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04/03/14 15:48

Media Briefing - Tuesday 4 March 2014

Post Cabinet Media Briefing by the First Minister’s Official Spokesperson (FMOS) and the First Minister’s Special Adviser (FMSA): March 4, 2014.

The FMOS welcomed the media to the briefing and gave an update following this morning’s meeting of the Scottish Cabinet.

The FMOS said Cabinet Secretary for External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop updated Cabinet on the situation in Ukraine. She said Cabinet agreed the best course of action was a de-escalation of military action and a focus on diplomacy. Ms Hyslop also advised she will shortly meet with the Ukrainian consul shortly and is happy to meet with members of the Ukrainian diaspora whenever required.

The FMOS advised the Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill updated his colleagues on the Police Scotland figures released today and welcomed the number of extra police officers in Scotland continues to exceed the 1000 target.

Food and Drink Secretary, Richard Lochhead advised Cabinet that earlier today he had launched Scotland’s new food and drink export plan – developed jointly by industry and government, it aims to capitalise on the industry’s already tremendous success by capitalising on Scotland’s 15 key export markets, with a focus on the seven highest priority areas.

Asked when the First Minister’s New Statesman keynote speech would be available, the FMOS advised journalists would receive a copy as soon as possible ahead of tonight’s event.

When asked for more information on today’s Welfare Debate, FMOS explained Housing Minister Margaret Burgess would be leading today’s debate and would highlight the UK Government’s ‘moral case’ for welfare reform is harming the living standards of poor and vulnerable people in Scotland.