Reform Scotland News: 18 May 2011


All newspaper references refer to Scottish editions. Where there is a link to a newspaper’s website, the relevant page reference is highlighted 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.



New Scottish Lib Dem leader: Mid Scotland and Fife MSP Willie Rennie has become the new leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats.  Willie Rennie has declared himself “anti-Tory”, though defended the coalition at Westminster for “stopping the worst” Tory policies. (Scotsman page 16, Sam Ghibaldan in the Scotsman, Herald page 6, Times page 13, Sun page 2, Mail page 4, Express page 10, Record page 2, Telegraph page 8, P&J page 8, Courier page 3)


House of Lords: Nick Clegg has outlined plans to reform the House of Lords.  Proposals  include electing 80 per cent of the Lords for terms of 15 years and cutting the number of peers to 300. (Scotsman page 1, Alan Trench in the Scotsman, Herald page 2, Ruth Wishart in the Herald, Mail page 8, Record page 2, Guardian page 1, Ft page 2, Telegraph page 8, Peter Hennessy in the Telegraph, P&J page 8, Courier page 10)


Foreign aid row: David Cameron has insisted that the coalition government will not retreat on a promise to increase aid to the poorest countries despite recent revelations that the Defence Secretary Liam Fox was against enshrining the pledge in legislation. (Scotsman page 7, Times page 1, Mail page 12, Ian Birrell in the Mail, Express page 7, Patrick O’Flynn in the Express, Telegraph page 2)


Scottish Labour Party: Ross Martin in the Scotsman comments on how the Scottish Labour Party should reform itself.


Independence: John McTernan in the Scotsman and Magnus Linklater in the Times comment on the recent ‘independence-lite’ option outlined by the SNP


First Minister: Alex Salmond is expected to be re-elected unopposed as Scotland’s First Minister today. (Herald page 2, P&J page 8)


Chris Hune: Comment and speculation over allegations that the Energy Secretary asked his wife to take the blame for speeding offences eight years ago. (Mail page 4, Mirror page 14, Telegraph page 1)


Tricia Marwick: The Scottish Parliament’s new Presiding Officer, Tricia Marwick, is interviewed in the Courier.



Inflation: Increases in petrol prices, air fares and taxes on alcohol have reportedly contributed towards increasing inflation.  The Consumer Price Index reached a 31 month high in April at 4.5 per cent, but is expected to reach 5 per cent by the end of the year. (Scotsman page 6, Sun page 2, Mirror page 6, Record page 2, Guardian page 2, Ft page 4, P&J page 13, Courier page 1)


Green jobs: According to Scottish Enterprise, more than 5,000 green energy jobs could be created in Scotland through the construction and operation of three Scottish carbon capture and storage projects. (Scotsman page 10, Sun page 2, P&J page 3)


Gordon Brown and the IMF: Daniel Finkelstein in the Times comments that Gordon Brown would be the wrong person to take over as the next head of the IMF.


Taxing oil flights:  Business leaders and politicians have criticised the Chancellor over his proposals to tax oil and gas companies nearly £200 for every worker they fly offshore. (P&J page 1)


Local Government

Glasgow council election: Alex Salmond yesterday criticised Glasgow City Council for demolishing a council care centre to make way for Commonwealth Games developments.  Many have interpreted the First Minister’s intervention in a council matter as a signal that the SNP are hoping to take control of the council from Labour at next year’s local government elections. (Herald page 1)



Slopping out: New figures, published under Freedom of Information, have revealed that Scottish prisoners have been paid almost £8million over the past three years in compensation for the “indignity” of slopping out. (Scotsman page 21, Herald page 11, Times page 14)


Children’s DNA: DNA profiles of Scottish children as young as nine are reportedly being stored by the police even though many of them have not committed crimes. (Mail page 1)



Denied treatment: A patient denied a drug for his rare blood disorder by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has died. (Herald page 3)


30-month check-up: Toddlers are to be given check-ups before the age of three to ensure they are getting ready to learn. (Herald page 9)