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  1. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says she will not bring indyref2 legislation to Holyrood as planned
  2. She adds her government will concentrate on the "best" Brexit deal for Scotland
  3. Opposition leaders urge the first minister to take the referendum plan off the table all together
  4. Health Secretary Shona Robison apologises to those families affected by "substandard practices" in maternity services
  5. MSPs pass the Railway Policing (Scotland) Bill

Live Reporting

By Craig Hutchison and Colin Bell

All times stated are UK

Good night from Holyrood Live


That ends our coverage of the Scottish Parliament for Tuesday 27 June 2017.

We'll be back tomorrow morning with live coverage of the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee as it takes evidence from Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing on CAP payments from 9am.

We'll see you then. Have a good night.

UPSUM: Nicola Sturgeon puts Scottish independence referendum bill on hold

Nicola Sturgeon to 'reset' independence referendum plan

Nicola Sturgeon has put her independence referendum plans temporarily on hold after announcing a "reset" of her proposed timetable.

The first minister had called for an independence referendum to be held in the autumn of 2018 or spring of 2019.

But Ms Sturgeon told Holyrood she would now delay her plans to introduce legislation for a referendum.

However, she later said it was still "likely" a referendum would be held by 2021.

Ms Sturgeon has been considering her options since the SNP lost 21 seats in the election earlier this month.

She said the Scottish government would delay its proposed referendum legislation until at least the autumn of next year - although it would still need the permission of the UK government for a legally binding vote to be held.

'We have to do everything that we can to restrict the demand for these images'


Mr McDonald says the government has published its first Exploitation and Human Trafficking Strategy.

The childcare and early years minister says the government has provided funding to Stop It Now Scoltand and SACRO.

He says the government will continue to engage with stakeholders on deterrents for those who look at these images online.

The minister says: "We have to do everything that we can to restrict the demand for these images."

He says the Scottish government stands ready to do all it can.

The internet makes it easier for those with bad intentions says minister

Childcare and Early Years Minister Mark McDonald
Childcare and Early Years Minister Mark McDonald

Childcare and Early Years Minister Mark McDonald says no one should be apologetic for finding this subject difficult to talk about and says it is important to do so.

Mr McDonald says the internet has a dark side and makes it easier for those with bad intentions.

The childcare and early years minister says this it is not a crime without evidence and following the money can often be a way to catch those responsible.

He says there are children in Scotland being abused over the internet and that abuse must be tackled.

Offenders often able to 'suck in other people'

SNP MSP Stewart Stevenson
SNP MSP Stewart Stevenson

SNP MSP Stewart Stevenson says this is a subject that will properly motivate people to do their very best to tackle it.

Mr Stevenson says he, until very recently, had a sex-offenders prison in his constituency and that these people are often social and able to "suck in other people".

The SNP MSP says the unfortunate truth is that the content coming through cannot be encrypted of banned because it cannot always be seen as it is coming through.

He says it may be time to go back to the "Al Capone approach" and "follow the money" to get to the root of the problem.

Background: Viewing of online child abuse images a 'social emergency'


The numbers of people viewing online child sex abuse images in the UK amount to a "social emergency", says the NSPCC.

A report by the charity suggests the number of individuals looking at such images could exceed half a million.

It is calling for a "robust action plan" to cut off the supply of content.

The Home Office says it is working with law enforcers, companies and voluntary organisations to stamp out online child exploitation.

In the past five years the number of offences recorded by police of viewing child sexual abuse images under the Obscene Publications Act has more than doubled across the UK, reaching a total of 8,745 in 2015.

But the NSPCC believes the true scale of offending in the UK to be far greater.

Read more here.

'We must not shy away from it'

Tory MSP Finlay Carson
Tory MSP Finlay Carson

Tory MSP Finlay Carson says boys and girls, some under the age of two, are being abused in front of a webcam and that the more serious the abuse, the more will be paid.

Mr Carson says it is more important than ever to have governments who have safeguards in place to protect children online.

The Tory MSP says "we have the tools" to take down the images and websites and that it is important to make sure that our police are doing so.

He says IJM highlights crimes inflicted on children and that "we must not shy away from it."

'It is here on our doorsteps'

SNP MSP Rona Mackay
SNP MSP Rona Mackay

SNP MSP Rona Mackay says this is truly the darker side of the internet and of human nature.

Ms Mackay says that the victims are normally the poorest and most vulnerable.

The SNP MSP says 30m indecent images of children in Scotland were identified during a recent operation.

"It is here on our doorsteps," she says, adding that perpetrators do not have "I'm an abuser" tattooed on their foreheads and it could be anyone.

Sexual exploitation in any guise is simply wrong says Labour MSP

Labour MSP Rhoda Grant
Labour MSP Rhoda Grant

Labour MSP Rhoda Grant says sexual exploitation in any guise is simply wrong and that this exploitation is now happening live over the internet rather than by the sharing of images.

The Labour MSP says children's lives are being damaged by this abuse and it is also damaging that the pictures of that abuse are still being circulated on the internet.

She says images must be tracked and removed and those viewing them must be published.

Ms Grant says that many of the images originate in Amsterdam where prostitution is legal and that this is sexual exploitation.

Sexual violence fuels human trafficking says SNP MSP

SNP MSP Ash Denham
SNP MSP Ash Denham

SNP MSP Ash Denham says sexual violence fuels human trafficking and many of the children have no one else to fight for them.

The SNP MSP says she has also read The Locust Effect and that she would recommend it.

She says some of the poorest men, women and children are abused in front of the authorities.

Ms Denham says many perpetrators commit their crimes safe in the knowledge that they will never be brought to justice.

There are children who are at the hands of 'merciless abusers'

SNP MSP Kate Forbes
SNP MSP Kate Forbes

SNP MSP Kate Forbes says across the world today there are children who are at the hands of "merciless abusers".

Ms Forbes says perpetrators of the abuse are not people that stand out when you walk past them on the street.

The SNP MSP says 54% of the victims rescued by IJM were between one and 12-years-old.

She says right now there are children at the mercy of a western market.

Internet has a 'terrible dark side' that spans borders

Tory MSP Gordon Lindhurst

Tory MSP Gordon Lindhurst says the IJM protects the vulnerable and brings perpetrators to justice.

Mr Lindhurst says the internet brings benefits but also has "a terrible darkside" that spans borders.

The Tory MSP says this requires co-operation across borders to pursue justice.

He says Stop it Now Scotland can help people to identify concerning behaviour with those they may know.

'We cannot shy away from talking about this dreadful phenomenon'

Ms Martin

Ms Martin says it is not only children in developing countries and that it happens in Scotland too.

The SNP MSP says no constituency is free of this and every one has someone paying for material online.

"We cannot shy away from talking about this dreadful phenomenon," she says.

She says lets keep attention on the issue and say firmly "not on my screen".

'We stop the purchase and we stop the practice'


Ms Martin says children from the Philippines are born into a life of crime and injustice.

The SNP MSP says these children are subject to abuse for those paying online with credit cards.

"All you need is a mobile phone or a web cam and a frightened child," she says.

She says Europe logs on and the abuse starts thousands of miles away.

"We stop the purchase and we stop the practice," she says.

Cyber-sex trafficking 'makes me so angry'

SNP MSP Gillian Martin brandishes the Locus Effect
SNP MSP Gillian Martin brandishes the Locus Effect

SNP MSP Gillian Martin says "this book has been sitting on my desk", and I have been putting off reading it.

The book is the Locust Effect.

Ms Martin says it is about online child abuse and the work of the IJM.

The SNP MSP says cyber-sex trafficking "makes me so angry" and that many are powerless.

She says she read the first chapter and couldn't read more for weeks.

Background: IJM

IJM by the numbers

Taken from the IJM website:

"IJM works through 17 field offices throughout Africa, Latin America, South and Southeast Asia. In each field office, our Justice System Transformation programs target everyday violence."

Learn more about IJM here.

Concerns raised over the online exploitation and abuse of children


SNP MSP Gillian Martin uses her motion to highlight the concerns raised by people around Scotland regarding the online exploitation and abuse of children.

Ms Martin commends the efforts of the International Justice Mission (IJM) in highlighting child slavery and exploitation overseas.

The SNP MSP says this abuse is supported and enabled by online purchasers in western countries, including Scotland.

She commends Police Scotland and the National Crime Agency on their work with the IJM to identify and prosecute the buyers and enablers of online child abuse and cybersex trafficking.

Ms Martin also commends them for raising awareness of the problem at a national and international level in order to stop this abuse of children.

Not on my screen debate begins

Here is SNP MSP Gillian Martin's motion.

Scottish Parliament

MSPs unanimously nominate Daren Fitzhenry

MSPs unanimously nominate Daren Fitzhenry to Her Majesty The Queen for appointment as the Scottish Information Commissioner.

BreakingMSPs pass the Railway Policing (Scotland) Bill

MSPs pass the Railway Policing (Scotland) Bill
British Transport Police
MSPs pass the Railway Policing (Scotland) Bill

MSPs pass the Railway Policing (Scotland) Bill.

68 MSPs voted for it, with 53 against.

Decision Time

We now move to decision time.

Scottish Information Commissioner appointment

Tory MSP Margaret Mitchell

Tory MSP Margaret Mitchell moves the appointment of the Scottish Information Commissioner.

Ms Mitchell calls on the parliament to nominate Daren Fitzhenry to Her Majesty The Queen for appointment as the Scottish Information Commissioner under section 42 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Minister calls on MSPs to pass the Railway Policing Bill

Justice Secretary Michael Matheson says he won't take a lecture on policing from a party that cut 20,000 police officers in England and Wales.

Mr Matheson says the Scottish government set out its position on the integration of the BTP in 2011.

He says the SNP have not rushed anything through and the idea the Bill has been railroaded through is simply not the case.

Justice Secretary Michael Matheson
Justice Secretary Michael Matheson

Labour MSP Neil Bibby says the minister is not listening to BTP officers who think this is a huge mistake.

The minister says staff have been offered a triple-lock and says this Bill will create a single command structure.

He says the benefits of an integrated force in Scotland will be making sure there will be a single command structure and Holyrood's scrutiny will increase.

Minister calls on Tory MSP to apologise for 'ill-considered and shameful' remarks

Justice Secretary Michael Matheson

Justice Secretary Michael Matheson says Oliver Mundell was "ill-considered and shameful" in the way he attacked serving officers.

Mr Matheson calls for an apology.

He says to "slag off" police officers is ill-befitting to someone serving on the front bench of the Scottish Conservatives.

Tories to vote against Railway Policing Bill

Tory MSP Margaret Mitchell says her party did not support the general principles of the Bill and will be voting against the Bill this evening.

Tory MSP says stakeholder concerns have 'fallen on deaf ears'

Conservative MSP Margaret Mitchell

Conservative MSP Margaret Mitchell says she takes no pleasure speaking in this debate as the SNP and Greens will vote to pass this Bill.

Ms Mitchell says this is despite the concerns from stakeholders and says their warnings have fallen on deaf ears.

She says the government has dogmatically stuck to the merger option ignoring warnings about the potentially dangerous consequences.

The Tory MSP says the BTPF stated in an open letter to MSPs that their questions have gone unanswered by the Scottish government.

'We have here today a Bill that is unnecessary and unwanted'

Labour MSP Mary Fee

Labour MSP Mary Fee says: "We have here today a Bill that is unnecessary and unwanted."

Ms Fee says there is little support from stakeholders for this Bill, which she says has been rushed.

The Labour MSP says her party does not support the proposed legislation and it will vote against the Bill at decision time.

Lib Dem MSP calls on the Parliament to reject the Railway Policing Bill

Lib Dem MSP Mike Rumbles says this is a piece of legislation that has not had its critics to seek.

Mr Rumbles declines interventions.

He says the minister decided that the majority of those in the sector are all wrong.

Lib Dem MSP Mike Rumbles

Mr Rumbles says this is the SNP's interpretation of the Smith Commission, as there were three options, with merger being the most risky.

The Lib Dem MSP says there are concerns about maintaining expertise.

He calls on the Parliament to reject the Bill.