Page last updated at 13:24 GMT, Thursday, 22 November 2012

First minister's questions - 22 November 2012

Alex Salmond was challenged again over telling MSPs college budgets were going up when they were actually being cut, during first minister's questions on 22 November 2012.

Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont accused the first minister of either being "incompetent" for not knowing the college budget figure was going down or of "deliberately misleading the people of Scotland".

Mr Salmond apologised for the error to the chamber on 15 November saying there had been no intention to mislead MSPs.

Education Secretary Mike Russell also apologised, giving a "full and unreserved" apology for giving mistaken information about college budgets in Scotland, on 20 November 2012.

The first minister said "I made a mistake by reading out the wrong figure" and said he had apologised in full to the chamber, which in other chambers would have been accepted in good grace.

The Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson also criticised Mr Salmond over college budgets, saying his answers to Ms Lamont's questions had seen him "diminish his office today".

Mr Salmond hit back saying opposition parties never corrected their mistakes and never apologised.

Willie Rennie, the Scottish Liberal Democrat leader, asked the first minister asking what it took to for him to lose confidence in Education Secretary Mike Russell, saying "we need an education secretary we can trust to deliver" and asking when Mr Salmond would "grasp the thistle".

Mr Salmond insisted Mr Russell was "pursuing his brief in an excellent manner".


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