NICOLA Sturgeon will be quizzed at the first virtual First Minister's Questions session this afternoon.

The leaders questions session will take place at 12.30pm - in response to the Covid-19 outbreak and social distancing measures.

The virtual session will be streamed live to the public.

Holyrood's Presiding Officer, Ken Macintosh, said: "I am now pleased to be able to confirm arrangements for the Scottish Parliament’s first Leaders’ Virtual Question Time, where party leaders will have the opportunity to question the First Minister on the Scottish Government’s ongoing response to the Covid-19 outbreak.

"I know that members share my view that it is more important than ever that our parliament continues to function during this public health crisis and that we create opportunities for it do so remotely, not least so that we do not put others at any undue risk.

"I want to thank party leaders, business managers and parliamentary officials for working with such speed and effectiveness to enable this important scrutiny session to take place."

He added: "The session, which I will chair, is due to start at 12.30pm with a short opening statement by the First Minister on the latest developments, before opening to questions from opposition party leaders: Jackson Carlaw, Richard Leonard, Patrick Harvie, and Willie Rennie. We expect the question period to last for up to 25 minutes, with an absolute cut off of 30 minutes, and we have put in place arrangements for other members, staff, and members of the public to be able to watch it live on Scottish Parliament TV.

"We also understand, the question session will be carried live by the BBC and potentially other broadcasters.

"The Parliamentary Bureau will continue to take stock of ongoing developments and, learning from and building on tomorrow’s experience, will consider whether to put in place further virtual scrutiny arrangements involving other members for next week. I am very conscious that many Members would welcome such an opportunity and I will of course keep you fully up to date on the Bureau’s decisions, next steps and future plans."