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Daily Political Media Summary: 5 June 2009

Reform Scotland

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Daily Political Media Summary: 5 June 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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Edinburgh Property: An influential group of lawyers has called on the management of Edinburgh Solicitors’ Property Centre to quit after questions were raised about the body’s financial position. The ESPC has had to ask member firms for funds to fight the effects of a slump in house sales. (Scotsman page 11)

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Transport 

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High Speed Rail: High speed rail links can reduce the number of flights in Scotland’s main airports by a third. A conference discussing high-speed rail is to take place next week, which will be addressed by Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson. (Courier page 12)

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Health

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Swine Flu: Swine flu is growing faster in Scotland than anywhere else in the UK with 31 new confirmed cases yesterday, including a 23 month old toddler. This has prompted a dramatic shift in Scottish testing policy, leading to increased testing in Scottish “hot spots” – areas with clusters of cases. (Scotsman page 2, Herald page 7, Daily Telegraph page 8, Press and Journal page 9, Courier page 1)

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Education

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Colleges: More than 3,100 extra college places are to be created after it emerged that record numbers of applicants were to face rejection letters this year. The number of students seeking further education in Scotland is already up 30 per cent in the past year due to the recession. (Scotsman page 9, Press and Journal page 15, Herald online)

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Drop-outs: Students in Scotland are still more likely to drop out of University than their counterparts in the rest of the UK. Scotland has reported that 10.9 per cent of students do not go on to a second year, above the UK average of 9 per cent. (Herald page 10, Scotsman page 9)

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Politics

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James Purnell resignation: Work and Pensions Secretary James Purnell resigned yesterday evening and wrote a letter calling for Gordon Brown to step down from office in order to give Labour “a fighting chance” to win. He has made it clear that he is not seeking the leadership himself. Tory leader David Cameron has called for a general election. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 1, Guardian page 1, Times page 1, Press and Journal page 1, Courier page 1, Daily Mail page 1, Daily Express page 1, Daily Telegraph online)

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European elections: Labour is expected to suffer when the results from the European election are announced. In Scotland it is speculated that they will be overtaken by the SNP and that they could lose 10 more seats in the rest of Britain. Polling stations were unusually quiet yesterday as few people appeared to be turning out to vote in the European Parliament elections. (Scotsman page 5, Herald page 6, Daily Telegraph page 13, Press and Journal page 5, Courier page 4)

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Cabinet reshuffle: Chancellor Alistair Darling has become a pivotal figure in Gordon Brown’s reshuffle, which is expected to take place today, in which he is reportedly considering replacing Alistair Darling with Ed Balls, a former Treasury advisor. (Daily Telegraph page 4, Guardian page 7, Scotsman online)

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Child abuse: The time bar that prevents many alleged victims of historic child abuse in Scotland from seeking justice in the courts is to be challenged by a Holyrood human rights group. The move could allow historic cases of child abuse to be heard in court. (Scotsman page 14, Herald page 14)