Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 26 August 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.
Nick Clegg: Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg was attacked by an egg shell that had been injected with blue ink by a protestor in Glasgow last night, while he was in the city to meet grassroots party members. The man who carried out the attack is thought to be a disgruntled former party member and was arrested by police. Mr Clegg claimed that the incident was “no big deal”. (Scotsman page 1, The Herald page 9, Guardian page 1, P&J page 12, Scottish Daily Mail page 5, Courier page 1, Daily Express page 2, Sun page 1, Daily Record page 1, Daily Mirror page 4)
Lockerbie bomber: It has been claimed that the Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi has fled Tripoli, after rebel troops made a sudden advance on the Libyan capital. Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said attempts were being made to contact rebel leaders in Libya to determine Megrahi’s whereabouts and ensure that he was still available for monitoring under the terms of his release. (The Herald page 1, The Times page 1, Daily Telegraph page 6, P&J page 5)
Quango chief: A senior executive at Scottish Enterprise received more than £56,000 of taxpayers’ money to relocate from Paris to Scotland. Anne MacColl was given the cash to help her family move to Scotland when she was promoted to chief executive of Scottish Development International, the arm of the quango that builds overseas trade. Critics described the payment which came to light with the publication of the body’s annual accounts as “extraordinary”. (Scotsman page 1, P&J page 5, Scottish Daily Mail page 18)
Bill Jamieson provides analysis in the Scotsman (page 16) on Scottish Enterprise and their ability to help the economy.
Leader row: Former First Minister Henry McLeish has said the new leader of the Labour Party must be a MSP. Mr McLeish said the party faced a huge challenge in filling the vacancy, but he warned that selecting a candidate from outside Holyrood would be a “sad indictment of how we failed to take devolution and the importance of the Scottish Parliament as seriously as we should”. Mr McLeish entered the debate after Glasgow South MP Tom Harris declared he would be interested in the job if rules were changed to allow MPs to stand. (The Herald page 1)
Migration: A surge in the number of Polish, Indian and German nationals settling in Scotland has led to the number of foreign residents almost doubling in recent years. Most have settled in the big cities of Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee according to new figures released yesterday. The trend has been welcomed by the Scottish Government which says that immigration bring economic benefits, while the Tories say only a “small number” of exceptional people should be settling in the country. (Scotsman page 13, The Herald page 8, Guardian page 20, Scottish Daily Mail page 2, Financial Times page 3, Daily Express page 1)
Tram line: Edinburgh’s tram project has been plunged into fresh disarray after councillors voted to halt the first phase of the scheme on the edge of the city centre. Labour and Tory councillors banded together to press ahead with a scheme from Edinburgh Airport to Haymarket. The Liberal Democrats, the biggest party on the council, could only muster support from three Greens for their preferred option of a tram line running to York Place, with a final stop at St Andrew Square. Councillor leader Jenny Dawe said Labour and the Tories has effectively “torn up” the current contract to build the tram network and described the decision to opt for Haymarket as a “devastating” blow for the city. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 1, page 17, P&J page 12, Scottish Daily Mail page 5, Courier page 10, Daily Telegraph page 1, The Times page 1, Daily Express page 2, Sun page 4, Daily Record page 1
Alastair Dalton in the Scotsman (page 6&7) tracks the downfall of the Edinburgh tram project. Damien Henderson in the Herald (page 6) provides analysis on the situation. Lindsay McIntosh provides commentary on how Edinburgh Councillors have failed the people of Edinburgh in the Times (page 3)
Scottish Studies: Michael Fry writes in the Scotsman (page 34-35) about introducing Scottish Studies into schools.
Nurofen Plus: Regulators launched a safety alert last night after warning that thousands of packets of over-the-counter painkiller Nurofen Plus could have been filled with an anti-psychotic drug. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) issued its alert after reports that some batches of Nurofen Plus contained individual blister packs of another drug (Guardian page 1, P&J page 10, Scottish Daily Mail page 1, Daily Telegraph page 2, The Times page 17, Daily Express page 5, Daily Record page 1, Daily Mirror page 1)
Obesity epidemic: The number of obese people living in the UK could almost double in the next 20 years if current trends continue. A study published in the medical journal The Lancet, predicts the current obese population could increase from 15 million to 26 million in 2030, dramatically increasing costs to the health service. (Scotsman page 20, P&J page 8, Scottish Daily Mail page 4, Daily Express page 21)