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Daily Political Media Summary: 14 May 2009

Reform Scotland

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Daily Political Media Summary: 14 May 2009

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All newspaper references refer to Scottish editions. Where there is a link to a newspaper’s website, the relevant page reference is blue and underlined.

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 Economy

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Recession: Britain’s recession will be deeper and longer than previously forecast, the Bank of England has warned. The economy will shrink by 4.5 percent on year at its lowest point, while inflation will slow to about 0.4 percent and is tipped to remain below its 2 percent target in 2010. (Scotsman page 8, FT page 1, Press and Journal page 11)

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 Crime

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Alcohol: A major investment in services to tackle alcohol misuse in Scotland was revealed yesterday. Public Health Minister Shona Robison said £36million would be spent by health boards in 2009-10 on tackling alcohol abuse. (Scotsman page 9, Press and Journal page 9, Courier page 3)

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 Knife Crime: Scottish Tory leader Annabel Goldie is to raise the stakes in the debate on tackling knife crime when she addresses her party conference in Perth today. She is expected to call for a mandatory two year minimum sentence for people caught carrying knives on Scotland’s streets in a bid to reduce the spiralling number of incidents involving the weapons. (Scotsman page 14, Press and Journal page 11)

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 Health

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Superbug Outbreak: A Scottish health board was accused last night of covering up an outbreak of a potentially fatal hospital superbug that has been linked to the deaths of two patients. (Scotsman page 2)

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 Swine Flu: A nursery was closed yesterday as health officials investigated a new probable case of swine flu in one of its children. (Scotsman page 6, Herald page 1)

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 Education

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Free school dinners: An additional 44,000 children will be eligible for free schools meals from August, the Scottish Government announced yesterday. (Herald page 4, Press and Journal page 9)

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 Politics

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Expenses: A former Labour minister was last night accused of the most serious abuse of MP’s expenses to date when it emerged that he claimed almost £16,000 for a non-existent mortgage. Elliot Morley claimed £800 a month in mortgage interest repayments for 18 months after paying off the original loan. Further coverage on the expenses scandal continues. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 1, page 6, Times page 6, Telegraph page 1, Guardian page 6, FT page 2, Press and Journal page 1)

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 Audit: The SNP will not hand back any expenses until an independent audit has concluded on what should be disallowed. The party’s stance comes amid revelations that its Westminster leader, Angus Robertson, had claimed £400 for a home cinema system. (Scotsman page 4, Times page 7, Telegraph page 14)

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 Commons Speaker: Pressure was building on Michael Martin yesterday as MPs were warned not to knife the Commons Speaker in the back but to ‘be straightforward and prepared to take the consequences”. (Scotsman page 5, George Kerevan , Herald page 6, Telegraph page 4, Guardian page 1)

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 Conservative Party Conference: Annabel Goldie, the Scottish Conservative leader, will today plead with the Scots not to judge the party on the past but the present. The Tory leader’s aides denied that Miss Goldie’s appeal was aimed at distancing the party in Scotland from Margaret Thatcher. (Times page 16, Telegraph page 14)

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 MEP elections: The fight for the six Scottish seats in the European Parliament got serious yesterday when the SNP launched its campaign. First Minister Alex Salmond claimed his party was the only one that could provide a strong voice in Europe for new energy and fishery policies. (Scotsman page 14, Press and Journal page 8)