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Summary

  1. Witnesses welcome Vulnerable Witnesses Bill, but call for legislation to go further
  2. MSPs clash over future of fishing
  3. A ministerial statement on a UN report on poverty in the UK
  4. MSPs mark the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence
  5. A Tory MSP leads a debate on bullying claims at NHS Highland

Live Reporting

By Louise Wilson and Craig Hutchison

All times stated are UK

  1. That's all from Holyrood Live

    Labour MSP Kezia Dugdale
    Image caption: Labour MSP Kezia Dugdale

    That's all from Holyrood Live today, Tuesday 27 November 2018.

    An MSP has suggested that women who have been sexually harassed at the Scottish Parliament are now less likely to come forward than a year ago.

    While victims can submit a complaint anonymously, they are required to share their identity for a fulsome procedure to kick in.

    Speaking during a debate to mark the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence, Labour MSP Kezia Dugdale said: "The personal and professional risks are still far too high for women."

    She also criticised the response to a recent "high profile case", as the perpetrator had been allowed to return to work while the victim had since left her post.

  2. NHS Highland bullying inquiry interim recommendations due in early 2019

    Ms Freeman

    Ms Freeman explains the first issue for Mr Sturrock is to contact a number of people, make his presence known and to begin to hear from people in a safe space and confidentially.

    This will allow the QC to ascertain the culture at NHS Highland.

    The health secretary says he will also have to identify individual cases that need to be pursued.

    The minister expects the interim recommendations in early 2019, but until he begins his work we can't be certain of the completion date.

  3. Current and former NHS Highland staff will be involved in investigation

    Health Secretary Jeane Freeman
    Image caption: Health Secretary Jeane Freeman

    Health Secretary Jeane Freeman says bullying is an abuse of power, and any abuse of power concerns her greatly.

    She hopes the review will make it clear why so many staff still have concerns about raising any issues.

    If anyone feels wary about coming forward about bullying and harassment, we must address this, she says.

    The review will explore underlying issues and will involve conversations with current and former staff, Ms Freeman confirms.

  4. Green MSP heard 'very harrowing' stories from NHS Highlands

    Green MSP John Finnie
    Image caption: Green MSP John Finnie

    Green MSP John Finnie says who isn't going to condemn bullying or those who stood in silence and allowed it to happen.

    Mr Finnie commends John Sturrock as a man who listens, adding this will be important for the bullying inquiry.

    He says it was very harrowing to hear the stories from staff at the GMB meeting on Friday.

    The Green MSP concludes saying he is keen to see a safe working environment for people and not to leave a big black cloud over NHS Highland.

  5. Bullying victim thinks about taking own life

    Labour MSP David Stewart
    Image caption: Labour MSP David Stewart

    Labour MSP David Stewart quotes a staff member who raised a bullying complaint, in which they revealed they were treated like they have done something wrong.

    He reads: "Your manager tells you its your fault, and in fact it is you and you should lose your job, your MMC license and your liberty.

    "Suddenly you're very afraid. What's just happened here? And you go off sick and you are. You're beside yourself, how could this have happened.

    "You go from being bullied and trying to report it, to suddenly, you are the problem. Your family don't know what to do.

    "You're seeing the doctors every few days. You think about taking your own life. Your family and partner stay with you. They're scared to leave you alone. They don't talk about it, even now."

  6. Background: Doctors allege 'bullying culture' at NHS Highland

    Dr Iain Kennedy, one of the clinicians raising the concerns, said some staff have felt 'intimidated'
    Image caption: Dr Iain Kennedy, one of the clinicians raising the concerns, said some staff have felt 'intimidated'

    In September we reported that a group of senior clinicians at NHS Highland had spoken out about what they claim to be a culture of bullying at the health board.

    The doctors said that for at least a decade there had been a "practice of suppressing criticism, which emanates from the very top of the organisation".

    They said this had led to a culture of "fear and intimidation" that has had a "detrimental effect" on staff.

    NHS Highland said it was aware of an accusation of a bullying culture.

    Read more here.

  7. 'Bullying has no place in any of our institutions and particularly not NHS Highlands'

    Mr Mountain

    Mr Mountain welcomes the review announced by the health secretary, but stresses that it is just the start.

    He calls for the cabinet secretary to confirm who will be allowed to contribute to the review and that it will go back at least ten years.

    Time is sadly a luxury we don't have, we have to address this issue that has been festering for 10 years, he insists.

    "Bullying has no place in any of our institutions and particularly not NHS Highlands."

  8. Background: QC appointed to lead NHS Highland bullying claims review

    John Sturrock QC
    Image caption: John Sturrock QC

    An independent review into allegations of a "bullying culture" at NHS Highland will be led by John Sturrock QC, the Scottish government has said.

    A group of senior clinicians claimed there had been a culture of "fear and intimidation" at the board for at least a decade.

    Doctors from across the Highlands hadcalled for a fully independent investigation into the allegations.

    NHS Highland said it welcomed external input and had "nothing to hide".

    Read more here.

  9. Female member of staff reduced to tears before each shift says Tory MSP

    Tory MSP Edward Mountain
    Image caption: Tory MSP Edward Mountain

    Tory MSP Edward Mountain says he is saddened that this debate is happening because the issue should have been dealt and an investigation started when he first raised it in September.

    He tells the chamber that a meeting organised by the GMB took place to discuss bullying on Friday, where a woman revealed that bullying had gotten so bad that she was reduced to tears before beginning each shift.

    She is not the only one, Mr Mountain says, adding he has heard of several other harrowing cases.

    The Tory MSP also suggests patients across the Highlands have been left down, with many reticent to raise problems because of the inadequate responses received.

  10. Background: Claim 100 NHS Highland staff 'bullied'

    It has been claimed the effects of the "bullying" has been staffing issues at Raigmore Hospital
    Image caption: It has been claimed the effects of the "bullying" has been staffing issues at Raigmore Hospital

    Four doctors calling for a public inquiry into allegations of bullying at NHS Highland claim 100 health workers have come forward as "victims".

    The group of senior clinicians alleged that for at least a decade there had been a culture of "fear and intimidation" at the health board.

    NHS Highland said it took the allegations seriously and has offered to meet the four doctors.

    The health board denies there has been a "systemic culture of bullying".

  11. MSPs will now debate bullying claims at NHS Highland

    The Belford in Fort William has also had staffing issues, according to a group of clinicians
    Image caption: The Belford in Fort William has also had staffing issues, according to a group of clinicians

    Tory MSP Edward Mountain will now lead a debate focussing on the investigation into bullying claims at NHS Highland.

    Motion
    Image caption: Here's the motion.....
  12. MSPs unanimously back the 16 days motion at decision time

    Motion
  13. Background: Inquiry finds 'insufficient evidence' for salmon farming moratorium

    Salmon fishing

    A wide-ranging inquiry into Scottish salmon farming has found "insufficient evidence" to support calls for a moratorium on the industry's expansion.

    Concerns had been raised about the impact of the sector on wild salmon populations and the wider environment.

    Holyrood's rural economy committee said "light touch" regulation had failed.

    Its report said the status quo was "not acceptable" and made 65 recommendations for improvement - but stopped short of backing an overall moratorium.

    Read more here.

  14. Committee announcements: Inquiry into salmon farming in Scotland

    SAlmn

    Rural economy committee convener Edward Mountain announces the publication of the committee's report into salmon farming.

  15. Rounding off the 16 Days debate.........

    Rhoda Grant, Humza Yousaf and Liam Kerr

    Labour MSP Rhoda Grant says sexual harassment in the workplace equates to sexual exploitation, as bosses can abuse their power by preventing people from working.

    We have to ingrain in our children that sexism and violence against women is unacceptable, she argues.

    Tory MSP Liam Kerr highlights that domestic violence reports have increased for the second year in a row, as confirmed by Police Scotland figures today.

    Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf says the law is one element of efforts to tackle domestic abuse and education is the other.

    "As men, we have to face up to the fact that we are the problem," he says, before adding that "equally, we can be part of the solution".