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Live Reporting

By Ailsa Brown and Craig Hutchison

All times stated are UK

  1. That's all folks

    That concludes what has been a historic day at the Scottish Parliament.

    Sturgeon hugs Salmond after final speech
    Image caption: Alex Salmond hugs Nicola Sturgeon, who is almost certain to be his successor as first minister

    All of today's chamber business and this morning's Health Committee can be viewed at BBC Scotland's Democracy Live.

    Sturgeon

    Join us tomorrow when the undoubted highlight will be another historic moment, when it is almost certain Nicola Sturgeon will be elected as Scotland's first female first minister.

  2. 'Miracle nurse'

    The minister concludes by again praising Linda MacDonald and her work with MUMs and Charity Salima who he says is a "miracle nurse" having delivered thousands and thousands of babies without one death over the years.

    External Affairs and International Development Minister Humza Yousaf
    Image caption: External Affairs and International Development Minister Humza Yousaf

    Mr Yousaf says these two women and their teams have "helped re-establish my faith in humanity".

    He concludes praising the greatness of their work.

  3. External Affairs and International Development Minister

    External Affairs and International Development Minister Humza Yousaf pays warm tribute to Linda MacDonald, Charity Salima and to Alex Fergusson for bringing the debate to the important debate to the chamber

    Maternal health in Malawi is important to the Scottish government who fund eight projects there, says Mr Yousaf.

    "I note and commend the range of good work done by MUMs."

    The minister says he hopes that individuals and organisations will dig deep to contribute to the appeal.

  4. Christmas donation

    Lib Dem MSP Liam McArthur says Alex Ferugusson has been passionate about Malawi "to the point of being Annie Lennox's bag carrier" which was above and beyond the call of most presiding officers.

    Liam McArthur

    "The really remarkable work of what he called the true angel is the really hard stuff."

    Mr McArthur pays tribute to Linda MacDonald and Charity Salima and says his family will donate to MUMs at Christmas.

  5. Malawi cross-party group

    SNP MSP Maureen Watt, who is the convener of the cross-party group on Malawi, commends Alex Fergusson for bringing the debate on the MUMs appeal to the chamber.

    SNP MSP Maureen Watt
    Image caption: SNP MSP Maureen Watt

    Ms Watt says the work of MUMs and Charity Salima is truly "remarkable and commendable".

  6. 'Truly remarkable work'

    Mr Ferguson says that all who donate to the MUMs appeal will be "immortalised on a plaque when the new clinic opens" in Malawi.

    Weighing baby
    Image caption: Malawi has thousands of community-based health workers

    The debate , he says , gives us an opportunity to thank Linda Ferguson and Charity Salima for the "truly remarkable work" they have undertaken over the last few years.

  7. "Two of life's angels"

    Mr Fergusson says Malawi Underprivileged Mothers (MUMs) is a charity led by "two of life's angels", one a Scot, one a Malawian.

    He says the Scot is Linda MacDonald, who is in the gallery.

    MUMs was founded in 2005 by Ms McDonald, who worked in Edinburgh, to raise funds for improvements at Bwaila Hospital in Lilongwe.

    Conservative MSP Alex Fergusson
    Image caption: Conservative MSP Alex Fergusson

    The second angel Mr Fergusson refers to is Charity Salima.

    Ms Salima established the Achikondi clinic, which now helps to deliver between 40 and 50 babies per month, provide ante- and post-natal care to mothers and babies, runs an under-fives clinic and provides HIV testing and family planning advice.

    Mr Ferguson is concerned that the clinic's privacy has been compromised, but said that Charity Salima has begun to build a new purpose-built clinic with a 17-bed capacity.

    "She, Charity Salima, is one of the most remarkable human beings I have ever come across". He says.

    The Conservative MSP also says that MUMs has launched a challenge to raise the £15,000 required to complete the clinic by the end of December 2014 and commends the charity pack that it has made available to individuals and organisations challenging them to raise £100 toward the target.

  8. Next: Members' Business: MUMs' Last Big Challenge

    Conservative MSP Alex Fergusson is leading a debate on MUMs' Last Big Challenge.

  9. Decision time

    The amendment from Labour is unanimously agreed to.

    The Conservative amendment is passed with 70 MSPs backing it, 37 MSPs voting against and with two abstentions.

    Kenny MacAskill's amended motion is passed unanimously.

  10. Decision time approaches

    As we approach decision time, here is a reminder of the debates motion amendments:

    Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill's motion: Lowering the Drink Drive Limit -That the Parliament supports the reduction of the drink drive limit, which will help to save lives and make Scotland's roads safer, bringing Scotland into line with most other European countries, and encourages drivers not to consume any alcohol at all before driving.

    The Presiding Officer has selected the following amendments

    Scottish Labour's justice spokesperson Graeme Pearson: Lowering the Drink Drive Limit- As an amendment to the motion in the name of Kenny MacAskill (Lowering the Drink Drive Limit), insert at end ―, and considers that the accompanying education and media campaign should cover the morning after effects of alcohol.

    Scottish Conservatie justice spokesperson Margaret Mitchell: Lowering the Drink Drive Limit-As an amendment to motion in the name of Kenny MacAskill (Lowering the Drink Drive Limit), after ―roads safer‖ insert ―; considers that the application and penalties imposed should be proportionate.

  11. Justice secretary

    Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill says: "It has been a remarkably consensual debate in the main, we expect no less when people's lives have been lost and people's lives could be saved."

    "It is about, I think, saving lives, significant progress has been made."

    Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill
    Image caption: Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill

    But it is important to remember it is not just about saving lives on the road, but is also about pedestrians being put in danger of their life, adds Mr MacAskill.

    "This is about saving the lives not just those on the road but pedestrians who often suffer."

  12. Labour closing

    Scottish Labour MSP Elaine Murray says public attitudes to drink driving have to change.

    Labour MSP Elaine Murray
    Image caption: Labour MSP Elaine Murray

    Ms Murray says it is timely that the limit be reconsidered, "we are now behind the legal limit in the majority of European countries, it is time Scotland caught up."

    "The message now has to be do not drink at all if you intend to drive."

  13. Variable application of penalties

    Scottish Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone raises the issue of the variable application of penalties.

    Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone
    Image caption: Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone

    Mr Johnstone says it is reasonable then to also have a good understanding in advance of the possibility of variable penalties. at the lower level of alcohol in the blood.

    "We must enforce the drink drive limit effectively", he says and adds "We must educate people to understand they must not drink and drive."

  14. BMA

    Drink drive

    Mr MacAskill said the British Medical Association evidence shows that the relative risk of being involved in a road traffic crash for drivers with a reading of 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood was 10 times higher than for drivers with a zero blood alcohol reading.

  15. BACKGROUND

    In 2012/13, 4730 people were convicted of drink and drug driving offences in Scotland's courts, compared to 8,145 people convicted of these offences in 2003/04.

    Drink drive
    Image caption: Scottish ministers want to bring drink-drive limits in to line with many other European countries

    Last month, Reported Road Casualties Scotland 2013 was published.

    The report revealed:

    ·580 casualties were estimated to be due to drink-drive accidents in Scotland in 2012.

    ·Around 10 fatalities were estimated to be due to drink-drive accidents in Scotland in 2012. A fall on 2011 figures, but the average for the last four years remains at 20 fatalities.

    ·Casualties resulting from drink drive accidents fell by over 50% since 2002 (from 1270 to 580).

    ·In 2013, 2.4% of drivers involved in injury accidents who were asked for a breath test registered a positive reading or refused to take the test.

  16. Justice Committee convener

    Justice Committee convener Christine Grahame says: "I don't understand Margaret Mitchell's amendment."

    The amendment inserts: "considers that the application and penalties imposed should be proportionate".

    SNP MSP Christine Grahame
    Image caption: SNP MSP Christine Grahame

    Ms Grahame goes on to says the most important thing to her is the information campaign and "not just over Christmas".

  17. BACKGROUND:

    Statistics from the justice secretary:

    Mr MacAskill said a survey of UK drivers published earlier this month found that:

    •91% agreed drink driving was unacceptable; and

    •92% of people said they would feel ashamed if they were caught drinking and driving.

    This compares to over half of male drivers and nearly two thirds of young male drivers who admitted drink driving on a weekly basis in 1979.

  18. 'Most extensive driving campaign ever'

    Scottish Lib Dem justice spokesperson Alison McInnes says: "If you have even one drink you should not drive."

    Alison McInnes
    Image caption: Lib Dem MSP Alison McInnes

    Ms McInnes says she cannot support the Conservative amendment as Margaret Mitchell had not put forward a coherent argument to make her do so.

    She says getting the message across to every single driver will require the "most extensive driving campaign ever and I do have some concern that this can be done in two and a half weeks".

  19. Highlands and Islands

    During his speech the justice secretary paid tribute to Dave Thompson for his campaigning to lower the drink drive limit.

    Drink drive

    On his website, Mr Thompson says he has been running a campaign on this since Northern Constabulary caught 28 drink drivers in a two week period in August 2007 and after finding out there were 27% more drunk drivers involved in accidents in the Highlands and Islands than the rest of Scotland.

  20. Campaigning

    SNP MSP Dave Thompson says: "I have been campaigning since I entered this parliament in 2007 to get the amount reduced from 80mg to 50mg."

    "It was clear there was overwhelming support in this parliament to reduce the drink driving limit - but at that time we had no power over it."

    SNP MSP Dave Thompson
    Image caption: SNP MSP Dave Thompson

    Mr Thompson says following the devolution of the power to set the drink drive limit in the Scotland Act 2012, the rapid action of the Scottish government was "music to my ears", unlike the prevarication at Westminster.

  21. Conservative view

    Scottish Conservative justice spokesperson Margaret Mitchell says in the UK the penalties for driving or attempting to drive while above the legal limit (currently 80mg) are set by Westminster.

    "They include 6 months' imprisonment, up to a £5,000 fine and/or a driving ban for at least 1 year."

    Conservative MSP Margaret Mitchell
    Image caption: Conservative MSP Margaret Mitchell

    "Whilst the SNP has been assiduous in asserting that the power to amend the penalties for drink driving should be devolved to Holyrood, as recently as last week absolutely no attempt was made to work with or even consult Westminster Justice Ministers about this important issue."

    "The result, bizarrely drivers who live in England travelling in Scotland - who are over the 50mg but under the 80mg limit - potentially face severe penalties for a crime that has no statutory basis south of the border."

  22. Labour response

    Scottish Labour's justice spokesperson Pearson says: "Let me state from the outset Scottish labour supports the Scottish governments motion".

    Labour MSP Graeme Pearson
    Image caption: Labour MSP Graeme Pearson

    "There's no reservations about our support for the Scottish governments intentions in this matter."

    "It's the right thing to do and the right rime to do it."

    "We realise this is a public safety issue - it's not about criminalising members of our community."

  23. Lowering the drink driving limit motion and amendments:

    Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill's motion: Lowering the Drink Drive Limit -That the Parliament supports the reduction of the drink drive limit, which will help to save lives and make Scotland's roads safer, bringing Scotland into line with most other European countries, and encourages drivers not to consume any alcohol at all before driving.

    The Presiding Officer has selected the following amendments

    Scottish Labour's justice spokesperson Graeme Pearson: Lowering the Drink Drive Limit- As an amendment to the motion in the name of Kenny MacAskill (Lowering the Drink Drive Limit), insert at end ―, and considers that the accompanying education and media campaign should cover the morning after effects of alcohol.

    Scottish Conservatie justice spokesperson Margaret Mitchell: Lowering the Drink Drive Limit-As an amendment to motion in the name of Kenny MacAskill (Lowering the Drink Drive Limit), after ―roads safer‖ insert ―; considers that the application and penalties imposed should be proportionate.

  24. 'Limit has had its day'

    The justice secretary says reducing the drink drive limit from 80mg to 50mg will save lives, "the current limit has had its day".

    Reducing the limit to 50mg alcohol per 100ml in line with most European countries, "will make Scotland's roads safer".

    Drink drive + police car
    Image caption: The drink-drive campaign warns road users of new alcohol limits

    Mr MacAskill says the Scotland Act 2012 devolved the power to lower the drink drive limit, but he says the Scottish government wanted more powers, like giving the police the power to breathalyse drivers anytime and anywhere.

    Whatever the limit may be, it should not be forgotten alcohol at any level impairs driving, so the central message is "don't drink and drive" he concludes.

    He says he will accept the amendments from Labour and the Scottish Conservatives.

  25. 'Sad truth'

    The justice secretary says the "sad truth is there remains a persistent minority, who despite repeated warnings, put their lives and others at risk", by getting behind the wheel after drinking.

    Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill
    Image caption: Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill

    "Too many people are choosing to ignore the warnings and drink and drive."

    Drink driving costs lives that is why it is right that we take action to reduce risk on our roads, says Mr MacAskill.

    He says there are 20 deaths each year where the driver has been over the limit.

  26. Drink drive debate begins

    And we're back as Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill gets to his feet to begin his speech on lowering the drink drive limit.

  27. On twitter

    John Giovanacci: Great comeback Alex, making Jackie Baillie squirm #ThanksAlex

    Max Sefton: Salmond's resignation statement is going on longer than the act of union, Anyone wanna bet me he'll be deputy PM in six months? #Scotland

    Andrew Scott Crines: As @AlexSalmond departs again, he reminds us that nationalism faces inwards & is reductive even when proclaiming social justice #salmond

    Charley: To me, this picture says it all. #ThanksAlex for taking us this far and into the capable hands of #GoForItNicola :D

    Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon
  28. Lowering the drink drive debate next

    That ends our coverage of Alex Salmond's final speech as first minister, but you will shortly be able to watch the entire proceedings on demand at BBC Scotland's Democracy Live.

    Our thanks to our colleagues at BBC Scotland's online politics team, Democracy Live marches on, however, and will now cover the next item of business in the chamber.

    Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill will lead a debate calling for support for the reduction of the drink drive limit, starting at 3.25pm.

    The Scottish government has warned drivers "the best advice is none" as it rolled out a campaign, yesterday, to highlight changes to the drink-drive limit.

    Drink drive
    Image caption: Police said there would be "no safe limit" when the changes come into force

    The high-profile initiative aims to ensure drivers in Scotland are aware before the proposals come into effect on 5 December.

    These would lower the alcohol limit from 80mg in every 100ml of blood to 50mg in every 100ml of blood.

    MSPs in Holyrood will vote on the order at decision time.

  29. Proceedings suspended

    Tricia Marwick, the Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament, pays her respect to Alex Salmond before suspending the parliament.

  30. 'Goodbye'

    Alex Salmond

    The outgoing First Minister then wishes everyone in the Scottish Parliament "goodbye, and good luck".

  31. On twitter

    Euan McColm: Stewart Stevenson also appears to believe Salmond has died.

    Colin McKinlay: I do enjoy Stewart Stevenson's rambles. #salmond #sp4

    Shona Angus: Doesn't Alex Salmond realise rocks have already melted near the Scottish Parliament! Arthur's seat once once a volcano! #nomoreIndyrefs

    Indy Matters: Willie imagines being FM is an ordeal. Your never know Willie, just keep imagining. #Salmond

  32. 'Our love'

    Mr Stevenson says he hopes Mr Salmond will take "our good wishes, our thanks and our love".

  33. On twitter

    Sam Ghibaldan: A funny, warm and generous speech by @willie_rennie about the departing First Minister #Salmond

    Campsiejoe: One thing is certain: Neither Baillie, Davidson or Rennie will ever achieve a fraction of what Salmond has

    James King: Having seen Alex Salmond as elder statesman, I'm really hoping he'll jump back into frontline politics.

    Robert Paul: Who is this guy addressing Salmond who keeps saying "black bitch"?

  34. On twitter

    Simon Brady: It's sad that neither Labour nor the Tories can find it in themselves to admit that Salmond's government has been a success to Scotland.

    Wings Over Scotland: People going on about Salmond's "long farewell" - Iain Gray led Scottish Labour for SIX MONTHS after announcing his resignation. Do shush.

    David Torrance: SNP MSPs are rolling their eyes at @RuthDavidsonMSP's speech, but it's actually a pretty good analysis of Salmond's strengths & weaknesses.

    Fergie in Glasgow: Willie Rennie, the man who called those arguing for devo-max SNP fronts accuses Salmond of creating divisions.

  35. Political awakening

    Patrick Harvie

    Mr Harvie also speaks about climate change, and praises Mr Salmond's work on the issue.

    The Green MSP, who campaigned with the outgoing First Minister for a Yes vote during the referendum, says there is now a "movement for change" and highlights Mr Salmond for his role in this political awakening in Scotland.

  36. Jim Murphy: 'I wish him all the best'

    Labour Leadership candidate Jim Murphy tweets: No matter our differences, Alex Salmond has served Scotland with real commitment. I wish him all the best in whatever he chooses to do next.

  37. Critical point

    Donald Trump
    Image caption: Donald Trump, who ash golf clubs in Scotland, has had an up-and-down relationship with politicians

    Patrick Harvie, the co-convenor of the Scottish Greens, starts his speech on Alex Salmond with criticism over the relationship with American businessman Donald Trump.

  38. On twitter

    Chris White: As Alex Salmond steps down as First minister opposition parties show their complete lack of class as they use it to for petty attacks on SNP.

    How Curious: It's curious that Salmond has repeated his assertion that Scotland has the most informed electorate in Europe...

    Caron Lindsay: Willie Rennie was funny but Salmond wasn't in Commons when he took his seat. He'd left in 2001.

    Stuart Mckinnion: Salmond compared to both Terminator and Lazurus. A cyborg sent from future lends itself to more jokes. "Come with me if you want to live."

  39. Keep active

    Mr Rennie jokes that Mr Salmond should spend more time on the golf course. He praises that Mr Salmond's endeavour as First Minister.

  40. Like him, loathe him

    Willie Rennie

    Willie Rennie, the Scottish Liberal Democrat leader, is now on his feet to talk about Alex Salmond and once again gives all in the Scottish Parliament a lesson in the speeches of American generals.

    Mr Rennie said Mr Salmond is a little like Margaret Thatcher, in that he is a "Marmite figure" for voters.

  41. On twitter

    Martin Moir: Jackie Baillie predictably resorting to sneering about the outgoing FM - nae class. #Salmond

    Fiona Bowman: Good resignation speech by @AlexSalmond. I feel a wee bit sad but I'm sure he won't be off our screens for long. #ThanksAlex for everything

    Indy Matters: Pitch perfect tone struck from FM. #Salmond

    Nae Border: There's no doubt that Alex Salmond has achieved a lot in his political career, mostly at the expense of Scotland and its best interests.

  42. From the fringes

    Ms Davidson said Mr Salmond has taken the SNP "from the fringes to enormous power".

  43. Raising questions

    Ms Davidson says questions may be raised in time in the way Alex Salmond campaigned in the independence referendum.

  44. BACKGROUND

    Independence Referendum: The 2011 election result made the independence referendum a certainty - and it was time for Mr Salmond to put his money (and North Sea oil reserves) where his mouth was.

    The first minister, along with his government and the wider independence movement, set out a vision of Scotland's as one of the world's richest small nations - with opponents arguing he was willing to say anything to win a "Yes" vote.

    Salmond

    But on the night it wasn't to be, as voters rejected independence by 55% to 45% in the 18 September vote.

    The following day, Mr Salmond announced he was standing down as first minister and SNP leader - but not before delivering a warning to his opponents to make good on their promise to increase the powers of the devolved Scottish Parliament.

  45. Consistent case

    Ms Davidson said Mr Salmond may appear to be a "stuck record", but praises him for making a consistent case throughout his political career.

  46. On twitter

    Lucy: Salmond will be missed for his integrity and genuine belief in the Scottish people. Every confidence in Sturgeon! #ScotlandLive #ThanksAlex

    David Aitchison: Jackie Baillie delivering the worst roast I've ever heard at Salmond's resignation as First Minister.

    Ray Brown: Total respect to Alex Salmond for donating his FM's annual salary of £42,501 to a childrens charity #theSNP #indyref #the45 #legend

    Stephen Daisley: This Jackie Baillie statement is probably a more painful experience for Salmond than losing the referendum.

  47. Conservative tribute

    Ruth Davdison

    Ruth Davidson, the leader of the Scottish Conservatives, is now speaking about Alex Salmond. She describes him as a "political Lazarus".

  48. On twitter

    Karen Newton: Oh dear. Old news. Move along Jackie Baillie #ThanksAlex

    Marilyn: What a man #ThanksAlex resignation speech '@AlexSalmond @NicolaSturgeon @theSNP #SNP

    Hans Lambrechts: Alex #Salmond: #Scotland now has the most energised, empowered and informed electorate of any country in Europe. #outgoing #FM

    Zed: Desperately sorry to see Alex Salmond step down as FM but glad he's not retiring. We need people of his ability to fight for Scotland

  49. Salmond book

    Ms Baillie says she will "rush out" to buy a copy of Alex Salmond's forthcoming book, and pokes fun that he should get some writing advice from the political commentator David Torrance.

    Readers may remember that the First Minister wrote to The Herald about Mr Torrance's analysis.

  50. 'Rightly proud'

    Jackie Baillie

    Jackie Baillie, standing in as Labour spokeswoman in the absence of a party leader, says Mr Salmond can be "rightly proud" of his time as First Minister, and said the participation of Scots at the independence referendum was a "genuinely heartening experience".

  51. BACKGROUND

    2011 Holyrood Election: It seemed Labour was on course to win the 2011 Scottish election, but Mr Salmond - never to be underestimated - launched into the contest with a positive campaign.

    When he came up against Labour's negative, attacking style, Scots voters decided there was no contest - and the SNP was returned with a jaw-dropping landslide win.

    Alex Salmond

    Holyrood's part-proportional representation/part-constituency system was essentially designed to keep any one party (ie the SNP) from winning an overall majority - but the nationalists' victory brought about a generational shift in Scottish politics, which had seen Labour as the dominant force for 50 years.

  52. On twitter

    Cara: So emotional watching Alex Salmond's final speech as First Minister

    Duncan Hothersall: Salmond seems really quite flat today. I think he's genuinely sorry to leave. An appropriate focus on consensus in his speech. #sp4

    Stephen Daisley: Strikingly gracious speech from Alex Salmond there.

    Liam McLaughlan: Salmond resigning on back of a No should have been cherry on cake for Lab. instead hes flirting with balance of power at Westminster.

  53. Labour praise

    Alex Salmond
    Image caption: Alex Salmond received a standing ovation following his address to parliament

    Labour MSP Jackie Baillie, acting as spokesperson for Scottish Labour following the resignation of ex-leader Johann Lamont, praises Alex Salmond and his commitment to public life.

    She jokes that Mr Salmond, in the style of Arnold Schwarzenegger, may "be back".

  54. On twitter

    Mr Eugenides: If Alex Salmond were the Scotland manager we'd win tonight's game against England 45-55.

    Simon Phillips: What's the cost of #MSP time today listening to Salmond self congratulation instead of getting on with work?! #Scots

    Jason Rose: Nice touch of Salmond to quote Edwin Morgan's poem about the parliament. I like the line about us not wanting a nest of fearties.

    Edwards Mayes: It's clear from his resignation speech that Alex Salmond will stand in the 2015 General Election. The only question is where?

  55. Post update

    Tim Reid

    Political correspondent, BBC News

    tweets: Alex Salmond hint? Bows out as Scotland's FM,telling MSPs he has no idea if experience of minority gov may come in useful "in another place".

  56. 'Privilege'

    Mr Salmond describes serving as First Minister as "the privilege of my life" and says Ms Sturgeon will be an "outstanding" successor.

  57. Making progress

    Commonwealth Games

    Mr Salmond highlights economic progress of the past year in Scotland, ranging from more people in work to the success of the Ryder Cup and the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

    He calls Scots the most "energized and informed electorate" in Europe.

  58. BACKGROUND

    2010 General Election: Mr Salmond's hopes of increasing the number of SNP MPs in a hung UK parliament in 2010 with the purpose of "making Westminster dance to a Scottish jig" didn't quite come off.

    David Cameron and Alex Salmond

    With a resurgent Tory party on course for victory, Scots voters came out in their droves to back Labour, during a campaign which saw the SNP unsuccessfully take the BBC to court, after it was decided Mr Salmond couldn't debate with Gordon Brown, Nick Clegg and David Cameron on TV.

    Despite the result, the first minister came to regard a Tory-led Westminster government as a key argument for independence, by invoking memories of Thatcher.

  59. Historic times

    Alex Salmond tells MSPs the Scottish independence referendum was one of the most "invigorating, extraordinary debates of the democratic era".

  60. On twitter

    Karen Newton: why is everyone in black? cheer up! #ThanksAlex

    Chris Montroy: Salmond making yet another resignation speech in Parliament today (14.20). How many does he need? #FishInCharge

    Shona Angus: Salmond wanted to divide Scotland from rest of UK, instead he has divided Scotland. What an appalling legacy! #nomoreIndyrefs #SNPout

  61. BACKGROUND

    Here is a flavour of Andrew Black's Brief History Of Alex Salmond - starting with Mr Salmond becoming first minister.

    Alex Salmond

    2007 Holyrood Election: Following his leadership comeback, on a joint ticket with deputy Nicola Sturgeon, Mr Salmond led the SNP to what was then its greatest hour - victory at the 2007 Scottish election and delivery of a minority SNP government.

    The newly appointed first minister, returned to Holyrood by winning the Liberal Democrat-held Gordon seat.

  62. Last stand

    Mr Salmond stands in the Scottish Parliament to the right of Nicola Sturgeon, who is set to be the next First Minister of Scotland.

  63. Colleagues gone

    Margo MacDonald
    Image caption: Margo MacDonald died earlier this year. She was a sitting independent MSP

    Mr Salmond, who has been the First Minister for seven years, pays tribute to the MSPs who have passed away since the reconvening of the Scottish Parliament, including Donald Dewar and Margo MacDonald.

  64. On twitter

    Eilish Brown: Alex Salmond is one of the most important men in Scottish history. So sad to see him stand down. Never forget his efforts. #SalmondSpeech

    Gary Bainbridge: Alex Salmond is taking so long to step down it's nearly time for him to become leader again.

    Luke Handley: Alex Salmond is giving another farewell speech #why

  65. Looking back

    Graham Fraser

    BBC Scotland

    Alex Salmond has now started his resignation address to the Scottish Parliament. He begins by looking back at the reconvening of the Scottish Parliament in 1999.

    Alex Salmond
  66. Coming up

    We will shortly be joined by our colleagues from BBC Scotland's online politics team to bring you extensive coverage of Alex Salmond's resignation statement, his final speech as first minister in the chamber.

    Alex Salmond

    We'll bring you social media reaction to this historic event and coverage of all the opposition party responses, as well as background on Alex Salmond's time as first minister.

  67. Scottish government response

    Scottish poultry farmers are being warned to be vigilant following an outbreak of bird flu in East Yorkshire.

    Prior to topical questions, Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead said the risk to the public was low but farmers should be on guard.

    Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead
    Image caption: Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead

    The outbreak at a duck breeding farm is the first serious case in the UK since 2008.

    Government vets were investigating if the case of "highly pathogenic" H5 avian flu was linked to a similar case in the Netherlands.

  68. Bird flu

    Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone asks the Scottish government what its state of readiness is for dealing with bird flu, in light of the recent outbreak in Yorkshire, and what priority it now gives this disease.

    A cull of 6,000 ducks is due to start following a confirmed case of bird flu at a breeding farm in East Yorkshire.

    Bird flu
    Image caption: The farm is in the village of Nafferton, East Yorkshire

    A six-mile (10km) exclusion zone has been paced around the farm in the village of Nafferton, within which the movement of all poultry is banned.

    The flu strain has been identified as the H5 virus but not the H5N1 strain which can be deadly to humans.

    Environment Secretary Liz Truss told the Commons the risk to public health was very low.

  69. bed planning tool-kit

    Health Secretary Alex Neil says he is aware of the challenge boarding causes, adding boarding is not good for patient outcomes.

    Mr Neil says NHS boards have committed to work to minimise all boarding patients and a bed planning tool-kit review of hospital capacity will be carried out on an going basis

    Hospital

    Mr Hume says the system is in crisis.

    In terms of bed capacity Scotland has the first health service in the world to introduce a bed planning tool-kit, hits back Mr Neil.

  70. Topical questions begins

    Lib Dem MSP Jim Hume asks the Scottish government what its response is to reports that over 3,000 patients were boarded in the wrong hospital department for their condition because of capacity shortages.

  71. Time for Reflection

    As ever, Time for Reflection begins the chamber business on a Tuesday, Dr Maureen Sier from Interfaith Scotland is leading the reflection.

  72. Topical questions

    After time for reflection MSPs will quiz Scottish government minister's at topical question time.

    Lib Dem MSP Jim Hume will ask the Scottish government what its response is to reports that over 3,000 patients were boarded in the wrong hospital department for their condition because of capacity shortages.

    Ducks
    Image caption: Some 6,000 ducks will now be culled in Yorkshire

    Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone will ask the Scottish government what its state of readiness is for dealing with bird flu, in light of the recent outbreak in Yorkshire, and what priority it now gives this disease.

  73. SNP Conference

    Alex Salmond set a target for the SNP to win a majority of Scottish seats in the 2015 Westminster election, as he handed the SNP leadership to Nicola Sturgeon at the conference in Perth.

    Mr Salmond called on party supporters to help grow its membership to 100,000.

    Alex Salmond makes farewell speech
    Image caption: Alex Salmond told his party conference that the dream of independence was still alive

    The outgoing first minister also told the SNP conference that Scotland would eventually be independent, despite September's referendum "No" vote.

    Mr Salmond has not ruled out standing for Westminster himself next year.

  74. Departure timetable

    Mr Salmond is Scotland's longest serving first minister, having held the top job in Scottish politics for seven-and-a-half years.

    He stood down as leader of the SNP at the weekend, when he was replaced by his deputy Nicola Sturgeon.

    Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Salmond both addressed the first day of the SNP conference
    Image caption: Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Salmond both addressed the first day of the SNP conference

    Mr Salmond will then leave his official residence at Bute House in Edinburgh after Ms Sturgeon is formally confirmed as his successor as first minister.

    Read more on the full timetable of the handover of power by our Political Correspondent Glen Campbell.

  75. Salmond swan song

    Alex Salmond will make his final statement to Holyrood as first minister of Scotland, starting around 2.20pm after topical questions.

    Mr Salmond will make a statement to MSPs confirming his intention to resign as first minister.

    Alex Salmond on his way
    Image caption: Alex Salmond on his way

    He must also notify the Queen in writing.

    Opposition leaders and representatives will have the chance to question him on his statement.

  76. Committee summation

    Cathy Asante from SHRC raises the issue of appeals against excessive security, pointing out the regulations in the bill allow those in medium security to appeal against excessive security, but those in low security cannot.

    Ms Asante says the provision for appeal should be more broadly construed as excessive security impacts on person's family life and indeed how they live their life.

    Karen Kirk from Legal Services Agency
    Image caption: Karen Kirk from Legal Services Agency

    Sarah Crombie from Victim Support Scotland says there should be no restriction on victims receiving information about the release of an offender, whether the offender is supervised in the community or not.

    Karen Kirk from the Legal Services Agency says she is concerned that the new section of the bill means that patients subject to civil orders in a state hospital may end up with less rights than they currently have.

    The committee goes into private session.

  77. 'Wider review'

    Ms Asante from SHRC calls for a "wider review" on the whole issue of mental capacity.

    She wants a a more comprehensive system that ties everything together.

    "There's a bigger challenge to be addressed that we do need to do in early course."

  78. McManus review

    A review group, chaired by Professor Jim McManus, was appointed in 2008 to consider the operation of the processes of the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 ("the 2003 Act") in the context of the Millan principles and to advise on changes to improve the efficiency of the operation of the Act and the experience of patients.

    The Review Group's Report to the Minister focused on five main areas of activity, with a suite of recommendations in relation to each topic:

    • Advance Statements

    • Independent Advocacy

    • Named Persons

    • Medical Matters

    • Tribunals,

  79. Mental Health Tribunals

    The Scottish government says in response to the McManus review and with a view to reducing the number of multiple hearings at the Mental Health Tribunal, it proposes the current time limit of five working days from expiry of a short term detention certificate to a hearing for a CTO to 10 working days.

    Jan Todd from the Law Society of Scotland
    Image caption: Jan Todd from the Law Society of Scotland

    Jan Todd from the Law Society of Scotland says she does not see a great need for the extension to ten days.

    Ms Todd says she prefers the current situation of five days both from the patients protection and the point of reducing multiple hearings.

  80. Mental Health Bill information

    The Mental Health Bill will amend the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 in various respects.

    The proposed legislation is intended to help people with a mental disorder access effective treatment quickly and easily.

    The Bill is structured into three parts.

    Part 1 of the Bill makes provision about the operation of the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003. The Policy Memorandum notes that it will seek to "improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the mental health system in Scotland by implementing the changes the Scottish government said it would bring forward following on from the McManus Review; to provide a better system for the review of conditions of security to which patients are subject by adjusting the provisions which allow the Tribunal to consider, on application, whether a patient is being detained in conditions of excessive security, and make a number of technical and drafting amendments to improve the legislative framework". The McManus Review was a limited review of the civil provisions of the 2003 Act which was commissioned by the Scottish Government in 2008.

    Part 2 of the Bill makes provision about criminal cases. The Bill seeks to make a number of minor and technical changes to the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 in relation to the way in which criminal courts deal with people with mental disorders who are involved with criminal proceedings.

    Part 3 of the Bill makes provision, through amendments to the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2003, for the introduction of a notification scheme for victims of some mentally disordered offenders subject to certain orders.

  81. 'Drastic reduction'

    Currently managers of a hospital have a power to transfer a patient from one hospital to another or to the state hospital.

    A patient who is notified of an intention to transfer or who has been transferred to the state hospital has 12 weeks to lodge an appeal.

    Generic picture of patient

    The Mental Health Bill seeks to bring the appeal period down from 12 weeks to 28 days.

    The policy memorandum notes that the current 12 week period has caused significant problems.

    Due to when an appeal is lodged prior to transfer, the transfer cannot take place until the appeal has been considered which can delay a patient's treatment.

    Ms Asante from SHRC says the reduction from 12 weeks to 28 days is a "drastic reduction in timescale", raising concerns.

  82. Scottish Human Rights Commission

    Cathy Asante from the Scottish Human Rights Commission says the bill provides the power for Scottish ministers to amend restriction orders and she is not sure why that power needed to be there.

    Cathy Asante from the Scottish Human Rights Commission
    Image caption: Cathy Asante from the Scottish Human Rights Commission
  83. Discrimination

    Dr Jill Stavert from Edinburgh Napier University says we must be careful mentally disordered offenders are not discriminated against.

  84. 'Voice of the victim'

    Sarah Crombie from Victim Support Scotland says victim notification is a "very complicated area to gain a balance" between the victim and a mentally disordered offender.

    Sarah Crombie from Victim Support Scotland
    Image caption: Sarah Crombie from Victim Support Scotland

    Ms Crombie stresses the voice of the victim should be heard throughout the process, in a "timely manner and also in plain English".

    She calls for the system to be streamlined under one scheme.

  85. Victim Notification Scheme

    Labour MSP Rhoda Grant raises the issue of the Victim Notification Scheme.

    In some criminal cases, victims have a right to receive information about the release of a prisoner.

    They also have a right to be told when the prisoner is being considered for parole and to make written representations (written comments) about his/her release to the Parole Board for Scotland.

    This is known as the Victim Notification Scheme (VNS).

  86. Mental Health Bill

    The committee is taking evidence on the Mental Health (Scotland) Bill.

    generic depressed woman
    Image caption: Almost a third of all GP appointments in Scotland relate to mental health, according to doctors

    MSPs will take evidence on the bill at Stage 1, in round-table format, from Sarah Crombie from Victim Support Scotland; Karen Kirk from the Legal Services Agency; Kenneth Campbell QC from the Faculty of Advocates; Cathy Asante from the Scottish Human Rights Commission and Dr Jill Stavert from the Centre for Mental Health and Wellbeing.

  87. Seven year old

    Dr Andrew Thomson from BMA Scotland highlights the shocking case of a seven years old who bought an E-cigarette by accident in a shop, thinking it was a toy.

    E-cigarette and charger

    Sheila Duffy from ASH Scotland supports registration of E-cigarettes but says we must go further and put tobacco "out of sight, out of mind, out of fashion".

    The committee is suspended briefly.

  88. TV advertising

    Earlier this month the first UK TV adverts featuring the use of an electronic cigarette - vaping - were shown.

    While e-cigarette adverts have been on television for some time, showing the device itself was banned until a change in advertising rules.

    E cig

    The Committee of Advertising Practice has ruled that adverts must not show tobacco "in a positive light".

    Critics warn showing e-cigarette use could normalise the imagery of smoking.

    The British government banned cigarette advertising on television in 1965.

  89. Scottish government position

    The Scottish government has recently proposed making it an offence to sell e-cigarettes to those under 18 in line with tobacco legislation.

    E cig

    The Scottish government's main argument is that, "the addictive nature of nicotine and the risk of promoting smoking behaviours" makes it, "appropriate to introduce legislation that will restrict children and young people's access to e-cigarettes and refills.

  90. BMA Scotland

    Dr Andrew Thomson BMA Scotland says he does not want to see E-cigarettes displayed in shops.

    Dr Thomson is also keen to see nicotine liquid in a child safe form.

    Dr Andrew Thomson from BMA Scotland
    Image caption: Dr Andrew Thomson from BMA Scotland

    He says there is emerging evidence that E-cigarettes are used to reduce the intake of tobacco, but lengthening the time a person smokes cigarettes which evidence shows is more harmful.

  91. 'Deceitful and manipulative'

    Shiela Duffy from Ash Scotland says she would love to see people who are addicted to tobacco use these products to help quit their addiction, but says there are "so many unknowns".

    Ms Duffy calls for a generation free from tobacco by 2034.

    Sheila Duffy from ASH Scotland
    Image caption: Sheila Duffy from ASH Scotland

    She goes on to express concern about the "harmful tobacco industry buying up E-cigarette companies" saying we need to be "very conscious of how the "deceitful and manipulative industry operates".

    Ms Devlin from ECITA says the association is watching the big tobacco sector "very closely" with a certain amount of "trepidation", but adds there are only a handful of companies owned by big tobacco, but hundreds that are not.

    "They are the few and we are the many".

  92. Children and E-cigarettes

    Katherine Devlin from the Electronic Cigarette Industry Trade Association says her association have always asked for a mandated age restriction as without it being mandated a voluntary code is not enforceable.

    E cigarette

    Ms Devlin says she would not like to see nicotine or non-nicotine E-cigarettes sold to children.

  93. 'Dilemma'

    Claire McDermott from the Scottish government says there is not enough evidence yet to make a decision on E-cigarettes and the government is still seeking people's views.

    Jeremy Britton from the UK centre for tobacco and alcohol studies says the dilemma is whether electronic cigarettes might lead to people smoking tobacco who would never have become smokers without them.

  94. 'Public health prize'

    John Britton, professor of epidemiology at the UK Centre for tobacco and alcohol studies says there is a "huge potential benefit to public health" in using E-cigarettes,, by helping smokers to switch.

    The professor says its very important when legislating and controlling E-cigarettes that we do not "throw the baby out with the bath water" and miss a "huge potential public health prize".

    John Britton from UK centre for tobacco and alcohol studies
    Image caption: John Britton from UK centre for tobacco and alcohol studies

    Jeremy Mean from Tobacco Control & Responsibility Deal with the UK government agrees and says that is why there has not been a ban but instead the government is looking at the framework of the industry.

    Mr Mean says we need to know more, but we already know continuing to smoke is the riskiest option and costs 80,000 lives a year.

  95. 'Precautionary principle'

    Mr Lyle points out there is not law against children purchasing E-cigarettes and asks about the Scottish government's consultation.

    Scottish government's tobacco control policy officer Claire McDermott says it will be concluded by January.

    Katherine Devlin from the Electronic cigarette industry trade association EU Ltd
    Image caption: Katherine Devlin from the Electronic cigarette industry trade association EU Ltd

    Katherine Devlin from the Electronic Cigarette Industry Trade Association (EU) Ltd says she welcomes the Scottish governments approach of using the precautionary principle and warns of the many E-cigarette smokers who would return to smoking tobacco if the products were banned.

  96. Witnesses

    So here are those witnesses again the Scottish government's tobacco control policy officer Claire McDermott; Jeremy Mean from Tobacco Control & Responsibility Deal with the UK Government; Dr Andrew Thomson from BMA Scotland; John Britton, professor of epidemiology at the UK Centre for tobacco and alcohol studies; Katherine Devlin from the Electronic Cigarette Industry Trade Association (EU) Ltd; and Sheila Duffy, Chief Executive, ASH Scotland.

    Group shot

    SNP MSP Richard Lyle thanks the convener for granting his request for a session on E-cigarettes.

  97. Committee convener

    Health Committee convener Duncan McNeil asks the witnesses to introduce themselves as we get underway.

  98. 'Alarmist'

    Warnings over e-cigarettes are alarmist - and increasing their use could save many lives, researchers have said.

    For every million smokers who switch to e-cigarettes, more than 6,000 lives a year could be saved, according to the University College London team.

    E-cigarette and charger

    Meanwhile another group of London-based experts has attacked criticism of e-cigarettes as "misleading".

    Last week the World Health Organization called for e-cigarette use to be banned in public places and workplaces.

    The WHO said this was because they could increase the levels of some toxins and nicotine in the air.

    Its report also warned about the risk of e-cigarettes acting as a gateway by which non-smokers might start smoking real cigarettes.

  99. E-cigarettes

    Safety messages should be displayed on electronic cigarette kits, fire bosses have said following a rise in incidents linked to the devices.

    Graphic: What's inside an e-cigarette?

    Figures obtained through Freedom of Information requests show e-cigarettes or related equipment, including chargers, were involved in more than 100 fires in less than two years.

    Data from 43 fire services across the UK shows they were called out to just eight incidents involving e-cigarettes in 2012.

    In 2013, that number increased to 43, figures obtained by the Press Association show.

    So far this year, fire services have been called to 62 such incidents.

  100. Health and Sport Committee

    Before all that the Health Committee will take evidence on E-cigarettes and the Mental Health Bill.

    Smoking an e-cigarette

    The first session will be taken on E-cigarettes, with evidence from the Scottish government's tobacco control policy officer Claire McDermott; Jeremy Mean from Tobacco Control & Responsibility Deal with the UK Government; Dr Andrew Thomson from BMA Scotland; John Britton, professor of epidemiology at the UK Centre for tobacco and alcohol studies; Katherine Devlin from the Electronic Cigarette Industry Trade Association (EU) Ltd; and Sheila Duffy, Chief Executive, ASH Scotland.

  101. Good morning and welcome

    Good morning and welcome to what will certainly be a historic day at Holyrood.

    Alex Salmond will address parliament this afternoon for the last time as first minister before standing down from the job.

    Alex Salmond
    Image caption: Alex Salmond made his final speech to conference before stepping down as first minister of Scotland

    Opposition leaders will also have a chance to bid farewell to Mr Salmond, ahead of Nicola Sturgeon's expected appointment to the post.

    Mr Salmond is Scotland's longest-serving first minister, having had the job since the SNP came to power in 2007.