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Summary

  1. Next: Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE) debate
  2. Next: Members' Business: Holocaust Memorial Day 2015

Live Reporting

By Craig Hutchison and Ailsa Brown

All times stated are UK

  1. Good night

    That's all from BBC Scotland's Democracy Live today on Tuesday 27 January 2015.

    Holyrood

    We'll be back tomorrow morning with live coverage of the Finance Committee.

    Until then have a good night.

  2. End of the Holcaust Memorial Day debate

    That concludes our coverage of the Holocaust Memorial day debate.

    Children brought candles to the site of the Theresienstadt Nazi concentration camp in the Czech Republic
    Image caption: Children brought candles to the site of the Theresienstadt Nazi concentration camp in the Czech Republic

    For further BBC coverage of events marking Holocaust Memorial Day around the world click here.

    Auschwitz
    Image caption: Auschwitz
  3. Ministerial closing

    Learning, Science and Scotland's Languages Minister Alasdair Allan details the significance of the Holocaust and the many events around Scotland to mark its memorial day.

    Mr Allan praises the Holocaust Educational Trust, whose book of commitment is in the parliament this week.

    Learning Minister Alasdair Allan
    Image caption: Learning Minister Alasdair Allan

    He says when visiting Auschwitz-Birkenau it is said the only appropriate thing to say is nothing, as words are inadequate.

    The minister praises Lucy Paterson and Kieran Smyth who he says he understands led "a very moving time for reflection" earlier today.

  4. 'Shameful acts'

    SNP MSP Colin Keir says the attempted wiping out Jews and others in Europe "is one of the most shameful acts in modern times, if not in the history of mankind".

    A giant tent was erected at the Birkenau site for the commemoration
    Image caption: A giant tent was erected at the Birkenau site for the commemoration
  5. BACKGROUND

    This year's Holocaust Memorial Day is expected to be the last major anniversary event survivors are able to attend in considerable numbers.

    Delegations made their way through the snow to lay candles at the Birkenau Memorial.
    Image caption: Delegations made their way through the snow to lay candles at the Birkenau Memorial.

    Ronald S Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress, told the commemoration: "Jews are targeted in Europe once again because they are Jews...

    "Once again young Jewish boys are afraid to wear yarmulkes [skullcaps] on the streets of Paris, Budapest, London and even Berlin."

  6. 'Tolerance, education and debate'

    Lib Dem MSP Liam McArthur says some of those groups of people persecuted by the Nazis continue to be persecuted around the world today.

    The only way of charting a path these troubled times through "tolerance, education and debate".

    Never losing sight of the past is key he says and he too praises the work of the Holocaust Educational Trust.

  7. Atrocities

    SNP MSP Graeme Dey says "it is so important we remember the atrocities perpetrated by the Nazis".

    Not only those involving the six million Jews that were murdered but also the five million others, he says.

    Mr Dey highlights Gypsies, priests, people with physical or mental disabilities or ill health, communists, trade unionists, resistance fighters, Jehovah's witnesses, anarchists, Poles and other Slavic people who were all sent to the concentration camps/

  8. ANALYSIS

    At the scene: Kevin Connolly, BBC News

    Those who survived Auschwitz lived through one of the 20th Century's worst acts of hatred and inhumanity. Many of those still alive today were children in 1945 but they are elderly now and this may be the last significant anniversary where so many will gather.

    Watchtower at Auschwitz

    A huge, white temporary building has been erected over the brick railway buildings where many of the Jews of Europe were sorted into those who were fit enough for slave labour and those who would be taken straight to the gas chambers.

    Candles have been lit at the Death Wall where prisoners were executed - small points of light in this wintry landscape of snow and ice, where Europe is remembering a time of darkness.

  9. Scottish Jewish community

    Conservative MSP Jackson Carlaw says many survivors within Jewish families in Scotland kept silent - in many cases because the horror of what they had endured was so great or they felt shame that they had survived.

    "Far too many people knew exactly what was going on and far too few raised a hand to stop it." says Mr Carlaw.

    Conservative MSP Jackson Carlaw
    Image caption: Conservative MSP Jackson Carlaw

    He too highlights that 70 years later anti-Semitism is back in Paris again.

  10. Survivor's accounts

    Paula Lebovics, an 81-year-old survivor from Encino, California, told the AP News agency that she remembered how as a small, hungry girl of 11 she was lifted up by a Russian soldier who rocked her tenderly in his arms, tears coming to his eyes.

    She did not know who that soldier was but she still felt enormous gratitude to him and the other Soviet soldiers, Ms Lebovics said, adding: "They were our liberators."

    Survivors walk out of the gate at Auschwitz, 27 January 2015
    Image caption: Survivors walk out of the gate at Auschwitz ealirer today

    Renee Salt, 85, from north London, visited the camp for the first time 10 years ago and "buried the ghosts", she told the BBC, and has been going back ever since.

    "I'll do it for as long as I can. Why? There are still a lot of Holocaust-deniers the world over and if we don't speak out, the world won't know what happened."

  11. 'Hope that survives our despair'

    Labour MSP Ken Macintosh says Holocaust Memorial Day fills him with "questions and hope and anxiety in equal measure to know if we've learnt our lessons".

    Mr Macintosh highlights the resilience of those survivors which he praises.

    They represent the "hope that survives our despair".

    Labour MSP Ken Macintosh
    Image caption: Labour MSP Ken Macintosh

    "When we face another rise in anti-Semitism it has ever been more important than it is now to learn lessons of the Holocaust."

    It is up to us and the young Holocaust ambassadors to keep the memory alive says Mr Macintosh.

  12. BACKGROUND

    Auschwitz survivors have urged the world not to allow a repeat of the crimes of the Holocaust as they mark 70 years since the camp's liberation.

    "We survivors do not want our past to be our children's future," Roman Kent, born in 1929, told a memorial gathering at the death camp's site in Poland.

    Auschwitz survivors at the 70th anniversary ceremony, 27 January
    Image caption: Auschwitz survivors at the 70th anniversary ceremony, 27 January

    Some 300 Auschwitz survivors returned for the ceremony under a giant tent.

    Some 1.1 million people, mostly Jews, were killed there between 1940 and 1945, when Soviet troops liberated it.

  13. 'Never, ever forget'

    SNP MSP Stewart Maxwell says in the three months from August 2014 and November 2014 there were more than 50 anti-Semitic incidents reported to the police.

    Mr Maxwell says it is vital that no community is isolated in Scotland.

    "We must always remember, but not just in a quiet way - we must state loudly and clearly the Holocaust happened."

    "We must never ever forget the past."

    He praises the work of the Holocaust Educational Trust for keeping alive these memories.

  14. 'No room for complacency'

    Mr Maxwell details anti-Semitic hate crimes across Europe and beyond.

    He also highlights hate crimes in Scotland saying there is no room for complacency here.

  15. Path to genocide

    Mr Maxwell says the Holocaust Memorial Trust has published a booklet detailing the path to genocide, with the 8th and final step being denial.

    He describes the stark horrific details of the Final Solution.

    SNP MSP Stewart Maxwell
    Image caption: SNP MSP Stewart Maxwell

    He says the theme for Holocaust Memorial Day this year is "Keep the Memory Alive", which is very pertinent indeed as the survivors are now very old.

    It will be much easier to deny the Holocaust when there are no survivors left, he says.

  16. Holocaust Educational Trust

    Mr Maxwell commends the Holocaust Educational Trust's Lessons from Auschwitz Project, which gives two post-16 students from every school and college in Scotland the opportunity to visit Auschwitz-Birkenau.

    Lucy Paterson and Kieran Smyth, two students from St Andrew's RC Secondary in Glasgow, took part in the project and delivered the Parliament's Time for Reflection message today.

    Lucy Paterson and Kieran Smyth, pupils at St. Andrew's RC Secondary School in Glasgow
    Image caption: Lucy Paterson and Kieran Smyth, pupils at St. Andrew's RC Secondary School in Glasgow

    They took part in the the Holocaust Educational Trust's Lessons from Auschwitz Project, which gives two post-16 students from every school and college in Scotland the opportunity to visit Auschwitz-Birkenau.

  17. Holocaust Memorial Day debate

    SNP MSP Stewart Maxwell is leading a debate on Holocaust Memorial Day 2015, which takes place today.

    In his motion Mr Maxwell highlights the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau and an opportunity for schools, colleges, faith groups and communities across Scotland to remember the six million men, women and children murdered by the Nazi regime in occupied Europe.

    The gates of Auschwitz
    Image caption: The gates of Auschwitz

    Candles are being lit across Scotland later as part of events to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.

    The victims of the Nazis and people killed in genocides since World War Two are being remembered.

  18. Decision time

    MSPs pass the Scottish government's motion from the PACE debate unamended.

    The Labour amendment fell.

  19. PACE debate ends

    Business Minister Fergus Ewing says PACE exists to help everyone and early notice to PACE can assist

    Mr Ewing says he believes there is "an absolutely correct focus on early intervention" and that there is a huge effort day and daily put in by a number of devoted public servants to tackling very difficult situations.

    He commends the extraordinarily successful efforts and well intended efforts by the PACE team and says they go the extra mile to try and help the people in Scotland.

  20. Government closing

    Business Minister Fergus Ewing says being made redundant is a "very, very difficult experience, so it behoves us very well to respond as well as we can".

    Mr Ewing says in order for PACE to reach out and assist people who have been made redundant, if they are not made aware of them then they are not able to offer help.

    Business Minister Fergus Ewing
    Image caption: Business Minister Fergus Ewing

    The minister says Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser's suggestion the government works closer with business organisations is a good one.

  21. Resilience fund plea

    Ms McMahon echoes her fellow MSPs in the Scottish Labour party who have called for a resilience fund for industries in difficulty.

  22. Labour closing

    Labour MSP Siobhan McMahon says PACE's focus has shifted from prevention to mitigation which is regrettable.

    Labour MSP Siobhan McMahon
    Image caption: Labour MSP Siobhan McMahon

    Ms McMahon says unfortunately the government have been concentrating their efforts on mitigation.

  23. Conservative closing

    Scottish Conservative Alex Johnstone says his party agrees with the government motion as PACE provides a good service, which is well regarded and is improving all the time.

    Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone
    Image caption: Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone

    Mr Johnstone praises the work by Margaret Souter and her 18 teams across the country.

  24. Wave energy sector

    Lib Dem MSP Liam McArthur says it is "inexcusable" there has been no debate on the wave energy sector following Pelamis going into administration last year, while its rival, Aquamarine Power, is making more than half of its workforce redundant.

    Workers have told BBC Scotland the withdrawal of public funding is to blame.

    Pelamis

    But the Scottish government insisted it had supported the sector.

    Business Minister Fergus Ewing offers a further private meeting with Mr McArthur on the issue and reiterates the Scottish government's commitment to the future of the wave energy sector.

  25. Lib Dem view

    Scottish Liberal Democrat Liam McArthur says all the indications are our economy is continuing to emerge from all the recent problems.

    The Orkney MSP says this is thanks in no small way down to the tough choices of the UK coalition government.

    Lib Dem MSP Liam McArthur
    Image caption: Lib Dem MSP Liam McArthur

    However the disappointing recent announcements from a range of companies, not least the oil and gas industry, show the timeliness of this debate.

    Mr McArthur says the collaborative approach of PACE is its strength.

  26. Resilience fund doubts

    Mr Fraser says he has yet to be convinced about Scottish Labour's proposal for a resilience fund, saying it "sounds like a headline waiting for a story to be written to justify it".

  27. Conservative view

    Scottish Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser says the overall economic picture is improving so he would hope the requirement for PACE intervention will be diminishing.

    Scottish Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser
    Image caption: Scottish Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser

    He says PACE are providing a valuable service very well regarded, but concerns still remain.

    Mr Fraser adds that the government could look to work more with business organisations.

  28. Labour Amendment

    Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald's amendment says that PACE was originally created with a remit to ensure the early identification of company or sector difficulties, to undertake partnership working with companies in order to mitigate difficulty and, only where redundancies are inevitable, get people back into jobs as quickly as possible.

    Scottish purse tipping out money
    Image caption: Labour are proposing a resilience fund

    More needs to be done to support companies, sectors and regions faced with sudden economic shocks and difficulties to avoid or reduce the number of job losses he says.

    Mr Macdonald agrees that the work of PACE should be reviewed in order to identify where more pro-active interventions can be made at an earlier stage and calls for the establishment of a resilience fund to assist with these efforts with an initial budget of £10 million in 2015-16.

  29. 'Resilience fund'

    Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald says this debate is timely because the Scottish economy is facing thousands of job losses due to the decline in the price of oil.

    Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald
    Image caption: Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald

    Mr Macdonald points to the Labour amendment which "proposes a resilience fund to strengthen the response to economic shocks at a local level".

  30. PACE tribute

    Mr Ewing says PACE is an excellent example of Team Scotland with 21 organisations acting together.

    The minister pays tribute to the PACE team, led by Margaret Souter, saying their support is genuinely appreciated by those who receive it.

    This debate is an opportunity to pay tribute to PAE and give credit to them, he concludes.

  31. STUC

    Mr Ewing says that trade unions like the STUC play a key role in PACE and the cooperation with unions and the close work has led to an excellent personal working relationship with the STUC.

    Our colleges across Scotland are also an integral part of PACE, he adds

    "Experience shows the earlier PACE support can be provided the more effective it will be."

    Nicola Sturgeon said the Scottish government had offered support to the USC through PACE
    Image caption: The Scottish government had offered support to USC through PACE following the job losses announcement earlier this year.

    The minister calls for employers to give the earliest notification of forthcoming redundancies.

  32. BACKGROUND

    PACE (Partnership Action for Continuing Employment) is the Scottish government's national strategic partnership framework for responding to redundancy situations.

    United Biscuits is to cut 166 jobs at its Glasgow McVitie's factory
    Image caption: United Biscuits announced a cut of 166 jobs at its Glasgow McVitie's factory last November

    Skills Development Scotland (SDS) co-ordinates PACE at a national level and facilitates local level response teams providing tailored help and support for individuals at risk of, or experiencing, redundancy.

  33. PACE praise

    Mr Ewing praises the work of Pace, saying the group has helped 12,000 individuals from April 2013 to April 2014.

  34. PACE debate

    Business Minister Fergus Ewing now leads a debate on PACE.

    Mr Ewing's motion says that the Scottish government's initiative for responding to redundancy situations, Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE) has teams around Scotland and brings 21 organisations together with the Scottish Government.

    Business Minister Fergus Ewing
    Image caption: Business Minister Fergus Ewing

    Mr Ewing says that it has performed well in its core function of helping those made redundant gain other employment or opportunities and that the most recent figures show that nearly three quarters of those who received PACE support went into employment.

    He urges the Scottish government to continue to work with industry, workforce representatives and the third sector to provide the best possible and practicable assistance to those who have been made redundant and to spread awareness and knowledge of what PACE is and does.

  35. Conservatives

    Scottish Conservative Alex Fergusson says on first sight his party welcomes many suggestions being put forward by the minister.

    Mr Fergusson asks for more detail on the proposals and how they will increase the amount of land coming on to the market.

    Conservative MSP Alex Ferguson
    Image caption: Conservative MSP Alex Ferguson

    Mr Lochhead says he wants to keep tenant farmers but lays out two clear routes for a tenant to have the right to buy..

  36. 'Landmark report'

    Labour MSP Claudia Beamish says this is a "landmark report" and must herald a new era in agriculture in Scotland.

    Ms Beamish asks how the report can foster a culture of partnership between the tenant farmer and owner.

    Labour MSP Claudia Beamish
    Image caption: Labour MSP Claudia Beamish

    Mr Lochhead says it requires everyone to get behind the report and keep an "eye on the ball" to ensure a vibrant tenant farmers' sector.

  37. Agricultural Holdings Review Group recommendations

    Recommendations for the Scottish government include:

    Harverster

    • enabling 1991 Act tenants to apply to the Scottish Land Court to force the sale of the holding where a landlord does not meet their obligations

    • measures to widen succession rights for 1991 Act tenants

    • creating a Tenant Farming Commissioner

    • improving how rents are set

    • creating the potential for apprenticeship opportunities for new entrants

    • providing long term and flexible letting vehicles to encourage the release of more land into tenancy

  38. 78 meetings

    Mr Lochhead says to ensure tenant farming thrives in the 21st century steps must be taken to protect this sector's vital role.

    Tractor

    He says the review had a challenging remit and the review group was clear it had to talk to people on the ground and take the farming industry with it, which is why it held 78 meetings.

  39. 'Vital role'

    In his opening statement he says tenant farming plays a "vital role" in Scotland's economy.

    The total agricultural area represents 79% of Scotland and tenanted land makes up a quarter of that, says the minister.

  40. Final report

    Farmer and sheep

    Mr Lochhead says the final report contained seven recommendations to strengthen tenant farmers' right to buy, including proposals intended to provide tenant farmers with a solution to 'escape the clutches of bad landlords'.

  41. Agricultural Holdings Review Group Report: Ministerial statement

    Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead reveals a range of "radical proposals aimed at revitalising tenant farming in Scotland" during his statement to the parliament.

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

    The measures include the creation of a Tenant Farming Commissioner, opportunities for apprentices and new types of tenancy are among 49 recommendations for the Scottish Government following a review of Agricultural Holdings Legislation.

  42. Fracking

    Green MSP Patrick Harvie asks about fracking licenses and whether the UK government is showing contempt for the devolution process by granting licences for fracking in the central belt of Scotland.

    Mr Swinney says the publication of the clauses of the Scotland Bill last week made it crystal clear the responsibility for fracking is coming to the Scottish Parliament and no decision about licenses should be made in period before this happens.

    The deputy first minister says Energy Minister Fergus Ewing will make statement in the parliament tomorrow on this issue and has already made the position clear to his counterpart with the UK government Ed Davey.

    Daily Record's vow
    Image caption: The first step to new powers for Scotland was "the vow" published in the Daily Record

    That ends the ministerial statement on the Smith Commission.

  43. 'Good cop to bad cop'

    Scottish Liberal Democrat Willie Rennie says the deputy first minister has undergone a "remarkable transformation from bad cop to good cop" in a week.

    Mr Rennie says there have already been real difficulties with Revenue Scotland, which only has to deal with two small taxes.

    Scottish Liberal Democrat Leader Willie Rennie
    Image caption: Scottish Liberal Democrat Leader Willie Rennie

    He calls for a cross-party advance fiscal team to be set up to ensure the effective implementation of the fiscal powers coming to the Scottish Parliament.

    The deputy first minister says he can go back to bad cop quickly after all the "baloney" he has just heard from Mr Rennie.

    Mr Swinney insists he is "very confident" about the efforts of Revenue Scotland and their readiness for the 1st of April.

  44. "Unexpectedly conciliatory"

    Conservative MSP Annabel Goldie says she liked the character of the statement from the deputy first minister which was "unexpectedly conciliatory".

    Ms Goldie insists the government and the parliament should look at existing powers and not just look at the new powers in a vacuum.

    Conservative MSP Annabel Goldie
    Image caption: Conservative MSP Annabel Goldie

    She asks about the timeframe for the whole process.

    Mr Swinney says he would like to see as much progress as possible before the general election, calling for as swift a start as possible immediately after the election.

  45. No caveats

    The deputy first minister says the reading of section 24 of the draft clauses in the Scotland Bill, as they affect Universal Credit, raises significant doubts, such as the UK government being able to stop the Scottish government reforming this if it chose to do so.

    The view that the Scottish government takes, he says, it believes the powers should be devolved so that they could be exercised by the Scottish Parliament without caveats.

    He says the SNP want the devolution of the work programme to the Scottish Parliament.

    The problem we face is the work programme has been extended at the very time the Smith Commission was looking at the issue.

  46. Labour

    Labour MSP Jackie Baillie says she welcomes the publication of command paper and says her party will deliver home rule scotland bill in the first 100 days of a Labour government.

    Ms Bailllie says the sensible thing to do is to ensure a smooth transition and says it is important for both governments to talk to each other.

    Labour MSP Jackie Baillie
    Image caption: Labour MSP Jackie Baillie

    She says Labour would devolve the work programme to local authorities and asks Mr Swinney to back calls for the urgent devolution of the work programme.

    The Labour finance spokesperson asks also about a timetable for getting the fiscal framework in place.

  47. Smith Commission

    Mr Swinney insists the Scottish government will be consulting with the public and interested groups on how best to share powers with local authorities and communities across Scotland.

    Smith Commission
    Image caption: Recommendations were made by members of the Smith Commission

    The proposals in the Smith agreement should be be implemented as swiftly and effectively as possible.

  48. 'Refine and improve'

    Deputy First Minister and Finance Secretary John Swinney
    Image caption: Deputy First Minister and Finance Secretary John Swinney

    The deputy first minister reiterates the Scottish government's commitment to working with the UK government to refine and improve the draft clauses in the Scotland Bill.

  49. Scottish government reaction

    First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said, under the proposals, the UK government would hold a veto over key devolved powers, including the ability to "abolish the bedroom tax", and called for an urgent rethink of what was on offer.

    She said: "The legislation published today does not represent the views of the Scottish government, but it does represent some progress.

    "However, too much of what the prime minister has set out imposes restrictions on the recommended devolved powers and would hand a veto to UK ministers in key areas."

  50. BACKGROUND

    The Westminster legislation was based on the recommendations of the Smith Commission, set up by Mr Cameron, although it will not be enacted until after the UK election in May.

    Its publication came ahead of a meeting between the prime minister and Ms Sturgeon, in Edinburgh.

    David Cameron

    The Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats have all pledged to ensure the new Scotland Bill becomes law, whoever wins the election.

    Speaking in the Scottish capital, Mr Cameron said proposed legislation, contained in a command paper, had delivered the so-called "vow" on new Holyrood powers made by the pro-Union parties ahead of the referendum has been delivered ahead of schedule.

  51. BACKGROUND

    Last week the UK government published plans for new Scottish Parliament powers, but SNP ministers said they had been significantly watered down.

    A bill to devolve financial and other powers was set out after the "No" vote in September's independence referendum.

    Prime Minister David Cameron said Westminster ministers had kept their promise to strengthen Holyrood.

    David Cameron and Sturgeon

    But Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said UK ministers would get a veto on Scottish powers in key areas.

    Meanwhile, Jim Murphy, the Scottish Labour leader, called for more responsibility to be devolved to local communities.

  52. Ministerial statement: Smith Commission

    Finance Secretary John Swinney now gives a ministerial statement on the Smith Commission.

  53. 'Very encouraging'

    Transport Minister Derek Mackay says the first quarterly report on the average speed cameras on the A9 is "very encouraging", with an eight fold decrease in the number of drivers caught speeding since their introduction.

    Transport Minister Derek Mackay
    Image caption: Transport Minister Derek Mackay

    Mr Mackay says it will take a longer time period before the first injury/accident report can be produced.

    The minister insists there is no evidence drivers are avoiding the A9 and the scheme has created safer roads.

  54. BACKGROUND

    The number of drivers caught speeding on the A9 has fallen dramatically since average speed cameras were introduced, according to new figures.

    The controversial camera system, which stretches from Dunblane to Inverness, went live in October.

    The new camera system went live in October 2014
    Image caption: The new camera system went live in October 2014

    Despite critics claiming it would have little effect on safety, the A9 Safety Group said the cameras had a positive influence on driver behaviour.

    Opponents argue that the cameras disrupt traffic flow on the road.

  55. A9 average speed cameras

    SNP MSP Dave Thompson
    Image caption: SNP MSP Dave Thompson

    SNP MSP Dave Thompson asks the Scottish government what data have been gathered on safety following the introduction of average speed cameras on the A9.

  56. 'Fit for purpose'

    Justice Secretary Michael Matheson says he is determined we have prison facilities that are fit for purpose.

    Justice Secretary Michael Matheso
    Image caption: Justice Secretary Michael Matheson

    In response to a follow up question from Ms McInnes, he says he is aware of the importance of mental health in the prison estate.

  57. BACKGROUND

    Plans for a new women's jail in Inverclyde have been scrapped.

    It follows criticism of the £75m plan to replace Scotland's women-only prison, Cornton Vale in Stirling.

    Holyrood's Justice Secretary Michael Matheson said Scotland must take a more radical and ambitious approach to female offending.

    The proposed women's jail in Inverclyde will not now be built
    Image caption: The proposed women's jail in Inverclyde will not now be built

    Opposition parties, which had lobbied for the scheme not to go ahead, welcomed the Scottish government's announcement.

    Scotland's deputy Labour leader, Kezia Dugdale, said the U-turn was a "sensible decision" and the Scottish Liberal Democrat's justice spokeswoman, Alison McInnes, said she was pleased the minister had "listened to the voices of reform

  58. Topical questions

    Lib Dem MSP Alison McInnes asks the Scottish government, in light of the announcement that plans for HMP Inverclyde have been abandoned, what consideration it has given to interim arrangements for women prisoners in HMP Cornton Vale.

  59. Keeping the memory alive

    Lucy Paterson and Kieran Smyth, pupils at St. Andrew's RC Secondary School in Glasgow
    Image caption: Lucy Paterson and Kieran Smyth, pupils at St. Andrew's RC Secondary School in Glasgow

    Lucy Paterson and Kieran Smyth, pupils at St. Andrew's RC Secondary School in Glasgow give a moving time for reflection marking Holocaust Memorial Day 2015 and their recent visit to Auschwitz.

  60. Coming up

    It is of course Holocaust Memorial Day 2015 and at 2pm Time for Reflection will be given by two school children who visited Auschwitz.

    There is also a member's debate to mark the event at 5.05pm led by SNP MSP Stewart Maxwell.

    Children in Auschwitz
    Image caption: Children in Auschwitz

    Topical questions will focus on the decision not to go ahead with HMP Inverclyde, the proposed women's prison and the impact of the average speed cameras on the A9.

    There will then be a ministerial statement on the Smith Commission, following the publication of the Scotland Bill last week.

    This will be followed by another ministerial statement, this time on the Agricultural Holdings Review Group Report.

    Then the Scottish government will lead a debate on Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE), which supports Individuals out of Redundancy into Employment.

  61. It's lunch

    That ends the morning's committee session.

    Remember you can watch both of this morning's evidence sessions on the Assisted Suicide Bill on demand at BBC Scotland's Democracy Live website, in just a wee while.

    Holyrood

    We will be back at 2pm with time for reflection, which will be given by Lucy Paterson and Kieran Smyth, pupils at St. Andrew's RC Secondary School in Glasgow.

    They took part in the the Holocaust Educational Trust's Lessons from Auschwitz Project, which gives two post-16 students from every school and college in Scotland the opportunity to visit Auschwitz-Birkenau.

  62. 'End of life issues'

    Rev Macdonald says there is a need for more education of the public in end of life issues.

    He says when the situation about the end of life and palliative care is explained to them the number of people in favour of legalising suicide will come way down.

  63. 'Quite clear'

    Mr Deighan disagrees with Mr Harvie saying the Lord Advocate has pointed out that the law in Scotland is quite clear.

  64. Support

    Last March a group of doctors including a surgeon and a professor of neurology spoke out in support the bill

    The 11 medical experts backed a bill proposed by MSP Margo MacDonald which would change the law in Scotland.

    Dr and patient

    In a letter to The Herald newspaper, the doctors stated that they believed the bill will add to the palliative care on offer in Scotland, not undermine it.

    A previous attempt to pass the bill was voted down by MSPs in 2010.

  65. Lack of clarity

    Green MSP Patrick Harvie, who has taken over the bill following Margo Macdonald's death, says there have been a number of attempts to change the law and clarify it on both sides of the border.

    England has guidelines now for prosecution for those who have assisted the suicide of someone, but Scotland does not have these guidelines, he says.

    Indeed, says the Green MSP, says it is unclear if someone helped a person fly to Switzerland to go to Dignitas, whether they would be prosecuted or what they would be prosecuted for.

  66. We're back

    And that's us back and we'll take you to the end of the committee.

  67. Loss of vision

    We apologise for loss of vision - we shall return shortly.

  68. Legislation Background

    The late independent MSP Margo MacDonald relaunched the Assisted Suicide Bill last year, shortly before she died.

    Her previous attempt to change the law was defeated in parliament but she said the public now had better awareness of the issue.

    The Scottish government has said it does not support a change in the law.

    Margo MacDonald
    Image caption: Margo MacDonald

    At the time Ms MacDonald said: "I decided as soon as we lost the last one that I had to get a better one and reintroduce it, because so many people think this is the right thing to do for people who have a progressive, degenerative condition who are facing a less than dignified end

    In 2010, Ms MacDonald's End of Life Assistance Bill was defeated by 85 votes to 16, with two abstentions, by MSPs who were allowed a free vote on the legislation, rather than on party lines.

  69. Legal Background

    It is not illegal to attempt suicide in Scotland, but helping someone take their own life could lead to prosecution.

    The Suicide Act 1961 makes it an offence to encourage or assist a suicide or a suicide attempt in England and Wales, which is almost identical to the law in Northern Ireland.

    Outside Scotland, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has to approve any assisted suicide court action in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

    In 2010, Keir Starmer, then the DPP, issued guidance that made it clear that family or friends who travelled with a loved one to the Swiss suicide group Dignitas would not risk prosecution.

  70. Assisted Suicide Bill measures

    Medical assistance to end life

    The main measures in the bill include:

    • Only those who are terminally ill or who are suffering from deteriorating progressive conditions which make life intolerable can seek assisted suicide.
    • An "early warning" aspect, whereby anyone over the age of 16 can inform their GP of their support in principle for assisted suicide.
    • The indication can be noted in the person's medical records, but must be stated at least seven days before they can formally request help to end their life.
    • Any requests to GPs must be backed up by a second professional opinion, and followed by a 14-day "cooling off" period.
    • The process is then repeated again with a second request, after which one of the doctors concerned supplies a licensed facilitator with a prescription to enable assisted suicide to take place.
    • The facilitator, or "friend at the end", has no relationship with the patient and is given the task of collecting the prescription and agreeing the process of assisted suicide.
    • If the prescription is not used within 14 days, it must be returned to the chemist.
  71. 'Requested euthanasia'

    Ephraim Borowski says that if the Assisted Suicide Bill was called the Requested Euthanasia Bill he does not think it would have many supporters.

  72. 'Why not let them go?'

    SNP MSP Richard Lyle echoes his previous question to the palliative doctors by asking if someone really wants to go, why not let them go.

    Mr Lyle says the committee has heard a lot of scare stories today and if people want to go just let them.

    Mr Deighan says the MSPs have scare stories because there is something to be scared of.

    These fears are founded on recognising how dark things get when they have the power over life and death and how easily that can be abused.

  73. 'Cannot safeguard'

    Rev Sally Foster-Fulton says we cannot safeguard the most vulnerable from this legislation.

    She adds once the genie is out of the bottle you can't get it back in.

  74. 'Breakdown of bonds in society'

    Mr Deighan from the Catholic Bishops; Conference of Scotland says we need to ask why are people choosing to die at this time, when there have been advances in medicine and technology improving care.

    He says there has been a breakdown of bonds in society.

  75. 'End of life'

    SNP MSP Dennis Robertson asks if it is not right that a person should be facilitated towards the end of life, if the family and individual both accept they want the suffering to end.

  76. Holocaust

    Ephraim Borowski from the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities tells the committee it is Holocaust Memorial Day.

    Ephraim Borowski, Scottish Council of Jewish Communities
    Image caption: Ephraim Borowski, Scottish Council of Jewish Communities

    This, he says, reminds him of the saying that the Holocaust did not begin in Auschwitz, but ended in Auschwitz.

    However in terms of principle the Holocaust began with the belief that some lives are not worth as much as others and that is what we are faced with here with this bill, he says.

  77. 'Safe society'

    John Deighan from the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Scotland says he agrees with his fellow witnesses and says the inalienable right of everyone to life in our society must always be safe.

    John Deighan, Catholic Bishops' Conference of Scotland
    Image caption: John Deighan, Catholic Bishops' Conference of Scotland

    Mr Deighan says we cannot deliberately hasten death, adding we must have a "safe society where human dignity is always upheld".

  78. Scottish Episcopal Church

    Rev Dr Harriet Harris from the Scottish Episcopal Church says assisted suicide feels like death chosen for the sake of death, as if it is chosen for its own sake rather than death for life elsewhere.

    Rev Dr Harriet Harris, Scottish Episcopal Church (General Synod)
    Image caption: Rev Dr Harriet Harris, Scottish Episcopal Church (General Synod)
  79. 'Erodes everyone'

    Rev Foster-Fulton says there are concerns about the bill lies with its potential impact on the "vulnerable, marginalised and afraid coming to the end of their life".

    She says she is concerned these vulnerable people are being told their lives are less worthwhile than other people and that erodes everyone.

  80. 'Fleeting, fragile and extraordinary'

    Rev Sally Foster-Fulton from the Church of Scotland says the sanctity of life must be respected as "fleeting, fragile and extraordinary" .

    Rev Sally Foster-Fulton, Church of Scotland (Church and Society Council)
    Image caption: Rev Sally Foster-Fulton, Church of Scotland (Church and Society Council)

    She says the life we share is "special and sacred".

  81. 'No right to deliberately end an innocent life'

    Rev Dr Donald MacDonald from the Free Church of Scotland says "we are made in God's image" and we have a responsibility not just to our own lives but for all lives

    Rev MacDonald says we have "no right to deliberately end and innocent human life".

    Rev Dr Donald MacDonald, Free Church of Scotland
    Image caption: Rev Dr Donald MacDonald, Free Church of Scotland

    He says the best way to respect human life is to help people, relieve suffering and show compassion.

    The former doctor and surgeon says medical staff already respect the autonomy of patient who refuses treatment, or even food and water and still continue to give support.

  82. 'Clearly said no'

    Dr Salah Beltagui from the Muslim Council of Scotland says he is not a scholar of Islam, but says he sought advice and was told there is no situation where the sanctity of life can be relaxed, they very clearly said no.

    Dr Salah Beltagui, Muslim Council of Scotland
    Image caption: Dr Salah Beltagui, Muslim Council of Scotland

    There is no permission at all to interfere with life.

  83. Sanctity of life

    SNP MSP Dennis Robertson says in many of the submissions to the committee the sanctity of life seems to be quite prominent and he asks what is meant by that.

    SNP MSP Dennis Robertson
    Image caption: SNP MSP Dennis Robertson

    Mr Robertson also asks if there is there a situation that the faith group witnesses would envisage where assisted suicide respectful to the sanctity of life.

  84. Religious faith groups

    Group shot

    Health Committee convener Duncan McNeil gets the second evidence session underway, with religious faith groups.

  85. Next evidence session

    The committee will now take evidence from Rev Sally Foster-Fulton from the Church of Scotland (Church and Society Council), Rev Dr Harriet Harris from the Scottish Episcopal Church (General Synod), Rev Dr Donald MacDonald from the Free Church of Scotland, Ephraim Borowski from the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities, Dr Salah Beltagui from the Muslim Council of Scotland and John Deighan from the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Scotland.

  86. End of first evidence session

    That ends the first evidence session.

    Group shot
  87. Assisted suicide

    Dr Jeffrey says his friend says he really agrees with assisted suicide but adds he wouldn't want to be looked after by a doctor that did.

  88. 'Can't come back'

    Baroness Finlay says her concern is about public safety and who will get caught up in this process if the bill is passed.

    She says no legislation is water tight - "once somebody's dead they can't come back".

  89. 'Profound concerns'

    Dr Carragher says he still has "profound concerns" about the bill being applied to people under 25 years old.

  90. 'Too dangerous'

    Baroness Finlay agrees the bill has generated debate, discussion and awareness of dying which is important.

    However the doctors, nurses and pharmacists, the very people who the bill wants to involve, are saying it's too dangerous.

  91. 'Benefit'

    Green MSP Patrick Harvie
    Image caption: Green MSP Patrick Harvie

    Green MSP Patrick Harvie says something we might all agree on is that, whatever the parliament decides to do with this bill, if it leads to more prompt consideration to palliative care, end of life and health inequalities that would be something of benefit.

  92. Margo MacDonald

    The Assisted Suicide Bill is backed by Green MSP Patrick Harvie on behalf of former independent MSP Margo MacDonald who died last year.

    Mr Harvie MSP has said there is "substantial public support" for the principle of assisted suicide.

    Margo MacDonald
    Image caption: Margo MacDonald launched the bill before her death last year

    Campaigners who back plans to legalise assisted suicide in Scotland have produced a video aimed at tackling "misconceptions and misunderstandings" of the proposals.

    The legislation would allow those with terminal or life-shortening illnesses to get help in ending their suffering.

    The video has been produced by the My Life, My Death, My Choice campaign.

  93. 'Significant doubts'

    Dr Carragher from the Children's Hospice Association Scotland says there are some strengths in the bill, but for young people, he says he has significnat doubts.

  94. 'Not fit for purpose'

    Baroness Finlay says we already let patients go, by not imposing futile treatments on people and supporting them in their wishes.

    "On the grounds of public safety I don't think this bill is fit for purpose- it is dangerous and wide open."

    The clinician says the bill will lead to confusion and people not really understanding the issues in depth, she concludes.

  95. 'Can't legislate safely'

    Mr Hutchison says we can't legislate safely to allow the people Mr Lyle is referring to, to have that legal right.

  96. 'Talk about death'

    SNP MSP Richard Lyle says "none of us want to talk about death".

    Mr Lyle says of course people can change their mind but there are people out there who do want to die and asks why shouldn't we let them go

  97. 'I will not abandon you'

    Dr David Jeffrey from the University of Edinburgh says it is not just the carers who are affected by the process of a loved one dying, doctors themselves can perceive the situation as hopeless and they can feel helpless.

    The treating team can feel it is hopeless which requires support from the outside, he says.

    Doctor

    Dr Jeffrey states the promise palliative care gives is that "I will not abandon you".

    To have someone alongside you when you are dying is a huge boost, he says.

  98. Children's hospice

    Dr Pat Carragher from the Children's Hospice Association Scotland says that no young person or their parents have ever come to him and said they wanted him to help them end their lives.

  99. Personal testimony

    Baroness Finlay says her own mother was in a situation similar to the one Mr Keir described.

    The clinician says her mother was getting a great quality of care in a hospice bed but still was desperate to have assisted suicide.

    Baroness Finlay
    Image caption: Baroness Finlay

    However, after an argument with a chaplain, she realised her brain still worked and got home, against all odds, returned home for four years which were some of the best in her life.

  100. 'Enough'

    SNP MSP Colin Keir describes his experience as a carer of a relative with a long term degenerative disease.

    Mr Keir says even when that person went into palliative care they were contemplating suicide.

    He says at some point you will have a position where the patient says "I have had enough".

  101. 'Eligibility'

    Mark Hazelwood from the Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care says that is why the criteria for eligibility for assisted suicide should be clear.

    If it is not clear the Scottish public and health professionals will not know who is eligible or not.

    Baroness Finlay warns about the prejudice against severe disability in society.

  102. 'Protect people with long term conditions'

    SNP MSP Dennis Robertson says the use of the word "burden" is very emotive and we really do not want to convey the message people are a burden.

    He says when patients have anorexia they quite often ask to die when they really don't, it is just an expression of how they feel at the time.

    SNP MSP Dennis Robertson
    Image caption: SNP MSP Dennis Robertson warns against the use of the emotive word 'burden'.

    Mr Robertson's 18-year-old daughter Caroline died after struggling with anorexia nervosa.

    He asks how best to safeguard and protect people with long term conditions.

  103. 'Dying is ubiquitous'

    "Dying is ubiquitous" and we need to teach the skills required, for treating a dying patient, in medical schools and have those skills taught as part of the nursing curriculum, says Baroness Finlay.

    She says we also need the health service to be a seven day service.

  104. Support for carers

    Richard Meade from Marie Curie Cancer Care says access to palliative care can be very variable - for those with cancer it can be as high as 75% and for those with non-malignant diseases it can be as low as 20%.

    Mr Meade also says that carers particularly caring for those at end of life can be overwhelmed as the patient deteriorates.

    Richard Meade, Head of Policy and Public Affairs, Scotland, Marie Curie Cancer Care
    Image caption: Richard Meade, Head of Policy and Public Affairs, Scotland, Marie Curie Cancer Care

    A lot of carers, particularly close family members, don't see themselves are carers - they see themselves as husbands wives, sons and daughters, so they don't reach out to support available to them.

    We need to make sure carers are getting the support they need he says.

  105. 'Care fatigue'

    Baroness Finlay says "carer fatigue' is real as is the impact of bereavement.

    She says the Economist review on palliative services around the world rated the UK as the best.

  106. ''Very substantial burden'

    Dr Stephen Hutchison says care of a dying person can lead to a "very substantial burden" on the carer which means that person needs to be supported too.

    So it is not only care for the patient that is important but also the family or the carer says Dr Hutchison

  107. 'Burden'

    Health Committee convener and Labour MSP Duncan McNeil raises the issue of the burden on carers and their subsequent premature deaths.

  108. 'Malicious reasons'

    Dr Stephen Hutchison from the Highland Hospice says abuse of the elderly in society is a major problem.

    The bill leaves itself wide open to "malicious reasons" for families wishing to the see the end of life of someone older, to get an inheritance or avoid further care costs.

  109. Vulnerable protection

    Dr Richard Simpson raises the issues of vulnerable patients and the burden of care on the families and loved ones.

    He asks how do we protect vulnerable people from this legislation.

  110. 'Vulnerable people'

    Mark Hazelwood from the Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care says the bill raises a number of moral personal ethical issues.

    Mark Hazelwood, Chief Executive, Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care
    Image caption: Mark Hazelwood, Chief Executive, Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care

    He expresses concerns about how the legislation could impact on vulnerable people.

  111. 'Huge problem'

    Dr David Jeffrey from the University of Edinburgh details the wide range of medical professionals who area against the legislation.

    Dr David Jeffrey, Honorary Lecturer in Palliative Medicine, University of Edinburgh
    Image caption: Dr David Jeffrey, Honorary Lecturer in Palliative Medicine, University of Edinburgh

    Dr Jeffrey calls on the committee to consider the implications on GP's and their recruitment as Scotland faces a "huge problem".

    He says the bottom line is doctors have a "gut feeling this is just something they should not be involved with".

  112. 'Considerable concerns'

    Dr Carragher from the Children's Hospice Association Scotland says he has considerable concerns about the bill as young people have different maturity rates.

    Dr Pat Carragher, Medical Director, Children's Hospice Association Scotland
    Image caption: Dr Pat Carragher, Medical Director, Children's Hospice Association Scotland

    Some 16 year olds will not fully understand the process and the importance of a decision to end their lives.

  113. Vulnerable people

    Dr Stephen Hutchison from the Highland Hospice says the bill is said to be founded on the principle of autonomy, an issue which needs to be addressed and challenged.

    Dr Stephen Hutchison, Consultant Physician in Palliative Medicine, Highland Hospice, Inverness
    Image caption: Dr Stephen Hutchison, Consultant Physician in Palliative Medicine, Highland Hospice, Inverness

    Dr Hutchison says he thinks that the use of the word "autonomy" is wrong and is the wrong concept.

  114. Conscience clause

    Baroness Finlay of Llandaff, Palliative Care Lead Clinician for Wales and Crossbench Peer says doctors would be issuing lethal drugs which is nothing to do with treatment.

    She questions whether a conscience clause could not be created in Scotland and if it could "it would not be worth the paper it was written on".

  115. 'Fundamental problem'

    Baroness Finlay of Llandaff, Palliative Care Lead Clinician for Wales and Crossbench Peer, says the "fundamental problem with the bill" lies with who it is trying to include.

    Baroness Finlay of Llandaff, Palliative Care Lead Clinician for Wales and Crossbench Peer
    Image caption: Baroness Finlay of Llandaff, Palliative Care Lead Clinician for Wales and Crossbench Peer

    The peer says that by having medicine involved at all in the decision process you have a fundamental problem, as "96% of licensed palliative doctors are against this", with good reason.

  116. Changes to the bill

    Labour MSP Dr Richard Simpson
    Image caption: Labour MSP Dr Richard Simpson

    Labour MSP Dr Richard Simpson asks if the Scottish Parliament decides to move to stage 2 scrutiny of the Assisted Suicide Bill proceeding on the what changes they would want to see.

  117. Health Committee begins

    Health Committee Convener Duncan McNeil gets us underway.

    The committee is taking evidence on the Assisted Suicide (Scotland) Bill..

    Group shot

    They are first taking evidence from Dr Pat Carragher from the Children's Hospice Association Scotland, Baroness Finlay of Llandaff, Palliative Care Lead Clinician for Wales and Crossbench Peer, Dr Stephen Hutchison from the Highland Hospice, Inverness, Mark Hazelwood from the Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care, Richard Meade from Marie Curie Cancer Care and Dr David Jeffrey from the University of Edinburgh.

  118. Coming up

    First on the agenda is the Health Committee which is taking evidence on the Assisted Suicide (Scotland) Bill.

    They will begin by taking evidence from Dr Pat Carragher from the Children's Hospice Association Scotland, Baroness Finlay of Llandaff, Palliative Care Lead Clinician for Wales and Crossbench Peer, Dr Stephen Hutchison from the Highland Hospice, Inverness, Mark Hazelwood from the Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care, Richard Meade from Marie Curie Cancer Care and Dr David Jeffrey from the University of Edinburgh.

    The Assisted Suicide Bill will be scrutinised by MSPs before parliament is asked to vote on it
    Image caption: The Assisted Suicide Bill will be scrutinised by MSPs before parliament is asked to vote on it

    They will then take evidence from Rev Sally Foster-Fulton from the Church of Scotland (Church and Society Council), Rev Dr Harriet Harris from the Scottish Episcopal Church (General Synod), Rev Dr Donald MacDonald from the Free Church of Scotland, Ephraim Borowski from the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities, Dr Salah Beltagui from the Muslim Council of Scotland and John Deighan from the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Scotland.