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Summary

  1. Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh expresses his condolences to those affected by the Manchester Arena suicide attack
  2. The first minister gives a statement following the Manchester attack
  3. Opposition party leaders express their condolences to those affected

Live Reporting

By Craig Hutchison and Colin Bell

All times stated are UK

That's all from Holyrood Live on 23 May 2017

That's all from Holyrood Live's coverage of the Scottish Parliament on the day MSPs came together to express their condolences to the victims of the Manchester suicide attack.

Flags are flying at half mast outside the Scottish Parliament
bbc
Flags are flying at half mast outside the Scottish Parliament

Holyrood paid its respects and expressed condolences to the victims of the Manchester suicide bomb attack.

The presiding officer, first minister and opposition party leaders all gave emotional speeches highlighting their sorrow at the tragedy.

MSPs then observed a minute's silence in the chamber.

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MSPs observe a minute's silence
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MSPs observe a minute's silence
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At least four Scots were treated in hospital after the Manchester suicide bomb attack.

The attack in the foyer of the Manchester Arena at the end of a concert by singer Ariana Grande killed 22 people and injured a further 59.

Nicola Sturgeon said four people had "presented at hospitals in Scotland", two of whom have since been discharged.

Police are also in contact with the family of two girls missing from Barra.

Laura MacIntyre, 15, and Eilidh MacLeod, 14, are known to have attended the concert but have not been seen since the attack.

Scotland has high prevalence for the risk factors relating to hypertension

Public Health Minister Aileen Campbell
BBC

Public Health Minister Aileen Campbell says in Scotland there is a high prevalence of the risk factors relating to hypertension.

Ms Campbell says doctors check for hypertension when a patient displays other symptoms.

The public health minister says prevention is a key part of the health and social care delivery plan.

She says the community pharmacy plan aims to increase blood pressure checks.

Ms Campbell says the Alcohol Prevention Plan has 40 action points to reduce alcohol intake including minimum alcohol unit pricing.

Minister pays tribute to all health and social care workers who reacted to the attack in Manchester

Public Health Minister Aileen Campbell
bbc
Public Health Minister Aileen Campbell

Public Health Minister Aileen Campbell says she wants to pay tribute to all health and social care workers who are doing so much to help those affected by the brutal attack in Manchester.

Ms Campbell thanks Maree Todd for bringing this debate to the chamber and she thanks the British Heart Foundation for its work.

She too praises the work of Professor Rhian Touyz, of the British Heart Foundation Centre of Research Excellence at the University of Glasgow.

The minister says so many of Scotland's poor health outcomes could be avoided, including hypertension.

She says prevalence of high blood pressure increases with age.

GPs across the country are stretched to capacity says Labour MSP

Labour MSP Colin Smyth
BBC

Labour MSP Colin Smyth pays tribute to Scotland's healthcare workforce and to the British Heart Foundation.

Mr Smyth says hypertension can lead to other health problems.

The Labour MSP says of those 30% of people suffering from hypertension in Scotland, half are not being treated.

He says those who live in the most deprived areas may be less likely to get checked.

Mr Smyth says GPs across the country are stretched to capacity.

SNP MSP says we need to educate people about hypertension

SNP MSP David Torrance
bbc
SNP MSP David Torrance

SNP MSP David Torrance says he was told by a GP that his blood pressure peaked at 240 over 190 .....which was when he was at his branch meeting.

Mr Torrance jokes that to avoid high blood pressure don't go to your branch meetings.

He says we need to educate people about hypertension.

'Fallback position' important to deal with stress says Tory MSP

Tory MSP Brian Whittle
BBC

Tory MSP Brian Whittle says the last month has probably raised more blood pressure figures than the average.

Mr Whittle says high blood pressure means the heart has to work much harder to pump blood around the body resulting in hardening of the arteries.

The Tory MSP says being African or Caribbean can mean a greater risk of high blood pressure.

He says a "fallback position" when feeling stressed is important and he normally finds that a run helps or plugging in his guitar to play some AC/DC.

Continuing research is important says SNP MSP

SNP MSP Stewart Stevenson
BBC

SNP MSP Stewart Stevenson says his blood pressure was checked earlier today by his colleague SNP MSP Emma Harper.

Mr Stevenson says the result was not good but he had just came up the stairs and had not sat down. He says it may make his consider his salt intake and he "may even give up drink for a few days".

The SNP MSP says research is important because there is a lot more to learn.

Mr Stevenson says he is a private pilot and goes through an annual medical.

He says he will think about his diet and salt in particular.

Family history of high blood pressure and ethnicity can add to the risks says Labour MSP

Labour MSP Anasa Sarwar
BBC

Labour MSP Anasa Sarwar says his thoughts continues to be with those in Manchester as news of the victims emerges.

Mr Sarwar also thanks those in the emergency services who are helping those affected.

The Labour MSP says family history of high blood pressure and ethnicity can add to the risks.

He says it is important for people to look at their own behaviours as-well-as having their blood pressure regularly checked.

This debate can help raise awareness of high blood pressure says SNP MSP

SNP MSP Emma Harper
BBC

SNP MSP Emma Harper says this debate can help raise awareness of high blood pressure.

Ms Harper says untreated high blood pressure can lead to problems such as heart attacks and strokes.

The SNP MSP says there are many causes of high blood pressure such as being overweight, too much salt in a person's diet, drinking, smoking and lack of sleep.

Ms Harper says studies have shown that many people do not take medication for high blood pressure as often as they should or at all in some cases.

Background: International Society of Hypertension

International Society of Hypertension
International Society of Hypertension
International Society of Hypertension

The International Society of Hypertension has identified increased awareness as a key issue in the fight against raised Blood Pressure (BP).

To address the huge disease burden caused by raised BP, it says it isimperative that there is an increase in the levels of awareness among the world’s hypertensive population .

The ISH in collaboration with the WHL plan to facilitate the expansion of WHD into an exciting campaign and month of global BP measurement - May Measurement Month 2017 (MMM17).

The ambitious goal during the month of May 2017 to screen 25 million people, who have not had their BPs measured since April 30, 2016.

Read more here.

Tory MSP stresses the importance of regular check ups with the GP

Tory MSP Donald Cameron
bbc
Tory MSP Donald Cameron

Tory MSP Donald Cameron says almost a third of Scottish adults suffer from hypertension.

Mr Cameron says this debate highlights the importance of regular check ups with the GP.

He says the pharmacy can be crucial in dealing with hypertension going forward.

Background: BHF Centre of Research Excellence at University of Glasgow

BHF
BHF
BHF

The British Heart Foundation's mission is to "win the fight against cardiovascular disease and our vision is a world in which people do not die prematurely or suffer from cardiovascular disease."

The University of Glasgow's BHF Centre of Research Excellence is "hoping to come up with ways to prevent heart attacks using innovative research approaches."

'One of the biggest challenges of high blood pressure is that people do not feel ill'

Maree Todd
BBC

Ms Todd says hypertension can be prevented and therefore increasing public awareness is crucial.

The SNP MSP says as a pharmacist she knows only half of people take prescriptions as intended.

"One of the biggest challenges of high blood pressure is that people do not feel ill," she says.

She says medication for this can often make people feel worse.

Ms Todd says there may be many barriers but, thanks to prescriptions being free in Scotland, cost is not one of them.

She highlights the work of the British Heart Foundation.

SNP MSP praises the work of Professor Rhian Touyz

SNP MSP Maree Todd
bbc
SNP MSP Maree Todd

SNP MSP Maree Todd reminds the chamber she is a pharmacist and co-convener of the cross-party group on heart and stroke.

Ms Todd praises the work of Professor Rhian Touyz, of the British Heart Foundation Centre of Research Excellence at the University of Glasgow, which aims to understand the causes of hypertension.

She says 30% of people in Scotland have high blood pressure.

Here is the motion for the debate

SNP MSP Maree Todd
Scottish Parliament
SNP MSP Maree Todd

Here is SNP MSP Maree Todd's motion for her debate marking World Hypertension Month.

We now move to the member's debate on World Hypertension Month

Blood pressure taking
bbc

We now move to the member's debate on World Hypertension Month, led by SNP MSP Maree Todd.

MSPs back the general principles of the Seat Belts on School Transport (Scotland) Bill

MSPs unanimously back the general principles of the Seat Belts on School Transport (Scotland) Bill.

Decision time

We now move to decision time where MSPs will vote on the general principles of the Seat Belts on School Transport Bill.

Oath taking by Michelle Ballantyne

Conservative MSP Michelle Ballantyne
BBC

New Conservative MSP Michelle Ballantyne takes the member's oath, as the replacement for former Tory MSP Rachael Hamilton, who resigned from her seat to stand in the Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire by-election.

There is nothing to stop local authorities adding extra measures says SNP MSP

Pupils in school bus wearing seat belts
Thinkstock

SNP MSP Gillian Martin says the bill covers primary and secondary schools.

Ms Martin says she is old enough to remember seat belts not being in the front seats of cars and now it is unthinkable.

The SNP MSP says those teenagers who think it is "uncool" to wear seat belts is buses probably would not think twice about wearing one in the back of a car.

Ms Martin says bus monitors have been mentioned but that may be counterproductive because school children may rebel against that monitor and that it is not suitable for longer journeys.

She says there is nothing to stop local authorities adding extra measures and each one must be given responsibility.

"Seat belts help protect children," she says.

SNP MSP says she is 100% behind including trips and excursions in an amendment

SNP MSP Gillian Martin
bbc
SNP MSP Gillian Martin

SNP MSP Gillian Martin, who introduced the Seat Belts on School Transport Bill, thanks everyone across the chamber who have given her tremendous support.

Ms Martin says she has always been overwhelmed by the public support for her bill, with many people saying they thought this was law already.

The SNP MSP says school trips has come up a lot in the debate and she says although there are rigorous risk assessments for trips, she is 100% behind putting them in as an amendment at Stage 2.

She says it will be important to get engagement again for this and to hear from teachers and unions.

Minister will work with COSLA on costs

The transport minister says members have expressed concerns around the financial memorandum and he says he will work with COSLA on this.

Minister has written to COSLA to check if more robust details can be given on cost

Transport Minister Humza Yousaf says it has been a constructive, useful and informative debate.

Mr Yousaf says 18 councils still do not stipulate seat belts as a requirement which is why it is important.

Tory MSP Liz Smith intervenes to asks if he will look at where liability will lie because this may be a potential issue.

Transport Minister Humza Yousaf
BBC

Mr Yousaf says this is an issue that will be explored.

He says on the issue of cost, he has written to COSLA to check if more robust information can be given on cost.

Labour MSP Daniel Johnson asks why it is not more simple considering that currently there are 110 old buses without seat belts.

Mr Yousaf says there are a number of considerations to be taken into account including commercial implications.

Tories 'very keen on the basic principles of the bill' but there are still concerns

Conservative MSP Liz Smith
bbc
Conservative MSP Liz Smith

Conservative MSP Liz Smith says many MSPs have mentioned the poignancy of this debate today and she says it also comes after the emergence of dangerous school buildings.

Ms Smith says it is very important this debate take place to help ensure all school transport and all school children are safe.

She says there are concerns about the bill, for example it should go much further to cover school excursions.

The Tory MSP calls for more clarity about the costs.

She says her party are "very keen on the basic principles of the bill", but says there are still concerns.

Impossible for the bus driver to ensure children are wearing seat belts and drive says Labour MSP

Labour MSP Rhoda Grant
BBC

In closing for her party, Labour MSP Rhoda Grant questions why it has taken so long to bring this legislation in for school buses.

Ms Grant says there was nothing in the bill to say whose responsibility it is to make sure children are wearing seat belts on the bus.

The Labour MSP says that it would be impossible for the bus driver to ensure children are wearing seat belts and drive the bus.

She says the Youth Parliament have said that young people should be encouraged to be proactive rather than this be something that is done to them.

'There are issues with this bill'

Lib Dem MSP Mike Rumbles
BBC

Lib Dem MSP Mike Rumbles congratulates SNP MSP Gillian Martin for bringing forward the bill saying "it is a commendable aim".

Mr Rumbles says he was "astonished" that this wasn't already a law and that all 32 local authorities have not yet stipulated this in their contracts.

The Lib Dem MSP says, every time the committee has tried to get information on how many local authorities stipulate this in contracts, it has drawn a blank.

Mr Rumbles says this will cost £8.92m to implement this and he questions that cost.

"There are issues with this bill," he says, adding that he will be supporting it.

A claim of copyright for the phrase: 'Rumbles alert' by Philip Sim

Green MSP says societal change is what will drive this

Green MSP John Finnie
bbc
Green MSP John Finnie

Deputy Presiding Officer Christine Grahame says John Finnie is next and then possibly Mike Rumbles and says "I'll put out a Rumbles alert".

Green MSP John Finnie says his party will support the general principles of the Seat Belts on School Transport Bill at decision time.

Mr Finnie says he takes reassurance a further explanation will be coming from COSLA.

The Green MSP says societal change is what will drive this all and says he was involved in a serious accident and would not be here if it was not for seat belts.

He says Ms Martin says school assessments are covered by robust risk assessments and adds everything should be covered by a robust risk assessment.

Guidance and mentoring will have to be put in place regardless of who has duty of care says Tory MSP

Tory MSP Peter Chapman
BBC

Tory MSP Peter Chapman says that this is not a bill many would disagree with.

Mr Chapman says the issue of making sure children are wearing the seat belts must be addressed.

The Tory MSP says, if tackled correctly, this may be an opportunity to educate young people on wearing seat belts.

He says guidance and mentoring will have to be put in place regardless of who has duty of care.

There is a legal obligation to keep seat belts in working order says SNP MSP

SNP MSP Stewart Stevenson
BBC

SNP MSP Stewart Stevenson says there are many reasons to legislate but that each bill must stand on its merits.

Mr Stevenson says requiring the fitting of seat belts in school buses is something the Scottish Parliament can now legislate for but the law to enforce wearing those seat belts lie elsewhere.

The SNP MSP says there is a legal obligation to keep seat belts in working order.

He says the law also requires that drivers ensure seat belts are worn or that there is a sign instructing people to wear a seat belt.

'Why are we taking our children to school in old coaches?'

Labour MSP Daniel Johnson
BBC

Labour MSP Daniel Johnson says his thoughts are with those in Manchester.

Mr Johnson says a journey to and from school touches on that wrap around care that we should be working towards.

The Labour MSP questions whether the bill could go further and says the points around school excursions are important.

He says this is about 110 coaches which are old.

"Why are we taking our children to school in old coaches," He asks.

'Why has this not been done already?' - first thought of SNP MSP

SNP MSP Gail Ross says her first thought when she heard about Gillian Martin's Bill, she thought why has this not been done already.

Ms Ross says despite 18 local authorities having already addressed the issue of seat belts on school buses, there is still a long way to go.

SNP MSP Gail Ross
bbc
SNP MSP Gail Ross

She says she wants to thank Lynn Merrifield and Gillian Martin from the bottom of her heart as there is nothing more important to her than the safey of her son.

Ms Merrifield was the petitioner who originally called on the Scottish government to make provision for every school bus to be installed with three point seatbelts for every school child passenger.

Ms Ross says the SYP says any guidance must be developed with young people.