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Daily Political Media Summary: 25 July 2008

Economy

High street sales: High street sales fell by 3.9% in June compared to May – the sharpest drop for more than 20 years (Scotsman page 15, Times page 11, Sun page 6, FT page 2, Telegraph page 10).

Population: The General Register Office for Scotland has reported that the biggest population growth in Scotland since 1983. The increase has been helped by record immigration to Scotland as well as a rising birth rate. (Scotsman page 16, Herald page 1, Express page 8, P&J page 9m, Telegraph page 10). Alf Young argues in The Herald that we need more robust immigration statistics (page 17).

HBOS: Peter Jones in the Scotsman (page 31) comments on the speculation that HBOS is the target of a takeover bid.

Crime

Police: Scottish police officers failed to reach an agreement with the government over pay during talks held yesterday. The police called the government’s offer of a 2.325% increase a “slap in the face”. The matter will now go to independent arbitration (Scotsman page 15, P&J page 8).

Drugs: A drug dealer has claimed that heroin is cheaper in an open prison than on the street (P&J page 1, Record page 35).

Health

GP suspended: A GP has been suspended for six months by the General Medical Council for prescribing sleeping pills to a patient so she could commit suicide (Times page 5, Courier page , P&J page 9, Herald page 5).

Politics

Glasgow East by-election: The SNP won the Glasgow East by-election yesterday by 365 votes, recording a swing of 22% from Labour to the SNP and overturning Labour’s 13,507 majority. John Mason for the SNP won 11,277 votes, Margaret Curran recorded 10,912 votes, Davena Rankin for the Conservatives overtook the Lib Dems to come third with 1,639, votes while Ian Robertson of the Lib Dems polled 915 votes, losing his deposit. Turnout was 42% (Scotsman page 1, Record page 1, Herald page 1, Mail page 1, Telegraph page 1).

David Cameron’s bike: Conservative leader David Cameron has had his bike stolen from London’s Portobello Road (Scotsman page 8, Record page 17, Herald page 6, FT page 4, Telegraph page 8).

Max Mosley: Formula 1 boss Max Mosley has won £60,000 in damages from the News of the World after a judge at the High Court ruled the newspaper’s “sick Nazi story” was not in the public interest. A number of commentators and journalists have argued that the ruling has made the press less free. (Scotsman page 9, Herald page 4, Times page 1, Guardian page 5, FT page 3, Brian MacArthur in the Telegraph, Telegraph page 1). William Rees-Mogg argues in The Times that Mr Mosley did not deserve the protection of the law (page 27).

Scottish Labour: Backbench MSP Ken Macintosh is preparing to run for the leadership of Scottish Labour. Mr Mcintosh, who did not serve as a minister while Scottish Labour was in power, will reportedly argue that the party needs to avoid retrenching into its heartlands (Herald page 6).

Scottish Lib Dems: The nominations for the Scottish Lib Dem leadership race closed yesterday. The three candidates are Ross Finnie, Mike Rumbles and Tavish Scott (Courier page 10, P&J page 14).

Trade unions: The Conservatives have accused trade unions of “buying influence” through the provision of money directly to MPs as well as to the Labour party. (FT page 2, Jeff Randall in the Telegraph). The Guardian (page 16) examines the unions’ likely demands at this weekend’s Labour policy meeting.

Cabinet reshuffle: Des Browne, the Scottish Secretary and Defence Secretary, is expected to lose his defence role as part of an autumn reshuffle (Telegraph page 1).