Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 14 October 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.
Scotland’s Economic Future: In the fourth part of The Scotsman’s serialisation of ‘Scotland’s Economic Future’, to be published by Reform Scotland, Ben Thomson discusses the issue of a Scottish Exchequer, while Keith Skeoch looks at the Scottish financial services sector.
Pension changes: The UK government has reportedly made a U-turn on pensions which will benefit 245,000 women. The planned rise in the pension age to 66 is to be put back 6 months although reportedly many women will still lose out. (Herald page 1, Scotsman page 6, Mail page 1)
Liam Fox: There is ongoing coverage of the Defence Secretary’s links to Adam Werritty, with Labour increasing the pressure on Liam Fox after it was revealed Tory peer Lord Astor met with Mr Werritty, who is being asked to explain their meeting. Dr Fox has reportedly been accused of setting up a private investment firm which would have operated in Sri Lanka with Mr Werritty as his prime contact, an arrangement which may have gone against government policy, while an undeclared $500 a head dinner party has also raised questions. (Herald page 6, Guardian page 1, Courier page 8, Press and Journal page 13, Telegraph page 1, Times page 1, FT page 1, Record page 2)
Emergency budget: Ed Miliband has called for an emergency budget to stimulate the UK economy, attacking the coalition for inactivity. With unemployment at 2.57 million, Mr Miliband’s proposals run against the coalition’s plans for a pre-Budget report at the end of November (Courier page 12, Herald page 10, Press and Journal page 13)
Labour in Scotland: MP Douglas Alexander has warned that to compete with the SNP, Labour must make a concerted effort in Scotland to reconnect rather than “opposition for its own sake,” after Labour lost previously safe seats to the SNP.(Courier page 11, Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph page 14, Alison Rowat discusses Labour’s position in Scotland in the Herald page 15, Lorraine Davidson in the Times page 13)
Scottish Conservative leadership: Ruth Davidson, a candidate for the Scottish Conservative leadership, has put emphasis on the Highlands and islands in her bid to win leadership. (Press and Journal page 13)
Oliver Letwin: Cabinet Officer Minister Oliver Letwin has reportedly been photographed disposing of sensitive papers in park bins near Downing Street. (Mirror page 1)
North Sea oil: A BP investment of £4.5 billion has extended the life of North Sea oil an extra 40 years, an investment that should see 3,000 UK oil and gas supply jobs at the project’s peak. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 4, Express page 14, Courier page 10, Telegraph page 1, Times page 3, Press and Journal page 1, Mail page 10)
Edinburgh Woollen Mill: A BBC Newsnight investigation found that North Korean workers in a Mongolian factory were in fact making garments for the Edinburgh Woollen Mill chain. (Telegraph page 1)
Radiation leak: Public access to Dalgety Bay is being denied after the Scottish Environment Protection Agency found radioactive contamination 10 times higher than any previous recording. (Courier page 1)
University fees: Professor John Holmwood of Nottingham University has suggested the fee rise to £36,000 for students from the rest of the UK at universities such as St. Andrews and the University of Edinburgh will result in large numbers of private school pupils from England coming to Scotland for their education, claiming they are ‘used to paying fees.’ Professor Holmwood also claimed the division over fees was facilitating the SNP’s calls for independence (Herald page 2, Times page 17)
Asbestos ruling: White-collar working victims of pleural plaque are expected to claim for compensation after the UK Supreme Court rejected insurance companies wanting to prevent claims for those affected by asbestos. Over 1350 actions are expected as a result of this ruling. (Herald page 3)
Photo row: Chris White is to take legal action against Strathclyde Police, claiming he was questioned under the Prevention of Terrorism Act after taking photos in Braehead shopping centre. Strathclyde Police say it was Mr White’s unusual behaviour that encouraged police action, not Mr. White’s photographing of his daughter (Herald page 5, Express page 1)
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