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Summary

  1. The Local Government Committee takes evidence on disabled parking places from stakeholders
  2. MSPs quiz finance and the constitution ministers followed by economy, jobs and fair work ministers during portfolio questions
  3. The Scottish Lib Dems lead a debate on educational governance
  4. MSPs will then participate in another Lib Dem debate, this time on the collapse of Scots-China investment pact
  5. Tory MSP John Lamont leads this evenings member's debate entitled 'Congratulations to Rotary District 1020 and Other Champions of Change Winners'

Live Reporting

By Craig Hutchison

All times stated are UK

Goodnight from Holyrood Live

Holyrood night
BBC

That brings to an end our coverage of the Scottish Parliament for Wednesday 29 March 2017.

We'll be back tomorrow morning.

Have a good night.

International Development Minister Alasdair Allan praises Rotarians

International Development Minister Alasdair Allan
bbc
International Development Minister Alasdair Allan

International Development Minister Alasdair Allan says it gives him great pleasure to welcome Rotarians to the gallery. 

Mr Allan praises the work Rotarians do to help save lives around the world. 

The minister says the government supports volunteers via the  Community Capacity Resilience Fund, the Empowering Communities Fund and the Volunteering Fund.

Holocaust exhibition opens at Holyrood


          Shortlisted design for a National Holocaust Memorial and Educational Centre
Andrew Cowan
Shortlisted design for a National Holocaust Memorial and Educational Centre

An exhibition of the shortlisted designs for a National Holocaust Memorial and Educational Centre has been unveiled at the Scottish Parliament.

The exhibition, which will be on display until 1 April 2017, showcases 10 shortlisted designs and physical models for a new National Holocaust Memorial and Educational Centre in the UK.

Envisaged as a place for everyone to come together to remember the Holocaust, the centre will provide a focal point for annual national commemorations in the UK.

The travelling exhibition was on display at Westminster earlier this month and some of the shortlisted designs will also visit the National Assembly of Wales.

Rotarians deserve the support they receive from Holyrood

Mr Lamont asks the minister to explain what the Scottish government is doing to support the work of Rotary Clubs.

He says he is delighted to see the level of support of the Parliament for Rotarians.

The Tory MSP says the Rotarians deserve the support as they provide charitable work across the country. 

This evening is an opportunity to celebrate the work of all the Rotary Clubs

Tory MSP John Lamont
bbc
Tory MSP John Lamont

Tory MSP John Lamont welcomes Rotary members to the gallery. 

He praises the work of Rotary districts across Scotland.

In particular he praises the work of the Rotary District 1020 and he says this evening is an opportunity to celebrate the work of all the Rotary Clubs in the country.

2017 Champions of Change awards ceremony to take place in April

Mr Lamont says that the 2017 Champions of Change awards ceremony will be taking place in April and will once again recognise unsung heroes in domestic and international categories.

The Tory MSP says that the Rotary Club of Galashiels has recently delivered 15 analogue breast screening lorries to India, in partnership with Indian Rotaries and led by local Rotarians, Patricia Paterson and Peter Croan.

He says that the fantastic work of groups such as District 1020 and other Rotarians across Scotland makes a huge difference to local communities across Scotland and worldwide, 

He congratulates Rotary International, which is celebrating its 112th anniversary in 2017.    

Tory MSP congratulates Rotary District 1020

Tory MSP John Lamont highlights the excellent work of Rotary clubs across Scotland in delivering projects to improve their local area and beyond.

Mr Lamont congratulates Rotary District 1020 on being awarded two out of 12 Rotary Champions of Change awards in 2016 for humanitarian service.

Rotary District 1020 website
Rotary District 1020

The Tory MSP says that Grant Stephen of the Rotary Club of Duns was commended for setting up and running the Dementia Café in Duns.

He says Robin Hamilton of the Rotary Club of Dunbar received an award for his project in India providing sanitation at schools in the Kalimpong district.

Rotary clubs debate

Tory MSP John Lamont will now lead a debate entitled 'Congratulations to Rotary District 1020 and Other Champions of Change Winners'.

Here is Mr Lamont's motion: 

Tory motion
Scottish Parliament

The Scottish Lib Dem motion on the Chinese agreement, as amended by the government, is agreed to

Lib Dem motion
Scottish Parliament

The Scottish Lib Dem motion on the Chinese agreement, as amended by the government, is agreed to with 64 MSPs backing, 54 against and with 3 abstentions.

The Labour amendment to Chinese agreement motion is

Labour amendment to Chinese agreement motion
Scottish Parliament

The Labour amendment to the Chinese agreement motion is not agreed to with 58 for 63 against.

The Scottish government amendment on the Chinese agreement motion is agreed to

Scottish government amendment
Scottish Parilament

The Scottish government amendment on the Chinese agreement motion is agreed to with 63 MSPs backing it, 55 against and with 3 abstentions.

The Tory amendment is preempted.

The Scottish Lib Dem motion on education, as amended, is unanimously agreed to

The Scottish Lib Dem motion on education, as amended, is unanimously agreed to.

Education
Scottish Parliament

Scottish government amendment to the education motion is agreed to

SNP amendment
Scottish Parliament

The Scottish government amendment to the education motion is agreed to with 68 MSPs backing it and 53 against.

Decision time

We now move to decision time.

Rennie says Keith Brown should apologise for attack on Lib Dems over Chinese Agreement collapse

Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie
bbc
Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie

Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie says for the last year his party have been accused of being hypocrites and running down Scotland and many, many other things.

Mr Rennie says there is little point in the cabinet secretary coming and acting contrite without apologising for these attacks.

He says he is grateful at last that after 12 months that Keith Brown has "deigned to come before us and say he has got some things wrong and he will learn lessons", but this should not come in an opposition debate.

Mr Rennie says Patrick Harvie says he will let his own MSPs make up their own minds but says they were not in the chamber to make their minds up. 

He calls for a set of rules to be put in place to protect this country's reputation, particularly on human rights.

Mr Rennie says: "Scotland's reputation has been tarnished."

'I am sorry for the issues raised from this', says Keith Brown

Keith Brown
BBC

Keith Brown told the chamber in his closing speech that the government's approach to trade recognised the rights of workers. 

He said: "It is important to do as much as possible to check the human rights records of investors."

The minister also recognised the importance of "due diligence" in establishing future deals.

Mr Brown empathised that the government was "not for business at any cost".

He went on to say that he had sole responsibility on this matter and was "sorry for any issues raised".

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly?

Tory MSP Edward Mountain
bbc

Tory MSP Edward Mountain says the whole Chinese Agreement reminds him of the movie The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

Mr Mountain says the good is that the government have finally come clean today and he welcomes Keith Brown saying human rights will be at the forefront going forward.

He says the bad is the lack of transparency and it is outrageous the parliament only found out about the deal in a Chinese trade paper.

The ugly side is that there has been no diligence and the SNP has tried to run away from this blaming everyone else in the chamber. 

'Government had gone behind the backs of the people' - Labour's Richard Leonard

Labour MSP Richard Leonard said the debate and vote was important.

He told the chamber that the memorandum of understanding "is not merely a matter of good or bad business but a matter of good government". 

Mr Leonard said the debate was about the "power of this parliament" and "our ability to exercise control over the executive". 

He went on to say that the government was "stricken with moral cowardice" and had gone "behind the backs of the people".

Richard Leonard
BBC

Scottish Green Party co-convener Patrick Harvie says an apology is due

Scottish Green Party co-convener Patrick Harvi
bbc
Scottish Green Party co-convener Patrick Harvi

Scottish Green Party co-convener Patrick Harvie says human rights cannot be an afterthought.

Mr Harvie says an apology is due and he has not heard it in the terms required.

He says the Lib Dems appear more interested in taking a ministerial scalp rather than bringing about change.

The Scottish Green Party co-convener says the government did not take on board the Green suggestions and he criticises the government's amendment.

He says he is minded to abstain on the government amendment if he hears a clear apology and he will allow his MSPs to make up their own minds.

Mr Harvie says this is not a resignation issue.

Scottish government efforts to create ties with Qatar criticised

Labour MSP Neil Findlay again criticises Scottish government efforts to make ties with Qatar at a time when construction workers were being slaughtered.

Mr Findlay says, in relation to the collapse of the Chinese agreement, asking was it genuine or chosen ignorance or was it naivety.

Lib Dems accused of 'hypocrisy'

The SNP's Maree Todd recalled the Lib Dems saying that on this issue basic checks and human right records should have been done at an "earlier stage".

She went on to say that the party had indulged in an "element of hypocrisy" in its approach because when it was in government at Westminster it "aggressively pursued" links to China.

Back the motion, McArthur urges

Liam McArthur, Lib Dem MSP, doubted the promises behind any of the UK activities of the SinoFortone Group. He said parliament wanted answers and urged MSPs to back the motion by his colleague Willie Rennie. 

Liam McArthur
BBC

Here's Labour's amendment

Here's Labour's amendment
Scottish Parliament
Here's Labour's amendment

'Lack of accountability'

Labour MSP Jackie Baillie says the collapse of the Chinese agreement points to a lack of accountability of the Scottish government to the parliament.

Ms Baillie says the SNP did not have a clue about the Chinese company as it did not bother to check.

Here is that Tory amendment

Here is that Tory amendment
bbc
Here is that Tory amendment

Tory MSP criticises SNP 'incompetence

Tory MSP Dean Lockhart says the collapse of the £10bn deal is just one of many examples of how the SNP's incompetence has damaged the economy over the last ten years.

Mr Lockhart says the Chinese walked away from the deal calling it a Scottish shambles.

He says the parliament only found out about the agreement when a picture appeared in the Chinese trade press.

"Ridiculous," he says.

The Tory MSP says the SNP tried to blame the opposition parties for wrecking a deal they did not know about.

Here is the government amendment

Here is the government amendment
Scottish Parliament
Here is the government amendment

Economy secretary says the government will maintain its commitment to human rights

Economy Secretary Keith Brown
bbc

Economy Secretary Keith Brown says what was signed was quite clearly a memorandum of understanding (MoU).

Mr Brown says no financial commitment was made by the Scottish government as a result of the MoU.

He says the government has had no contact with either company since last September.

Mr Brown accepts lessons need to be learned from the events of last year.

Labour MSP Neil Findlay says the government has not learned any lesson by trying to forge links with Qatar while workers on the World Cup infrastructure are "slaughtered".

Mr Brown says the government will maintain its commitment to human rights.

He says it will undergo due diligence on the human rights of all companies it works with.

Lib Dem MSP calls on Economy Secretary Keith Brown to apologise for the shambles

Mr Rennie says the first minister was careless to put pen to paper on a deal with two companies she knew nothing about.

The Lib Dem MSP says the reputation of Scotland on human rights has been tarnished by this.

He calls on Economy Secretary Keith Brown to apologise for the shambles.

Background: Row over apparent collapse of Scots-China investment pact


          The agreement was signed at the first minister's Bute House residence in Edinburgh in March
SINOFORTONE
The agreement was signed at the first minister's Bute House residence in Edinburgh in March

Last November a row broke out over an investment pact between Scotland and China after the Scottish government blamed the opposition for its reported collapse.

The first minister  signed a memorandum of understanding  (MOU) with SinoFortone and another Chinese firm in March.

After reports that the agreement had now been cancelled, the Scottish government highlighted a "climate of hostility" from opposition parties.

Opponents of the deal called for a full statement on the "sorry episode".

The agreement, said to be worth up to £10bn, was signed with representatives of SinoFortone Group and China Railway No. 3 Engineering Group (CR3) at Nicola Sturgeon's official Bute House residence in Edinburgh.

However opposition parties  voiced fears about the deal , amid concerns CR3's parent company China Railway Group had been named in an Amnesty International report on human rights abuses and  had been blacklisted by Norway's oil fund .

'The Scottish shambles was born and Keith Brown was the midwife'

Scottish Lib Dem MSP Willie Rennie
bbc
Scottish Lib Dem MSP Willie Rennie

Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie says the debate is about a £10bn deal with one Chinese company with concerns about its alleged human rights abuses in Africa and a company that has promised much but has only delivered a pub in Buckinghamshire.

Mr Rennie says: "The Scottish shambles was born and Keith Brown was the midwife."

He says there was an agreement between the SNP and the two companies. 

Mr Rennie says the Scottish government claimed the deal did not exist.

Scottish Lib Dem Chinese agreement debate

The Scottish Lib Dems will now lead a debate entitled 'Censure and Apology on the Anniversary of the Chinese Agreement'. 

Here is the motion:

Lib Dem motion
BBC

Tavish Scott warns against inspection being too close to government

Lib Dem MSP Tavish Scott warns against inspection being too close to government.

Mr Scott says he hopes the changes he has called for will be implemented.

That concludes the debate on education governance.

Lib Dem MSP says evidence is pretty strong and powerful for reform of Education Scotland

Lib Dem MSP Tavish Scott
bbc
Lib Dem MSP Tavish Scott

Lib Dem MSP Tavish Scott suggests Ross Greer, the Green MSP, is an SNP backbencher, to titters of laughter.

Mr Scott says the evidence presented is pretty strong and powerful for the separation of the inspection and policy functions of Education Scotland and for the reform of the SQA.

He says lack of clarity of accountability of the CfE board exercised the Education Committee.

The SQA and Education Scotland are part of the governance review

Education Secretary John Swinney concludes saying the SQA and Education Scotland are part of the governance review.