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REFORM SCOTLAND NEWS: 7 MAY 2010

Reform Scotland

Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 7 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. 

General Election

Hung Parliament: David Cameron and the Conservatives emerged as the largest party following the UK General Election, but were short of an overall majority.  Gordon Brown has stated that Labour will try to maintain power by seeking a coalition. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 1,Times page 1, Telegraph page 1, FT page 1, Guardian page 1, Simon Jenkins in Guardian page 16, Press and Journal page 1, Courier page 1, Daily Mirror page 1, Daily Record page 1, Daily Mail page 1, Daily Express page 1, The Sun page 1, STV, BBC)

Labour in Scotland: The Tories have failed to make a much-needed election breakthrough in Scotland, as the Labour Party\’s vote held up north of the border. Labour won 41 out of 58 seats, while the Tories ended up with just one MP, David Mundell.  Elsewhere, the SNP failed to reach its 20-seat target, while the Lib Dems also fell short in key target seats. (Scotsman page 7, Herald page 1, BBC, STV) 

Voter Turnout: Voter turnout in this year’s General Election rose substantially, with turnout in some parts of Scotland as high as 77%. (Herald page 2) 

Voting Chaos:  Thousands of people were deprived of the right to vote last night as polling stations were unable to cope with demand. The widespread failures to deal with high voter turnout may lead to re-runs in the next few weeks, which could be critical to the overall outcome.  The Electoral Commission said it would be conducting a “thorough review” to determine what went wrong. (Scotsman page 6, Herald page 2,Times page 2, Guardian page 5, Daily Mail page 4, STV) 

Nick Griffin: British National Party leader Nick Griffin was told to "pack your bags and go" after he was soundly defeated in his bid to become an MP. Labour veteran Margaret Hodge was today victorious in her battle with Mr Griffin for the east London seat of Barking. (Sun page 2) 

Economy

Economic Consequences of Election: Wall Street suffered one of its worst falls in a single trading session yesterday amid mounting concerns that the sovereign debt crisis in the eurozone will spread beyond Greece. In one of the most action-packed sessions in memory, the Dow Jones industrial average fell by 500 points in a matter of seconds.  

London’s leading share index fell to its lowest level since February this morning, as sterling sank against the dollar and the euro after incoming results of the general election indicated that no party would gain an overall majority.

Consumer caution in the run-up to the election in addition to the disruption caused by the volcanic ash has caused a slowdown in Britain’s service sector, which accounts for some 70 per cent of total UK economic output. (Scotsman page 2, Herald page 34,Times page 3, Telegraph page 1, page B3, FT page 1, Guardian page 10, 11, Daily Mail page 2, Daily Express page 2, Sun page 2) 

Executive Pay at Lloyds: Sir Win Bischoff, chairman of Lloyds Banking Group, faced shareholder outrage over the bank\’s position on pay and bonuses. Shareholders were particularly indignant that some executives received millions of pounds in bonuses despite a £6.3 billion loss last year. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 36) 

Crime

Highland Child Abuse Inquiry:  One of the largest child abuse inquiries in recent years is being conducted in the Muir of Ord area of the Highlands. (Herald page 11) 

Transport 

Volcanic Ash: Travellers once again flew from Scotland\’s airports yesterday after the latest disruption caused by volcanic ash eased. However, forecasters have warned that further disruption could hit air traffic next week. (Scotsman page 23) 

BA strikes: British Airways cabin crew are poised for prolonged strike action as the Unite union is expected to announce today that its members have rejected a peace offer from the airline. Strained relations deteriorated yesterday when the airline sacked a union official who had been involved in the dispute, which is over changes to working practices and job cuts. (Times page 14, Telegraph page 6, Guardian page 17, Press and Journal page 8, Courier page 17) 

Health

Cuts in NHS: The NHS in Scotland aims to slash spending by more than £270 million by cutting jobs and investment in mental health services as well as redrawing plans for community hospitals. (Herald page 15) 

Education

Curriculum for Excellence: The Inspectorate has delivered a disturbing verdict on progress towards Curriculum for Excellence, highlighting a lack of readiness in some secondary schools even to prepare the new S1 intake for the new qualifications in 2013-14. Members of the Scottish Secondary Teachers\’ Association are to consider voting on industrial action due to concern that the curriculum is being introduced prematurely. (Scotsman page 17,TESS page 3) 

Politics

Trained ministers: Inexperienced politicians need to be given more training before they take up jobs as ministers, according to the Institute for Government. The think tank said it was ‘remarkable’ that politicians were ‘catapulted into extremely senior roles and responsibilities overnight, yet receive almost not personal support or development.’ (Telegraph page 4)