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Daily Political Media Summary: Wednesday 20 May 2009

All newspaper references refer to Scottish editions.

 Economy

Job losses: Lloyds Banking Group announced yesterday its plan to cut 300 jobs in Scotland, sparking comment that these changes will transfer even more decision making powers within the company from Edinburgh down to group headquarters in London. (The Herald page 1, The P & J page 5, Daily Mail page 4, The Scotsman page 11, Daily Record page 2)

 Holiday homes: The Scottish Government are to impose fines of up to £5,000 per year on anyone who builds a home on former croft land and uses it only as a holiday home.  (The Herald page 7)

 Crime

Lockerbie bomber appeal: The Libyan man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing is waiting to hear the result of an appeal hearing to decide whether Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi, who is suffering from terminal prostate cancer, will have this conviction overturned.  The Libyan Government, however, has asked for al Megrahi to finish his sentence in a Libyan prison, but this would involve ending his attempt at clearing his name. (The Herald page 2, The Sun page 2, The Scotsman page 14)

 Restaurant Murder: Sentencing took place yesterday in Glasgow’s High Court of the killer of Eleni Pachou, who was murdered following her shift at a restaurant in the west end of the city.  Juan Carlos Crispin was found unanimously guilty and sentenced to a minimum of twenty years. (The Herald page 1, Daily Mirror page 13, The Sun page 1, Daily Express page 6, The Times page 19, The Courier and Advertiser page 6, The P & J page 5, Daily Mail page 8, The Scotsman pages 8-9, Daily Record page 1)

 Prison system ‘rethink’:  Roxburghshire and Berwickshire Conservative MSP, John Lamont, yesterday demanded an urgent review of open prisons after prisoner Brian Martin escaped from a facility in Dundee. (The P & J page 1)

 Transport  

Ferry link reopened: A Rosyth ferry link to Zeebrugge yesterday marked the reopening of Scotland’s ferry link with Europe after a year of closure. (The Herald page 13, Daily Express page 9, The Times page 14, The Courier and Advertiser page 1, The Scotsman page 21, Daily Record page 15)

 Health

Cancer target met: A national target for cancer waiting times has been met for the first time since being set eight years ago with 95.4% of patients being treated within 62 days. (The Herald page 7, Daily Express page 10, The Times page 14, The Courier and Advertiser page 7, The P & J page 3, The Scotsman page 16)

 Funding  cuts: Following figures collected from the first national patient access survey, the British Medical Association (BMA) has warned that GP surgeries not reaching set targets may receive cuts to funding. (The Herald page 7, The Scotsman page 11)

 Education

Extra pupil support: Campaigners are trying to persuade the Scottish Government to give greater support to school pupils who are particularly vulnerable by giving them an automatic legal right to be assessed for additional classroom support. (The Herald page 12)

 Politics

Speaker resignation: Yesterday saw the historic resignation of Commons Speaker and Glasgow North-East MP, Michael Martin, following criticism of his role in the scandal surrounding MPs’ expenses.  David Cameron, leader of the opposition, said that the Speaker had lost the confidence of the House and that it now needed not just a new Speaker, but a new parliament and called for a General Election.  However, claims that Michael Martin has been “scapegoated” have arisen from some Labour MPs. (The Herald page 1, page 4 & page 5, Daily Mirror page 1, page 4 & page 5, The Guardian page 1, page 2 & page 3, Vernon Bognador in The Guardian, The Sun page 1, Daily Express page 1, The Times page 1, The Courier and Advertiser page 1, The P & J page 1, The Daily Telegraph page 1, Daily Mail page 1, The Scotsman page 1 – page 7, Daily Record page 1, FT page 1 & page 2)