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Daily Political Media Summary: 22 May 2009

Reform Scotland

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Daily Political Media Summary: 22 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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RBS:  One of Scotland’s most respected businessmen, Sir Sandy Crombie, will today be appointed to police the activities of Royal Bank of Scotland as the company seeks to distance itself further from the troubled Goodwin era. (Scotsman page 1, Telegraph page 1)

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 Job losses: A fresh wave of job losses hit banking, defence and the media yesterday, with warnings of further cuts to come. Lloyds announced that 210 jobs would be cut by January 2010, adding to the 625 already disclosed on Tuesday. (Scotsman page 4, Press and Journal page 11)

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 Economic stability: Britain’s economic stability has come under the gravest scrutiny yet again after the UK Government’s debt was placed under official review by the world’s leading ratings agency for the first time in more than three decades. Standard & Poors announced that it had put Britain’s AAA rating on to ‘outlook negative’. The decision comes only a day after the International Monetary Fund warned that the Treasury needs to cut debt faster than promised in the Budget. (Telegraph Business p1, FT page 1, Guardian page 29, Press and Journal page 11)

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 Education

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University language classes: Funding cuts to the languages department at one of Scotland’s most prestigious universities could hit student learning and jobs. Edinburgh University is blaming the need to slash £200,000 from the faculty’s annual budget on a smaller funding allocation from the Government this year. (Scotsman page 8)

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 Curriculum for Excellence: The planned changes in the curriculum and qualifications are unlikely to do anything to resolve social inequalities in schools according to Linda Croxford of Edinburgh University Centre for Educational Sociology. (TESS page 5)

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 Politics

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Vote of no confidence: Alex Salmond has threatened to resign, along with the rest of his Government, if opposition parties go ahead with an unprecedented vote of no confidence in his justice secretary Kenny MacAskill. Last night the ministerial career of Mr MacAskill was in jeopardy after a furore over the escape of a prisoner once dubbed ‘the most dangerous man in Britain’. (Scotsman page 2, Herald page 2, Times page 5, Magnus Linklater, Press and Journal page 1)

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 Cabinet Meeting: A cloud last night hung over the attempt to heal the rift which has seriously damaged relations between the Scottish and UK Governments. The Scottish Government said Scottish Secretary Jim Murphy will be making a presentation at the next Cabinet meeting, while the UK Government said he will be attending the full Cabinet meeting, which Alex Salmond has denied. (Press and Journal page 8, Scotsman page 21)

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 Expenses: Two UK Cabinet ministers yesterday escaped the threat of losing their jobs when Gordon Brown dismissed claims they had dodged capital gains tax. (Scotsman page 6, Herald page 1, Guardian page 6)

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 By-election: Cross border splits appear to be emerging in the Labour Party about the timing of a by-election in Glasgow North East following the resignation of Michael Martin as Speaker of the House of Commons and local MP. (Herald page 6, Times page 5)

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 MP resignations: MPs caught up in the expenses scandal sought yesterday to blame their constituents for forcing them to quit Parliament. Ben Chapman, Labour MP and Anthony Steen, a Conservative, said that they will stand down at the next election, while maintaining that they had done nothing wrong. (Times page 1, Guardian page 7)

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