FIRST Minister Nicola Sturgeon is to take questions from party leaders in a virtual question and answer session.

In a letter to MSPs, Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh said the parliamentary bureau - a group of MSPs which decides the business of the parliament - was hoping to hold a session similar to First Minister's Questions.

Later it was confirmed the session would go ahead today at 12.30pm, and last for around 40 minutes. On Twitter, the First Minister said it would replace the usual coronavirus briefing - which is held daily.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Plans under way for first virtual FMQs session

It is expected that the session will mirror the first part of the First Minister's Questions, where Sturgeon takes questions from her opposite numbers.

The Presiding Officer wrote: "Like other legislatures, colleagues here have been very busy in recent weeks examining and testing a range of options for virtual working and I am pleased to say that the progress they are making is very encouraging indeed.

"In the first instance, the Parliamentary Bureau is exploring holding a leaders' virtual question time where party leaders can question the First Minister."

In his letter to MSPs, the Presiding Officer also said the bureau would look at expanding the scope of future sessions to allow questions from MSPs if the meeting was successful.

The debut virtual FMQs is expected to be shown on the Scottish Parliament website as usual.

Alternatively, you can catch it live on the BBC Scotland channel from 12.30pm.

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