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Live Reporting

BBC Scotland News

All times stated are UK

  1. FMQs: The headlines

    • Three more deaths recorded in the past 24 hours of people who tested positive for Covid in the previous 28 days.
    • That brings the total number of deaths by that measurement to 7,562.
    • Nearly 35,000 first doses of vaccine administered yesterday.
    • In total, 2,249,612 people in Scotland have received their first dose of the vaccine.
    • In addition, 249,252 have received their second dose.
    • Ruth Davidson and Nicola Sturgeon clash over how much school pupils need to catch up.
    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
    • Opposition leaders say the education attainment gap is as wide as ever.
    • Labour's Anas Sarwar calls for focus on 'heartbreaking' Glasgow hospital report.
    • Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie Rennie says equity in education 'could take 35 years'.
    • Greens call for increase in Scottish Child Payment.

    That's all from or live page coverage today. Thanks for joining us.

  2. Increase in Scottish Child Payment needed, say Greens

    Alison Johnstone

    Green party co-leader Alison Johnstone says the poorest families in Scotland need more support.

    Ms Johnstone says the £10-a-week Scottish Child Payment, targeted at youngsters under the age of six in qualifying families, should be expanded.

    She adds: "The pandemic is hitting the poorest families hardest. We need to commit to increasing the child payment at the earliest opportunity."

    climate change march

    Ms Sturgeon says her government had introduced the new state benefit which she says has been described as "game changing" by anti-poverty campaigners.

    Ms Johnstone also calls on the first minister to “find the courage to act now” on climate change, but was rebutted by the SNP leader who said Scotland was a "world leader" on tackling greenhouse gases.

  3. Rennie says equity in education 'could take 35 years'

    school pupils

    Mr Rennie responds that, at this rate of progress, it will take 35 years to have equity in education.

    He says Scotland's performance in maths and science are at a record low in international league tables.

    "Does the first minister accept she has had enough time and she has not done enough for young people in Scotland," Mr Rennie asks.

    The first minister does not accept that.

    She says her record will be put to the Scottish people and on 6 May they will make their decision.

  4. Rennie returns to poverty-related attainment gap

    willie rennie

    Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie says the Audit Scotland report described the Scottish government's performance on education as limited and and said it fell short.

    Like Ruth Davidson, Mr Rennie reminds the first minister that she pledged to close the poverty-related attainment gap six years ago.

    He says Ms Sturgeon did not answer earlier, so he will ask again: "how much longer will it take?"

    Ms Sturgeon says that if she is still first minister after the election, she will continue the progress of the past five years.

    She says the Audit Scotland report recognises that it will take time to achieve this progress and that Covid has hampered it.

  5. Call for fatal accident inquiry into Milly Main's hospital death

    Millie Main and her mother Kimberley
    Image caption: Millie Main and her mother Kimberley

    Mr Sarwar points to the "devastating consequences" of the Glasgow hospital opening despite warnings about the safety of the water supply.

    The Labour MSP asks Ms Sturgeon if she backed the calls from the family of Milly Main, who died of an infection while at the children's hospital, for a fatal accident inquiry into her death.

    Ms Sturgeon said that was a decision for the Crown Office but added: “I completely understand, I completely sympathise with the view that Milly’s family have that there should be an FAI.”

  6. Sarwar calls for focus on 'heartbreaking' Glasgow hospital report

    anas sarwar

    Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar leads on a review that looked into the cases of 84 children who developed infections while undergoing treatment at Glasgow's children's hospital.

    Infections from contaminated water at the hospital were found to have been an "important contributory factor" in a child's death.

    Mr Sarwar described the findings as "heartbreaking” and said it had been "far too long for families to wait for answers".

    The first minister says there were "undoubtedly questions to be answered" for the families and "lessons for government as there are for the health board".

  7. 'I hope she has a happy time in the House of Lords'

    ruth davidson

    The Scottish Tory leader at Holyrood says the attainment gap in education is as wide as ever.

    Ms Davidson says the SNP have been in power for 14 years but their only solution to anything is another independence referendum.

    Her last question in the Holyrood chamber (before she goes to the House of Lords, in case you did not know) is: "How many times will she demand a referendum before she finally gets around to closing the education gap?"

    house of lords

    Ms Sturgeon says there will be another independence referendum if the people of Scotland vote for it.

    "It is called democracy, which I know is a principle that perhaps Ruth Davidson does not recognise these days as much as she might have done one day," Ms Sturgeon says.

    The first minister ends by saying she "genuinely" wishes Ruth Davidson well, which elicits laughter from the Tory politician.

    "I hope she has a happy time in the House of Lords, presiding officer," Ms Sturgeon says.

  8. When will attainment gap be closed?

    nicola sturgeon

    Ms Davidson again returns to the attainment gap, saying Ms Sturgeon promised to tackle it five years ago.

    "As a promise, it has proven worthless," she says.

    Ms Sturgeon says that if the Scottish people re-elect her as first minister, she will continue the work she has been doing over those five years to close the gap in attainment.

    She says there has been "demonstrable" progress on many measures.

    The FM adds that progress has been made but also that it has been hampered by a global pandemic.

    The first minister adds that, at the risk of annoying the presiding officer, she will continue to work to close the gap as Ruth Davidson watches from afar.

  9. Sturgeon ticked off for House of Lords jibes

    ken macintosh

    Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh intervenes before Ruth Davidson's third question to gently chastise the first minister for twice mentioning the imminent elevation of the Scottish Tory leader at Holyrood to the House of Lords.

    Mr Macintosh says he realises it is a political exchange but he would rather it was not so personal.

    Ms Sturgeon and her MSPs are bemused by his intervention.

    Ms Davidson said it was "gallant but not required".

  10. Davidson calls for 'contrition' over education

    school pupils

    Ruth Davidson says "contrition" might be expected from Ms Sturgeon after the failures in attainment exposed by the Audit Scotland report.

    She says the attainment gap in education remains wide and improvements are not happening quickly enough.

    The report says that those in the most challenging circumstances have been most affected by school closures due to Covid, Ms Davidson says.

    Ms Sturgeon insists overall exam performance and other attainment measures have improved.

    She says the Audit Scotland report also looks at the impact of Covid on education and the government was committed to dealing with that, pledging £400m over this year and next as part of education recovery.

  11. Do children need to catch up on education, asks Ruth Davidson

    ruth davidson

    Ruth Davidson, the leader of the Conservative Party in the Scottish Parliament, asks the first minister about education secretary John Swinney saying he is uncomfortable with the word "catch-up" as it assumes that all children have fallen behind during lockdown.

    Ms Davidson says her view is that everything possible must be done to help pupils catch up after "the better part of a year out of the classroom".

    Ms Sturgeon replies that Ms Davidson could have been asking about education in previous weeks but instead she indulged in "smears".

    She says she is pleased Ms Davidson is back on the issue of attainment in her last FMQs before she goes to the unelected House of Lords.

    The first minister says she agrees with Mr Swinney on education.

    She says it is important to support young people to catch up on their education but we should also recognise the impact on their mental health and treat it "holistically".

  12. Vaccination target 'on track'

    Ms Sturgeon says the vaccination process is on track to administer doses to half the population by later today. Virtually everyone in the over-65 age group has now received their first dose.

    For other age groups the latest figures are:

    ·60-64: 93%

    ·55-59: 63%

    ·50-54: 41%

  13. Nearly 35,000 first doses of vaccine administered yesterday

    As of 08:30 this morning, 2,249,612 people in Scotland had received their first dose of the vaccine, an increase of 34,940 since Tuesday.

    In addition, 249,252 have received their second dose, an increase of 13,581.

  14. BreakingThree more Covid deaths recorded in Scotland

    Nicola Sturgeon begins with an update of the latest coronavirus figures.

    The first minister confirms that a further 692 people have tested positive for Covid – which is 3.1% of the tests carried out yesterday.

    This takes the total number of positive cases in Scotland to 215,175.

    There are 321 people in hospital with recently confirmed Covid-19, a decrease of 23, and 31 in intensive care, up three from yesterday.

    There have also been three more deaths recorded in the past 24 hours of people who tested positive in the previous 28 days.

    That brings the total number of deaths by that measurement to 7,562.

  15. COMING UP: First Minister's Questions is next...

    nicola sturgeon

    Nicola Sturgeon will give a coronavirus update in the Holyrood chamber shortly.

    The first minister will then take questions from opposition leaders and MSPs.

    You can follow proceedings right here on this live page or watch or listen by clicking one of tabs above for BBC One Scotland, the BBC Scotland Channel or Radio Scotland.

  16. How does it look for Nicola Sturgeon now?

    Nick Eardley

    Political correspondent

    nicola sturgeon

    For the last few weeks, Nicola Sturgeon has been under more pressure than at any other stage in her career.

    Some of that is down to criticism from her political opponents. Much of it down to the man who was once her closest ally - Alex Salmond.

    In the last 24 hours or so, this story has reached its climax. Ms Sturgeon will be relieved, and I suspect delighted, with how events have panned out.

    The first minister's position is stronger now than it has been for weeks.

    Read more from Nick Eardley here

  17. Have we heard the last of the Salmond saga?

    nicola sturgeon and alex salmond

    Nicola Sturgeon will face her final First Minister's Questions session of this Parliament a day after surviving a vote of no confidence over her government's handling of complaints against Alex Salmond.

    A Holyrood committee inquiry has concluded that there were "serious flaws" in the government's approach.

    The confidence vote was tabled by Tory MSP Ruth Davidson, who said nobody had taken responsibility for the failures.

    But MSPs voted by 65 to 31 to reject the motion, with the Greens backing the SNP and Labour and Lib Dems abstaining.

    Read more here

  18. Lockdown closure of churches ruled unlawful

    empty church

    Coronavirus regulations that forced the closure of churches in Scotland and criminalise public worship have been deemed unlawful.

    A group of 27 church leaders launched a judicial review at the Court of Session arguing the Scottish government acted beyond their powers under emergency legislation.

    Lord Braid agreed the regulations went further than was lawfully allowed.

    The ruling comes two days before communal worship is due to resume.

    Read more here

  19. BreakingNearly 10,000 have died in Scotland with confirmed or suspected Covid

    A total of 9,897 people have died in Scotland with confirmed or suspected coronavirus, according to the National Records of Scotland (NRS).

    The figures show 65 deaths relating to Covid-19 were registered between 15 and 21 March, down 39 on the previous week.

    Of these, 52 (80%) happened in hospital, with six in care homes and seven at home or in a non-institutional setting.

    The statistics are published weekly and cover all deaths registered in Scotland where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

    They differ from the lab-confirmed coronavirus deaths announced daily by the Scottish government because the NRS figures include suspected or probable cases of Covid-19.