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Daily Political Media Summary: 4 March 2010

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.



Energy: George Kerevan in the Scotsman comments on a major energy summit being hosted by the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce tonight.



Jon Venables: The UK Government is facing increasing calls to reveal the reasons why Jon Venables, one of the killers of 2-year-old Jamie Bulger, has been recalled to prison. (Scotsman page 8, Sun page 8, Mirror page 1, Express page 1, Mail page 6, Record page 1, Times page 3, Guardian page 1, Courier page 13, P&J page 11, Telegraph page 1, Brian Masters in the Telegraph)



Borders rail link: Work officially started on the Borders rail link yesterday.  The £300million project will now have to be completed due to a clause in the legislation which “requires works to be completed once they have commenced”. (Scotsman page 21, Herald page 4, P&J page 6, Telegraph page 8)


BA strike: BA’s Chief Executive said yesterday that the company had 1,000 volunteer staff ready to work as cabin crew in the coming weeks should the threatened strike go ahead. (Scotsman page 9, Express page 7, Mail page 10, FT page 3)


Local Government  

Steven Purcell: The former leader of Glasgow City Council, who resigned on Tuesday, yesterday checked out of the Castle Craig clinic in the Borders which specialises in alcohol and drug dependency.  It has been revealed that the original statement being drafted by Glasgow council bosses to explain Councillor Purcell’s resignation was to blame a “chemical dependence”. (Scotsman page 1, BBC, Express page 9, Record page 4, Times page 17, Courier page 6, P&J page 11, Telegraph page 14)


 A contest to replace Steven Purcell as leader in Glasgow could take place in May. (Herald page 3)


Class sizes: The Scottish Government has admitted that it will fail to legislate on a new limit on class sizes in time for this year’s school intake. (Scotsman page 17, Herald page 6)


School budgets: Former principal of George Watson’s College, Frank Gerstenberg in the Scotsman comments on the crises facing school education in Scotland.



Newborn babies: According to charity Bliss, sick newborns and expectant mothers are being transferred hundreds of miles from their homes to receive vital care due to a lack of facilities and staffing at local hospitals. (Herald page 8, Scotsman page 11, STV, Express page 16, Mail page 22, P&J page 1)


Missed appointments: An investigation by Audit Scotland has revealed that missed appointments cost the NHS £20m each year.  However the watchdog also found that some health boards were managing waiting lists by penalising patients who cannot attend hospital appointments with only one week’s notice. (Herald page 1, Express page 10, P&J page 9)


Obesity: Critics accused the Scottish Government of hypocrisy yesterday after they unveiled plans to lure tourists to Scotland with food and drink while leading a crack down on obesity and alcohol. (Express page 2, Sun page 2, Mail page 9, Record page 12)



Michael Foot: Former Labour Leader Michael Foot died yesterday at the age of 96. (Scotsman page 4, Chris McLaughlin in the Scotsman, Herald page 5, Sun page 17, Mirror page 8, Express page 25, Mail page 4, Record page 8, George Galloway in the Record, Times page 4, Roy Hattersley in the Times, Guardian page 4, Seumas Milne in the Guardian, Courier page 1, P&J page 5, Telegraph page 1, Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph, FT page 2)


STV & SNP: Ofcom is to investigate claims of a “cash-for-programmes” deal between STV and the Scottish Government after it emerged £150,000 of taxpayers’ money had been used to sponsor a series of STV programmes designed to promote the Homecoming celebrations. (Scotsman page 2, Herald page 6, Sun page 2, Express page 8, Kerry Gill in the Express, Mail page 5, Record page 2, Courier page 6, P&J page 8, Telegraph page 1)


Budget cuts: Alex Salmond has demanded that Scottish spending plans for next year be protected from further budget cuts by whoever wins the election. (Herald page 6, P&J page 13)


Lord Ashcroft: William Hague admitted yesterday that even he had not known of Lord Ashcroft’s tax status until a few months ago. (Scotsman page 10, Record page 2, Times page 9, Guardian page 1, P&J page 12, Telegraph page 2, FT page 2)


Hung parliament: The SNP is in talks to form a cross party pact with Plaid Cymru, the Ulster Unionists and the Irish nationalists to maximise their influence at Westminster in the event of a hung parliament. (Herald page 1)


Timothy Garton Ash in the Guardian argues that a hung parliament could lead to strong and reforming government


East Lothian: The East Lothian Labour Party will find out on Wednesday if they have permission to deselect sitting MP Anne Moffat. (Herald page 2, Scotsman page 14)