REFORM SCOTLAND NEWS: 25 NOVEMBER 2010

Reform Scotland

\r\n

Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 25 November 2010

\r\n

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.

\r\n

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

\r\n

Politics

\r\n

Parliamentary investigation: After a debate by MSPs yesterday, Finance Secretary John Swinney is reportedly to be investigated under allegations that he mislead parliament by implying that the Scottish Variable Rate (the power to raise or lower income tax by 3p in the pound) was still active. Scottish ministers had declined to pay a £7m administration fee to the Inland Revenue but had not informed the Parliament of their actions.  (Scotsman pages 1&2, Herald page 6, Times page 1&8, Telegraph page 1&4, Courier page 1&11, Press and Journal page 1&9, Record page 2, Express page 2&15, Mail page 6)

\r\n

Scotland Bill: Reform Scotland chairman Ben Thomson makes the case for an enabling bill regarding the transfer of fiscal powers to Scotland. Mr Thomson argues that an enabling bill would allow Westminster and Holyrood to move on from Calman and devolve fiscal powers at a natural rate. (Scotsman pages 34&35)

\r\n

David Cameron: Prime Minister David Cameron has claimed that his party has not been "sufficiently Scottish or pro-union" to make a comeback north of the Border. Speaking at the Press Gallery lunch in Westminster, Mr Cameron said he was "extremely disappointed" with the general election result in Scotland, where his party again only managed to return one MP, especially after the "effort" he had put in personally. But Mr Cameron added: "I have not given up on Scotland and will fight hard to win votes there." (Scotsman page 2)

\r\n

Quango expenses: Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT), a Scottish public body, has been ordered to repay the £1500 two of its bosses spent on a business trip geared towards attending the Uefa cup final in Manchester. (Scotsman page 9, Herald page 9, Times page 9)

\r\n

Terrorist threat: Authorities have announced that the explosion near Loch Lomond which had initially raised alarms last week as being potentially connected to terrorism is now being viewed as criminal and not a terrorist attack. (Scotsman page 13)

\r\n

Economy

\r\n

BAE announces job cuts: BAE Systems has announced plans to axe hundreds of jobs at two of the company\’s shipyards on the Clyde. Around 360 jobs are set to go as part of the move, which BAE claims is due to a number of projects coming to an end, such as building the Royal Navy\’s Type 45 destroyers. A 90-day consultation with unions representing staff at the two sites has been launched after the firm said it planned to cut a number of short-term, temporary posts filled by workers brought in to meet peak demand on a number of contracts.
\r\n(Scotsman
page 4)

\r\n

Justice

\r\n

Landmark ruling: Two brothers who ran up debts of almost £250,000 have won a landmark ruling against Royal Bank of Scotland after it tried to repossess their homes over an unpaid loan. Francis and John Wilson looked set to lose their houses after the Court of Session, in Edinburgh, found in RBS\’s favour. However, they appealed to the Supreme Court, the highest in the UK, and won. Eleanor Hamilton, principal solicitor at Shelter Scotland, said: "This is a highly significant judgment. It will definitely have a bearing on ongoing and future repossessions (Herald page 11, Scotsman page 7, Press and Journal page 3)

\r\n

Sheridan trial: The Sheridan perjury trial was halted yesterday when a prosecution witness refused point-blank to testify to a defence lawyer. Matthew McColl, 50, was giving evidence about a night-out in a Glasgow hotel. It is alleged to have been attended by Tommy Sheridan and his brother-in-law on the eve of the latter\’s wedding. Mr McColl confirmed he had been a wedding guest, but refused to answer when asked about the woman he went to the wedding with.  He did however state that Mr Sheridan in his “recollection” had been present at the Moat Hotel, which Mr Sheridan had denied during his defamation case in 2006. The trial continues. (Scotsman page 17, Herald page 12, Courier page 12, Press and Journal page 8, Record page 27, Express page 27, Sun page 23)

\r\n

Education

\r\n

Student protests: Yesterday saw further student protests across the UK. Students and school pupils took to the streets and occupied buildings in opposition to tuition fee increases. In London there were further arrests as some of the protesters turned violent, whilst in Edinburgh activists gathered outside the Lib Dem HQ. (Scotsman page 1,6&7, Herald page 8, Times page 4, Guardian page 1,4&5, Telegraph page 4, FT page 2, Courier page 10, Press and Journal page 5, Record page 9, Mirror page 1,4&5, Mail page 8)