FMQs: Sturgeon pushed to solve drug crisis, plus everything else you need to know from today's session

First Minster Nicola Sturgeon during First Minster's Questions in the debating chamber of the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh.
First Minster Nicola Sturgeon during First Minster's Questions in the debating chamber of the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh.

Nicola Sturgeon fielded questions from MSPs today in the Scottish Parliament in Holyrood

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Nicola Sturgeon today faced the scrutiny of MSPs in Holyrood during First Minsters' Questions, here's a breakdown of the biggest takeaways from the session.

Nicola Sturgeon hopes society is at 'watershed moment' where men stand up against others that act inappropriately towards women

The First Minister called on men across Scotland to challenge others – as well as themselves – who act inappropriately towards women in the wake of the murders of Sarah Everard and Sabina Nessa.

First Minster Nicola Sturgeon during First Minster's Questions in the debating chamber of the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh.
First Minster Nicola Sturgeon during First Minster's Questions in the debating chamber of the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh.

Ms Sturgeon was asked about the case of Rhona Malone, a former armed response officer in Police Scotland who this week won a tribunal against the force, in which the judgment described the culture as akin to a “boys’ club”.

“The findings do paint a picture that should trouble all of us,” the First Minister said.

“I think it’s really important that in confronting these issues, as we all must do, that we do not consider or assume that any case like this is an isolated incident.

She added: “I hope we are finally at a watershed moment and a turning point, where we stop expecting women to fix these problems and we put the full glare where it belongs – on men who behave in a deeply unacceptable and misogynistic way.”

The First Minister then urged men to step in to tackle the problem.

First Minister says she's keeping an open mind on whether to support Scottish Tory plans for 'right to recovery' law to tackle drug death crisis

The First Minister was challenged to support the Tories’ proposal by leader Douglas Ross, who warned “the longer we fail to act, the more lives will be lost”.

Ms Sturgeon said she was “open-minded” about the plans, but stressed that she would want to see more details as the Scottish Conservatives have only launched a consultation so far.

Scottish Conservative Leader Douglas Ross during First Minster's Questions in the debating chamber of the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh.
Scottish Conservative Leader Douglas Ross during First Minster's Questions in the debating chamber of the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh.

The proposed Right to Recovery Bill aims to stop people being refused residential rehabilitation treatment and enshrine in law that everyone has the right to the necessary addiction treatment they require.

Referencing the SNP leader’s challenge to visit a working class area with her in the wake of the UK Government’s £20 Universal Credit cut during FMQs, Mr Ross said: “I give an unconditional acceptance to meet any community, anywhere, at any time because this is an issue of national importance.”

In response, Ms Sturgeon said: “I am certainly willing to meet with organisations and indeed with individuals – as I have previously – affected by drugs misuse.”

She added: “The issues faced by working class communities go beyond drugs; drug misuse can, in some cases, be a symptom of deeper issues, poverty, for example.

“So I’m sure Douglas Ross will agree with me that, if we are to undertake such a joint endeavour, it will also be important to meet with, for example, those who have just had their Universal Credit withdrawn, driving them deeper into the poverty conditions that then sometimes lead to the other issues that we are talking about.”

First Minister pushed to do more for as many as 80'000 long covid sufferers

Nicola Sturgeon was challenged to do more to help sufferers of long Covid, as it was revealed that almost 80,000 Scots may be living with the condition.

New figures from the Office for National Statistics showed 79,000 patients had reported suffering from the condition after contracting Covid-19.

Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats Alex Cole-Hamilton challenged the First Minister over long Covid sufferers.
Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats Alex Cole-Hamilton challenged the First Minister over long Covid sufferers.

Of those, 61,000 are said to have been suffering from symptoms – which can include extreme tiredness, chest pains and shortness of breath as well as depression, diarrhoea and feeling sick – for more than 12 weeks, while 31,000 have been living with such problems for a year or more.

While the Scottish Government recently published a long Covid plan, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton insisted sufferers with the condition would receive better treatment in England.

He accused Health Secretary Humza Yousaf of refusing to meet campaigners from Long Covid Scotland.

Describing the condition as being possibly “the biggest mass disabling event since the end of the First World War”, the Lib Dem demanded action.

The First Minister responded: “I believe the Health Secretary has met with long Covid patients and I am sure he would be more than willing to meet with others.

“This is a serious issue and one that we are going to be living with the impact of for some time.”

Sturgeon confirmed health bosses have failed to trace family of child who died at major hospital - the family does not know their child's death may be linked to infected on-site water

Health board bosses have so far failed in efforts to locate the family of a child who died at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow, and they still do not know the youngster’s death could be linked to infected water at the facility.

Scottish Labour Leader Anas Sarwar during First Minster's Questions in the debating chamber of the Scottish Parliament.
Scottish Labour Leader Anas Sarwar during First Minster's Questions in the debating chamber of the Scottish Parliament.

Nicola Sturgeon said it is her understanding that NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has not yet been able to get in touch with the relatives – although she stressed that is “not for the want of trying”.

In May, Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar revealed the child’s family “may not even know” their death could be connected to problems with the water at the hospital.

The First Minister at that time gave him a “personal commitment” that every step possible would be taken to find them.

Mr Sarwar asked for an update at Holyrood on Thursday.

Ms Sturgeon said the board “have not located the family”.

She added: “As I absolutely understand it, that is not for the want of trying and effort and that appropriate steps will continue to be taken.”