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REFORM SCOTLAND NEWS: 1 JUNE 2010

Reform Scotland

Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 1 June 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. 

Politics

MP Expenses: David Laws has resigned as Chief Secretary to the Treasury after his personal life and expenses came under scrutiny. He has been replaced by former Scottish Secretary Danny Alexander. Danny Alexander has since been accused of avoiding the payment of capital gains tax on his second home, but maintains that he paid all due taxes and acted within the Commons’ expenses guidelines. Allan Massie in the Scotsman questions Danny Alexander’s actions arguing that while legal they may not have been ethical. Lesley Riddoch in the Scotsman on Monday argues Mr Laws’ swift resignation has been well received and may see him back in government soon. Matthew Parris writes in the Times on Monday that it was the media that conspired to bring about the resignation. (Scotsman page 2, Herald page 6 (and page 6 Monday), Daily Telegraph page 4, Financial Times page 2, Daily Mail page 1, Scotland on Sunday page 1 and 13 

Civil Servant Pay:  Top Scottish civil servants are among the list of 172 civil servants earning more than £150,000. Sir John Elvidge, the Scottish Government’s permanent secretary and Dr Kevin Woods, chief executive of NHS Scotland earn between £160,000 and £164,999. The list was published by the Prime Minster in an effort to lift the ‘cloak of secrecy’ from government and reassure markets after the resignation of David Laws. (Scotsman page 2, Herald page 6, Daily Telegraph page 1, Courier page 11, Times page 12, Guardian page 1, Financial Times page 2, Daily Mail page 13) 

New Scottish Secretary:  The new Scottish Secretary Michael Moore has held talks with key Holyrood politicians he will be dealing with in his new post and plans to have a formal meeting with the First Minister in the near future. Mr Moore has already called for ‘Calman Plus’ a vision of devolution that is closer to the SNP’s preference for full fiscal autonomy. (Herald page 6) 

Holyrood Elections:  Scottish Labour leader Iain Gray could face a challenge for his Holyrood seat from SNP MEP Alyn Smith. (Herald page 6 Monday) 

Scottish Conservatives: The Scottish Tories are expected to announce the most far-reaching review ever conducted of the party. Brian Monteith writes in the Scotsman that the Scottish Conservatives suffer marketing problems and that they need new faces in order to reinvigorate the Tory brand north of the Border. Allan Massie writes in the Daily Mail on Monday that reform of the party’s structure will not be sufficient, the Scottish Tories must also assert social values and match their words with actions. (Sunday Herald page 4) 

Fred Goodwin:  Politicians have criticised a meeting between Sir Fred Goodwin, former chief executive of the Royal Bank of Scotland, and the Duke of York, arguing the disgraced former RBS chief should not have such a high-profile role, or be using his former contacts in his role as a consultant for a firm of architects. His new employer RMJM is fighting to build a controversial skyscraper in St Petersburg. (Scotsman page 7, Herald page 3) 

Peerages:  One of the Conservative’s biggest donors, Sir Anthony Bamford, has been blocked from becoming a peer over concerns about his tax affairs. (Sunday Times page 1) 

Economy

Employment:  A study by employment firm Reed has shown that job vacancies rose by 1 per cent in May but wages fell 3 per cent. (Scotsman page 23)  

Scottish Engineering:  Engineering manufacturers in Scotland have registered their best quarter in three years, illustrating a continued drive out of recession for the sector. (Herald page 24) 

Bank of England:  Britain has unexpectedly become a safe haven destination for traders pulling out of European investments and into UK government debt, leading to £8 billion net profit from the Bank of England’s quantitative easing fund. (Daily Telegraph page B1) 

Crime

Crimes in Hospitals:  Patient groups are calling for greater security in hospitals and GP practices after figures showed 4,500 crimes, including muggings, theft and sexual assaults, were committed in Scottish medical institutions last year. (Herald page 10, Daily Telegraph page 8, Daily Express page 1) 

Knife Crime: Tougher action against knife possession has been called for after figures revealed more than 400 hospital beds in Lanarkshire were taken up by victims of knife crime last year, in addition to 2,200 in Greater Glasgow and Clyde, 180 in Ayrshire and Arran and ten in the Borders. (Scotsman page 11) 

Local Government

Strikes: Museum and library workers in Glasgow staged their fourth strike day in a month over pay and conditions. (Scotsman page 8, Herald page 10) 

Trump Development: A complaint has been lodged against six of Donald Trump’s security guards by a female horse rider who claims she was subjected to a ‘terrifying ordeal’ and was ‘detained against her will’ whilst riding on the dunes of Mr Trump’s estate. (Scotsman page 8, Courier page 3) 

Transport

BA Strikes: Fresh talks between British Airways and Unite will be held today as cabin crew plan to strike for a third day. Joint leader of Unite Tony Woodley has said a ballot for new strikes could be just a week away and could lead to flight disruption into July. (Scotsman page 8, Herald page 9, Daily Telegraph page 1, Courier page 10, Guardian page 10, Financial Times page 1)  

Health

Blood Donors: The family of a girl with leukaemia have urged people to give blood after warnings that blood donations could drop below the total 5,000 a week needed in Scotland due to people being busy over the summer and during the World Cup. (Scotsman page 22, Herald page 2, Courier page 6) 

Health Agency:  Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon has been called in to help resolve the dispute over a £1 billion frontline health care and social work agency in Glasgow amid claims that the health board rejected an offer by its former chairman to find a way forward. (Herald page 2) 

Prostate Cancer:  New research has shown that three in five men in Glasgow underestimate the number of deaths from prostate cancer each year, leaving them ignorant of the consequences of failing to get regular checks. (Herald page 5) 

Cancer Care: British scientists have developed a new blood test that can detect cancer before it grows, allowing doctors to intervene at the earliest moment when solid cancer appears. Scientists have also developed a vaccine that could one day ‘eliminate’ breast cancer. The initial trials of the jab have had a 100 per cent success rate in lab trials on mice. (Times page 3, Daily Express page 1, Daily Mail page 1, Daily Telegraph page 1 Monday) 

Drug Charity: The Scottish Drug Recovery Consortium will be launched by Community Safety Minister Fergus Ewing today to deliver the national drugs strategy ‘The Road to Recovery’. (Herald page 6, Courier page 6) 

Dementia:  Scotland’s first national eight-point dementia strategy will be launched today to end patients being left in uncertainty after diagnosis and cut the estimated £1.7 billion annual cost of dementia to the Scottish economy. (Herald page 8) 

Education

Dyslexia: Teachers in Scotland will get an online ‘toolkit’ to help identify signs of dyslexia. From August, teachers will be responsible for literacy regardless of their subject and a key target is to spot problems early so that children are not disadvantaged educationally. (Scotsman page 23, Herald page 7, Courier page 6) 

Community Schools: The leader of East Lothian Council Dave Berry has said that parents and teachers are not yet fully committed to radical plans for community schools in his council area. (Scotsman page 17 Monday)