Reform Scotland News: 20 July 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.



Murdoch Scandal: Fresh questions about News International’s attempts to cover up the phone hacking furore emerged last night after Rupert Murdoch told MPs he was not responsible for the scandal enveloping his company. The 80-year-old founder of News Corp said he had been “betrayed” by managers at his firm’s Wapping offices, including those who told him the practice of phone hacking was the work of a “rogue reporter”.  Mr Murdoch began his evidence by saying it was “the most humble day of my life”. When asked why he had made the decision to close the News of the World after 168 years, he admitted: “We felt ashamed at what happened. We had broken our trust with our readers.”  (Daily Express page 1, Times page 1, Guardian page 1, Scotsman page 1, Herald page 1, Daily Telegraph page 1)


Whistleblower death: Police last night said there was no evidence that another person was involved in the death of former News of the World reporter and phone hacking whistleblower, Sean Hoare. (Times page 10, Scotsman page 11, Courier page 6, Press and Journal page 5, Guardian page 5, Herald page 3)


Shared Armed Forces: Defence Secretary Liam Fox has warned there could be no guarantees about the size of a UK “military footprint” in Scotland if there was a yes vote in the referendum on independence planned by Alex Salmond’s Government. Mr. Fox, visiting RAF Lossiemouth in Moray the day after he announced it was to survive the threat of closure, claimed Scotland had won “handsomely” in the strategic defence review. (Times page 12, Herald page 6, Daily Telegraph page 11, Scotsman page 15)


Gagging Order: The Scottish oil company which was the target of a protest by environmental activists over its oil drilling operations in the Arctic has been accused of using a court order to gag them from divulging details of its emergency spill plans.  More than 60 Greenpeace members dressed as polar bears occupied Cairn Energy’s Edinburgh headquarters on Monday in what they claimed was a search for the company’s missing documents setting out its response to any oil spill in the Arctic region. (Scotsman page 2, Herald page 4)


Tommy Sheridan: Former MSP Tommy Sheridan has seen his week-long home leave from jail reduced to just three days by prison authorities, it emerged yesterday.  The news came on the day the convicted perjurer was released from Castle Huntly open prison to begin what should have been the first in a series of seven-day breaks from his three-year sentence. However, prison officials have cut short the former Scottish Socialist Party leader’s time at home with wife Gail and six-year-old daughter Gabrielle. It comes amid claims that Sheridan was being “singled out and victimised” after the initial decision to grant him a week’s leave was made public. (Scotsman page 3, Herald page 5, Courier page 10, Daily Telegraph page 10)



Increase in Debt: One in every four calls made to Citizens Advice Bureaux (CAB) last year were from people in Scotland worried about their debt, the charity has revealed. Citizens Advice Scotland said it dealt with 132,000 debt cases last year. This accounts for a quarter of all debt enquiries handled by the entire organisation across the UK. The figures come on the back of a report by insolvency professionals R3 which suggested that a higher proportion of people in Scotland may be more reliant on credit cards, overdrafts and payday loans than people in Britain as a whole. (Courier page 3, Herald page 9, Daily Mail page 17, Scotsman page 21)



Airport: The owner of Glasgow and Edinburgh airports has been ordered to sell one of them in less than two years in order to offer passengers greater competition. More than two years after its original order to break up the BAA airport group, the Competition Commission (CC) stuck to its guns yesterday by insisting the company sell Stansted followed by either Scottish airport, saying airlines and passengers would benefit.  Aviation analysts said Glasgow, which was overtaken by its rival in 2007 and now has nearly two million fewer passengers a year, is more likely to be sold than Edinburgh – and for an estimated price of nearly £1 billion. (Herald page 6, Guardian page 13, Scotsman page 13)