Reform Scotland News: 19 May 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.


In addition to the newspaper stories outlined below, further news coverage can be found online at BBC News Scotland, STV News and Sky News.



More powers for Holyrood: New powers for the Scottish Parliament, including the ability to control income tax, are to be included in the Queen’s Speech next week.  (Scotsman page 5, Tom Peterkin in the Scotsman)


Labour spending: It has emerged that civil servants came under increasing pressure from Labour ministers in the run up to the General Election to carry out expensive orders that they disagreed with and as a result submitted an unprecedented number of formal protests. (Guardian page 1, Scotsman page 9, Telegraph page 1, FT page 2)


UK democracy: Nick Clegg is today expected to lay out the coalition government’s proposals for political reform including fixed terms and a wholly or mainly elected House of Lords. (Scotsman page 6, Mail page 2, Telegraph page 1)


Nick Clegg interview: In an interview with the Times, Nick Clegg promised to introduce more fairness to the tax system rather than lower the tax burden and outlined differences with the Conservatives over ECHR.


Coalition politics: Peter Jones in the Scotsman comments that the coalition deal may help the Conservative Party shake off its “nasty” image.


Labour leadership: Ed Balls is expected to announce today that he will put himself forward as a candidate for the Labour leadership. (Scotsman page 7, Sun page 2, Guardian page 8, Mirror page 1, Record page 2, Telegraph page 9, P&J page 11, Courier page 10)


Lord Laidlaw: Irvine Laidlaw, the millionaire peer who has donated to the Scottish Conservatives, is to give up his seat in the House of Lords so he can remain a tax exile. (Scotsman page 9, Herald page 2, P&J page 5)


Bill Aitken: The Conservative list MSP for Glasgow is to stand down at the next Holyrood elections. (Herald page 6)


Scottish Conservatives: Scottish Tory MSPs have expressed anger at plans being suggested by senior party figures for list MSPs to stand down after serving two terms at Holyrood. (Times page 7, John McTernan in the Times)



Inflation: Inflation has risen to its highest level in 17 months.  The Consumer Price Index reached 3.7% in April. (Scotsman page 8, Bill Jamieson in the Scotsman, Sun page 6, Guardian page 25, Express page 2, Courier page 10, FT page 1, Daniel Pimlott in the FT)



Dungavel: The coalition government is expected to announce today that the controversial policy of locking up children at the Dungavel immigration centre will be ended immediately. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 3)


Police emergency statement: Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill will make an emergency statement at Holyrood today following complaints from Chief Constables that senior civil servants threatened that money would be withheld if forces failed to keep working towards the Scottish Government target to recruit an additional 1,000 officers. (Herald page 1, Telegraph page 6, P&J page 9)


ECHR:  An independent commission is to be set up to examine whether a British bill of rights should be introduced to supplant the European Convention on Human Rights. (Guardian page 6, Mail page 2, Telegraph page 2)


Drug ring: Seven Scots have been jailed by a court in Liverpool for a total of 106 years for their part in an international drugs conspiracy.  The drug ring linked up Europe and South America with Arbroath. (P&J page 1, Courier page 1)



University funding: James Mitchell in the Scotsman comments on the impact the review of student funding in England will have in Scotland.


Local government

Council mergers: Finance Secretary John Swinney has said that councils should merge departments with neighbouring local authorities to cut bureaucracy and make savings. (Scotsman page 4, Sun page 2, Telegraph page 14)


Children facing abuse: Local and national agencies in Scotland have admitted giving away the secret locations for nearly 100 children in hiding from abusive or neglectful parents. (Herald page 1)



A&E closure: The A&E unit at the Victoria hospital in Kirkcaldy is to shut overnight for at least a week due to staff shortages. (Scotsman page 4, Herald page 4, Record page 10, Times page 16, Courier page 1)