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Reform Scotland News: 18 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.

 

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

 

Politics

Liam Fox: The report by Cabinet Secretary Sir Gus O’Donnell into Liam Fox’s work relationship with his best man Adam Werrity is due to be published today.  It is expected to find the former Defence Secretary, who resigned on Friday, guilty of breaching the ministerial code but that he did not profit financially from his promotion of Adam Werrity. It comes as new allegations emerge suggestion that anonymous donors paid £63,000 into the accounts of Pargav Ltd, a fund set up to pay for some of Adam Werrity’s first-class travel.  The money comes along with £83,000 which allegedly came from four ideological supporters for Liam Fox.  Labour MP John Mann has also called on the former defence secretary to forgo his £17,000 pay-off. (Scotsman page 6, Herald page 6, Times page 1, Rachel Sylvester in the Times, Mail page 6, Telegraph page 1 Guardian page 1, The Sun page 2, Daily Record page 2)

 

Tory leadership: Tory leadership contender Margaret Mitchell has compared her bid to lead the party to Barak Obama’s iconic “Yes we can” campaign whilst former MSP Bill Aitken has declared his support for Murdo Fraser.  (Scotsman page 1, Interview with Margaret Mitchell in the Scotsman, Interview with Murdo Fraser in the Scotsman, Herald page 6, Times page 11, P&J page 7)

 

Labour Party: Joan McAlpine and Eddie Barnes, both in the Scotsman, comment on Douglas Alexander’s recent speech about the future of the Scottish Labour party.

 

Labour leadership race: Glasgow Central MP Anas Sarwar has announced he has recruited MP Cathy Jamieson and MSP Duncan McNeil to run his campaign for the deputy leadership of the Labour Party, while Ian Davidson MP has confirmed he is also standing for the position of deputy leader. (Herald page 6, Daily Record page 4).

 

Army in independent Scotland: General Sir Richard Dannatt, the former Chief of the General Staff, has called on Alex Salmond to be “honest” with the electorate and produce a detailed defence policy for an independent Scotland prior to holding his referendum. (Telegraph page 1)

 

Speaker’s pension: John Bercow, the Speaker of the House of Commons, has reportedly refused to cut his pension arrangements in line with other MPs and ministers. (Telegraph page 6)

 

Oliver Letwin: Mr Letwin is facing two official investigations, one by the Cabinet Office and the other by the Information Commissioner, as to whether he was in breach of the Data Protection Act by dumping papers into a public bin. (Mirror page 6).

 

Economy

‘Tesco tax’: Retail chiefs have reportedly told the Scottish Government that it is risking the economy by treating successful companies as ‘cash cows’ through the introduction of a £110million supermarket tax.   The SNP has also ruled out a full investigation into the impact of the levy. (Scotsman page 1, P&J page 7)

 

Young unemployed: 20.7% of Scots aged between 18 and 25 were unemployed from the three months to August.  The number currently stands at 80,000, up from 33,000 since early 2008. Separate figures have shown that in Scotland 4.1% of working age Scots claimed unemployment benefits compared to a national average of 3.8%. (Scotsman page 2, Herald page 9, Mail page 12, Express page 10, Courier page 8, Daily Record page 4)

 

Energy summit:  Yesterday’s Westminster energy summit, attended by the Prime Minister and the ‘big six’ energy companies, saw agreements reached on the government sending out letters to 4 million households, paid for by the energy firms, informing them they are eligible for free insulation; a campaign to encourage people to switch providers; and a commitment to provide energy-use data in electronic form to aid making comparisons. In addition 720,000 Scottish householders are to be contacted by their supplier to tell them how they can save money by changing payment method.  However, Labour has accused the coalition of a “complete betrayal” of hard-pressed houses struggling to cope with energy bills.  (Scotsman page 4, Norman Kerr in the Scotsman, Herald page 1, Times page 15, Courier page 11, P&J page 7, FT page 4, Mirror page 11, Daily Record page 8/11)

 

Power bills are expected to double by 2050 as a result of the EU’s green energy policies according to a report by the European Commission. (Express page 1)

 

Nuclear: Peter Jones in the Scotsman comments on the energy expertise which has built up in Scotland thanks to Dounreay.

 

Fish farms: The Scottish government is considering banning fish farms from some coastal areas to protect wild stocks according to a BBC Scotland programme to be aired tonight. (Times page 19, Courier page 6, Telegraph page 1)

 

Firms going bust: 120 businesses across the UK are collapsing every day, a fifth higher than last year, according to a report from business information firm Equifax. (Mail page 2)

 

City protests: Polly Toynbee in the Guardian comments on the anti-capitalist protests in the UK

 

Education

Nursery care: East Dunbartonshire has become the first council in Scotland to end funding for three and four-year olds at private nurseries, with children instead being given the opportunity of 12 and a half hours a week at state-run nurseries. However, a number of parents have reportedly had to turn down offers at council run nurseries because of lack of full-time care. (Scotsman page 10)

 

Justice

Bail:  Scottish courts have reportedly been told to “avoid needless remands” and give more accused criminals bail rather than holding them in jail in an effort to reducing prison overcrowding. (Mail page 1)