, ever forget'

SNP MSP Stewart Maxwell says in the three months from August 2014 and November 2014 there were more than 50 anti-Semitic incidents reported to the police.

Mr Maxwell says it is vital that no community is isolated in Scotland.

"We must always remember, but not just in a quiet way - we must state loudly and clearly the Holocaust happened."

"We must never ever forget the past."

He praises the work of the Holocaust Educational Trust for keeping alive these memories.

'No room for complacency'

Mr Maxwell details anti-Semitic hate crimes across Europe and beyond.

He also highlights hate crimes in Scotland saying there is no room for complacency here.

Path to genocide

Mr Maxwell says the Holocaust Memorial Trust has published a booklet detailing the path to genocide, with the 8th and final step being denial.

He describes the stark horrific details of the Final Solution.

SNP MSP Stewart Maxwell
SNP MSP Stewart Maxwell

He says the theme for Holocaust Memorial Day this year is "Keep the Memory Alive", which is very pertinent indeed as the survivors are now very old.

It will be much easier to deny the Holocaust when there are no survivors left, he says.

Holocaust Educational Trust

Mr Maxwell commends the Holocaust Educational Trust's Lessons from Auschwitz Project, which gives two post-16 students from every school and college in Scotland the opportunity to visit Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Lucy Paterson and Kieran Smyth, two students from St Andrew's RC Secondary in Glasgow, took part in the project and delivered the Parliament's Time for Reflection message today.

Lucy Paterson and Kieran Smyth, pupils at St. Andrew's RC Secondary School in Glasgow
Lucy Paterson and Kieran Smyth, pupils at St. Andrew's RC Secondary School in Glasgow

They took part in the the

Holocaust Educational Trust's Lessons from Auschwitz Project, which gives two post-16 students from every school and college in Scotland the opportunity to visit Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Holocaust Memorial Day debate

SNP MSP Stewart Maxwell is leading a debate on Holocaust Memorial Day 2015, which takes place today.

In his motion Mr Maxwell highlights the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau and an opportunity for schools, colleges, faith groups and communities across Scotland to remember the six million men, women and children murdered by the Nazi regime in occupied Europe.

The gates of Auschwitz
The gates of Auschwitz

Candles are being lit across Scotland later as part of events

to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.

The victims of the Nazis and people killed in genocides since World War Two are being remembered.

Decision time

MSPs pass the Scottish government's motion from the PACE debate unamended.

The Labour amendment fell.

PACE debate ends

Business Minister Fergus Ewing says PACE exists to help everyone and early notice to PACE can assist

Mr Ewing says he believes there is "an absolutely correct focus on early intervention" and that there is a huge effort day and daily put in by a number of devoted public servants to tackling very difficult situations.

He commends the extraordinarily successful efforts and well intended efforts by the PACE team and says they go the extra mile to try and help the people in Scotland.

Government closing

Business Minister Fergus Ewing says being made redundant is a "very, very difficult experience, so it behoves us very well to respond as well as we can".

Mr Ewing says in order for PACE to reach out and assist people who have been made redundant, if they are not made aware of them then they are not able to offer help.

Business Minister Fergus Ewing
Business Minister Fergus Ewing

The minister says Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser's suggestion the government works closer with business organisations is a good one.

Resilience fund plea

Ms McMahon echoes her fellow MSPs in the Scottish Labour party who have called for a resilience fund for industries in difficulty.

Labour closing

Labour MSP Siobhan McMahon says PACE's focus has shifted from prevention to mitigation which is regrettable.

Labour MSP Siobhan McMahon
Labour MSP Siobhan McMahon

Ms McMahon says unfortunately the government have been concentrating their efforts on mitigation.

Conservative closing

Scottish Conservative Alex Johnstone says his party agrees with the government motion as PACE provides a good service, which is well regarded and is improving all the time.

Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone
Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone

Mr Johnstone praises the work by Margaret Souter and her 18 teams across the country.

Wave energy sector

Lib Dem MSP Liam McArthur says it is "inexcusable" there has been no debate on the wave energy sector following Pelamis going into administration last year, while its rival, Aquamarine Power, is making more than half of its workforce redundant.

Workers have told BBC Scotland the

withdrawal of public funding is to blame.


But the Scottish government insisted it had supported the sector.

Business Minister Fergus Ewing offers a further private meeting with Mr McArthur on the issue and reiterates the Scottish government's commitment to the future of the wave energy sector.

Lib Dem view

Scottish Liberal Democrat Liam McArthur says all the indications are our economy is continuing to emerge from all the recent problems.

The Orkney MSP says this is thanks in no small way down to the tough choices of the UK coalition government.

Lib Dem MSP Liam McArthur
Lib Dem MSP Liam McArthur

However the disappointing recent announcements from a range of companies, not least the oil and gas industry, show the timeliness of this debate.

Mr McArthur says the collaborative approach of PACE is its strength.

Resilience fund doubts

Mr Fraser says he has yet to be convinced about Scottish Labour's proposal for a resilience fund, saying it "sounds like a headline waiting for a story to be written to justify it".

Conservative view

Scottish Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser says the overall economic picture is improving so he would hope the requirement for PACE intervention will be diminishing.

Scottish Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser
Scottish Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser

He says PACE are providing a valuable service very well regarded, but concerns still remain.

Mr Fraser adds that the government could look to work more with business organisations.

Labour Amendment

Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald's amendment says that PACE was originally created with a remit to ensure the early identification of company or sector difficulties, to undertake partnership working with companies in order to mitigate difficulty and, only where redundancies are inevitable, get people back into jobs as quickly as possible.

Scottish purse tipping out money
Getty Images
Labour are proposing a resilience fund

More needs to be done to support companies, sectors and regions faced with sudden economic shocks and difficulties to avoid or reduce the number of job losses he says.

Mr Macdonald agrees that the work of PACE should be reviewed in order to identify where more pro-active interventions can be made at an earlier stage and calls for the establishment of a resilience fund to assist with these efforts with an initial budget of £10 million in 2015-16.

'Resilience fund'

Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald says this debate is timely because the Scottish economy is facing thousands of job losses due to the decline in the price of oil.

Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald
Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald

Mr Macdonald points to the Labour amendment which "proposes a resilience fund to strengthen the response to economic shocks at a local level".

PACE tribute

Mr Ewing says PACE is an excellent example of Team Scotland with 21 organisations acting together.

The minister pays tribute to the PACE team, led by Margaret Souter, saying their support is genuinely appreciated by those who receive it.

This debate is an opportunity to pay tribute to PAE and give credit to them, he concludes.


Mr Ewing says that trade unions like the STUC play a key role in PACE and the cooperation with unions and the close work has led to an excellent personal working relationship with the STUC.

Our colleges across Scotland are also an integral part of PACE, he adds

"Experience shows the earlier PACE support can be provided the more effective it will be."

Nicola Sturgeon said the Scottish government had offered support to the USC through PACE
The Scottish government had offered support to USC through PACE following the job losses announcement earlier this year.

The minister calls for employers to give the earliest notification of forthcoming redundancies.


PACE (Partnership Action for Continuing Employment) is the Scottish government's national strategic partnership framework for responding to redundancy situations.

United Biscuits is to cut 166 jobs at its Glasgow McVitie's factory
United Biscuits announced a cut of 166 jobs at its Glasgow McVitie's factory last November

Skills Development Scotland (SDS) co-ordinates PACE at a national level and facilitates local level response teams providing tailored help and support for individuals at risk of, or experiencing, redundancy.

PACE praise

Mr Ewing praises the work of Pace, saying the group has helped 12,000 individuals from April 2013 to April 2014.

PACE debate

Business Minister Fergus Ewing now leads a debate on PACE.

Mr Ewing's motion says that the Scottish government's initiative for responding to redundancy situations, Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE) has teams around Scotland and brings 21 organisations together with the Scottish Government.

Business Minister Fergus Ewing
Business Minister Fergus Ewing

Mr Ewing says that it has performed well in its core function of helping those made redundant gain other employment or opportunities and that the most recent figures show that nearly three quarters of those who received PACE support went into employment.

He urges the Scottish government to continue to work with industry, workforce representatives and the third sector to provide the best possible and practicable assistance to those who have been made redundant and to spread awareness and knowledge of what PACE is and does.


Scottish Conservative Alex Fergusson says on first sight his party welcomes many suggestions being put forward by the minister.

Mr Fergusson asks for more detail on the proposals and how they will increase the amount of land coming on to the market.

Conservative MSP Alex Ferguson
Conservative MSP Alex Ferguson

Mr Lochhead says he wants to keep tenant farmers but lays out two clear routes for a tenant to have the right to buy..

'Landmark report'

Labour MSP Claudia Beamish says this is a "landmark report" and must herald a new era in agriculture in Scotland.

Ms Beamish asks how the report can foster a culture of partnership between the tenant farmer and owner.

Labour MSP Claudia Beamish
Labour MSP Claudia Beamish

Mr Lochhead says it requires everyone to get behind the report and keep an "eye on the ball" to ensure a vibrant tenant farmers' sector.

Agricultural Holdings Review Group recommendations

Recommendations for the Scottish government include:


• enabling 1991 Act tenants to apply to the Scottish Land Court to force the sale of the holding where a landlord does not meet their obligations

• measures to widen succession rights for 1991 Act tenants

• creating a Tenant Farming Commissioner

• improving how rents are set

• creating the potential for apprenticeship opportunities for new entrants

• providing long term and flexible letting vehicles to encourage the release of more land into tenancy

78 meetings

Mr Lochhead says to ensure tenant farming thrives in the 21st century steps must be taken to protect this sector's vital role.

Getty Images

He says the review had a challenging remit and the review group was clear it had to talk to people on the ground and take the farming industry with it, which is why it held 78 meetings.

'Vital role'

In his opening statement he says tenant farming plays a "vital role" in Scotland's economy.

The total agricultural area represents 79% of Scotland and tenanted land makes up a quarter of that, says the minister.