Page last updated at 13:40 GMT, Thursday, 1 March 2012

First minister's questions

Alex Salmond defended his meeting with media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, during first minister's questions on 1 March 2011.

Mr Murdoch held a meeting in Edinburgh with the first minister on 29 February 2012.

They were reported to have discussed the potential for further investment in Scotland.

Also on the agenda was Scotland's constitutional future and the Leveson Inquiry into press standards.

Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont said the first minister gave "the nod" for the first Sun on Sunday to name October 18, 2014 date for the independence referendum.

Ms Lamont claimed the SNP leader was "prepared to compromise the referendum for Sir Rupert".

Mr Salmond said October 18, 2014 was a "possible date" for the independence referendum, but insisted the matter would not be decided until the close of a Scottish government consultation - which he said had already received more than 3,000 responses.

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson challenged Mr Salmond over his government' implementation of the drugs strategy, highlighting the cost of methadone treatment the almost doubling of babies born to drug addicted mothers and the number of prisoners taking methadone reaching a record high.

Mr Salmond said it would be foolish to claim success in the battle against drug abuse, however the number of young people using drugs was falling and it would require a joint effort across all parties to combat the problem of drugs.

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