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Daily Political Media Summary: 22 October 2008

All newspaper references refer to Scottish editions.

Economy
Recession:
Yesterday the Governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King, said the UK economy “is now likely to be entering a recession”. This is the first time this has been admitted by the Bank. Meanwhile Alex Salmond and Scottish Secretary Jim Murphy have pledged to work together against the recession this side of the border. (Scotsman page 11, The Herald Business section page 1, The Herald page 1, Nils Pratley in the Guardian, The Guardian page 1, Daily Mail page 10, The Times page 3, P&J page 8, Telegraph B1, FT page 1)

Money for Scotland: Yesterday Yvette Cooper, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, wrote to Alex Salmond knocking back his request for an additional £1bn for Scotland. (Scotsman page 10, Daily Record page 2, Daily Mail page 10, The Times page 11, P&J page 9, Telegraph page 1)

HBOS: Further comment and coverage on the proposed takeover of HBOS. (Scotsman page 11, Ian Blackford in the Scotsman, P&J page 8, Telegraph B1)

Job losses: Inverurie paper mill announced yesterday it was to close with the loss of almost 400 jobs. (Scotsman page 8, The Sun page 2, The Herald page 4, Daily Record page 6, Daily Express page 8, Daily Mirror page 2, P&J page 7)

Wealth gap: The wealth gap between the rich and poor in the UK has narrowed since 2000; however the gap remains wider than in most developed countries according to the OECD. (Scotsman page 13, Ian Bell in The Herald, The Herald page 7, The Guardian page 6, FT page 5)

Industrial trends: The CBI’s industrial trends survey has suggested that firms are planning the largest reduction in investment in plant and machinery for 28 years. This is due to manufacturing companies reporting the lowest number of orders placed with them for over 5 years. (Scotsman page 33, The Herald page 27, The Guardian page 24, Daily Record page 6, Daily Express page 5, P&J page 9, FT page 5)

Scottish retailers: The Scottish Retail Consortium’s latest report shows zero growth in like-for like sales in September, the weakest performance for two and a half years. (Scotsman page 34, The Sun page 12, The Herald page 27, Daily Mail page 10, P&J page 9, Telegraph page 12)

Clydesdale Bank: The Glasgow based Clydesdale Bank has stated that it had pre-tax annual profits of £343million until the end of September. This claims David Thorburn is due to their operating in areas of the market less affected by the current economic crisis. (The Sun page 2, Daily Mail page 10)

Post Office: The Post Office announced it is to shut 24 branches across Scotland despite high levels of criticism, particularly amongst customers. (The Herald page 12)

Energy Prices: The former chief executive of Energywatch claimed last night that gas and electricity customers were paying £300-£400 a year more than they should because of poor regulation. It is expected that gas bills should fall by up to £100 within weeks as wholesale costs dropped 30% recently. (P&J page 1, Telegraph page 11, FT page 4, Daily Express page 1)

Crime
Lockerbie bomber: It emerged yesterday that the Lockerbie bomber, Abdelbaset Ali Mohmedal-Maegrahi, is dying from prostate cancer. As a result the Justice Secretary is under mounting pressure to release the man on compassionate grounds. (Scotsman page 1, Tam Dalyell in the Scotsman, The Sun page 1, The Herald page 4, Daily Record page 17, Daily Express page 8, The Times page 5, Daily Mirror page 24, P&J page 11, Telegraph page 7)

Gun crime: 38 primary school pupils were shot in Scotland last year according to figures released by the Scottish Government. A further 46 children aged between 11 and 15 were also victims of gun crime. However total figures have fallen 11% from the previous year. (Scotsman page 9, The Herald page 3, Daily Record page 2, Daily Mail page 4 and page 17, P&J page 4, Telegraph page 6)

Health
Health board resignation: Tom Divers, the chief executive of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, which is Scotland’s largest health board, has announced that he intends to leave his post next year. (The Herald page 10, Daily Mail page 22)

Local Government
Council jobs transfer: Glasgow City Council yesterday presented a business plan to transfer 8000 employees to an “arms-length” company which would be expected to come into being next April. (The Herald page 1)

Politics
George Osborne & donations: Further coverage of George Osborne’s meetings with Oleg Depripaska, a Russian tycoon. The Shadow Chancellor has denied seeking donations from the Russian. Only people registered to vote in the UK can donate to UK political parties so any attempt to seek a donation would have been illegal. (Scotsman page 7, Ross Lydall in the Scotsman. The Herald page 1 and page 6, The Guardian page 1, Daily Record page 2, Daily Mail page 1 and page 7, Daily Mail page 14, Daily Express page 2, Alice Miles in the Times, The Times page 1 and page 6, Daily Mirror page 1, P&J page 5, Telegraph page 1, Andrew Pierce in the Telegraph, FT page 2, George Parker & Ben Fenton in the FT)

Glenrothes by-election: Nicola Sturgeon was visiting the constituency yesterday promoting a campaign to provide free central heating to young families. Meanwhile Conservatives there called for a £150 council tax cut for families and the Prime Minister’s wife, Sarah Brown, will join Alex Salmond there in the campaigns for their parties later today. (The Herald page 6, The Sun page 4, Daily Express page 11, P&J page 1)