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Daily Political Media Summary: 11 July 2008

Economy
Interest rates: The Bank of England held interest rates at 5%. It is thought to be waiting to see the full effects of the oil price rise and the credit crisis (FT page 2). Alf Young argues that some good can come from a more difficult economic climate (Herald page 17). Peter Jones suggests that the Scottish Government can help the construction industry by increasing capital spending and dropping opposition to the Private Finance Initiative (Scotsman page 31).

RBS Insurance sale: The Royal Bank of Scotland’s effort to sell its Direct Line and Churchill insurance businesses suffered a setback yesterday when Zurich Financial said it was pulling out of the bidding process (Herald page 32, Times page 51, Guardian page 23).

Crime
Police civilian assistants: The Police in Falkirk are piloting the use of civilian investigative assistants to perform duties such as interviewing witnesses and carrying out door-to-door inquiries. The assistants, originally employed to help with minor cases, have been considered so successful by police that they have also been assigned to a murder and a sexual assault case (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 1).

Transport
Public transport: Almost half of the population believe there will be a move away from cars towards public transport in the next five to 10 years, according to a survey carried out for FirstGroup (Herald page 2).

Air travel: Passenger numbers at Scottish airports fell last month, according to figures from BAA Scotland. British Airways also announced that it was bringing forward the last flight from London to Glasgow to 6.45pm instead of 8pm due to falling demand (Herald page 2).

Local Government
Commonwealth Games: The Herald investigates whether the 2014 Commonwealth Games will have a lasting legacy (page 15).

Super-village: The Law Lords dismissed an objection to a planned ‘super-village’ of 2500 homes near Stirling. There was significant local opposition to the scheme (Herald page 14).

Politics
Haltemprice and Howden by election: David Davis retained his seat for the Conservatives with a majority of 15,355 (BBC News).

Independence poll: A poll for the Telegraph (page 1) shows that 48% of Scots are against independence, 36% are in favour and 14% are unsure. The poll also showed a majority in favour of an independent Scotland retaining the pound as its currency. Prof Anthony King analyses the results (page 8).

Car tax: The Prime Minister is facing a possible rebellion over changes to Vehicle Excise Duty after it emerged that 9.4m families would be worse off (FT page 2, Herald page 5, Times page).

Embryology bill postponed: The Prime Minister has delayed a Commons vote on the embryology bill which was due to take place on Monday. Opposition parties accused the government of trying to keep the issue off the agenda in order to win Catholic votes in the Glasgow East by-election (Scotsman page 6, Herald page 1, Guardian page 14, P&J page 1, Telegraph page 2).

Glasgow East by-election: Harry Reid argues that Labour has already failed in Glasgow East (FT page 11).

Wendy Alexander: A report by the Scottish Parliament’s Standards Committee claimed that Wendy Alexander was told by a Holyrood clerk last September that she might have to register donations to her leadership campaign. This appears to contradict Ms Alexander’s record of events (Times page 8, P&J page 9, Courier page 11, Telegraph page 13, Herald page 6, Scotsman page 16).