Reform Scotland News: 1 May 2012

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


Jeremy Hunt and BSkyB bid: David Cameron has been called to appear before the House of Commons, the first time in over a decade that a PM has been ordered to do so. He rejected the need for an enquiry into Jeremy Hunt’s links with News Corporation. (Scotsman page 8, Herald page 6, Guardian page 1, Daily Mail page 8, Telegraph page 1, Record page 9, Express page 4, P&J page 13, FT page 2).

Alex Salmond and BSkyB: It has been alleged that Alex Salmond’s office had tried to set up a telephone conversation with Jeremy’s Hunt office but none took place. It follows claims of Salmond being a potential lobbyist News Corporation’s bid for BSkyB. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 6, Courier page 19).

Hague warns over security issues: William Hague has warned that Scottish independence could have ‘strategic and security implications’ for the UK’s influence in international security decisions. (Scotsman page 5, Herald page 6).

Martin McGuinnes:  Martin McGuinnes, deputy first leader of Northern Ireland, stated that whatever the outcome of the Scottish constitutional referendum, it would inevitably lead to Scottish independence. (Times page 5).

Budget control under independence: Scotland could face the ‘same budget controls as Greece’ under independence warns Professor Vernon Bogdanor of King’s College London as the Bank of England would have a right to set strict rules on an independent Scotland’s budget. (Daily Mail page 2).


Ross Harper: After more than 50 years of practice, Ross Harper, one of Scotland’s leading law firms is to shut down following an investigation into its finances and the use of clients’ funds. Last month the firm was ordered by a court to pay about £50,000 in unpaid rent for its Paisley office. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 1).

Clydesdale job losses: Clydesdale Bank announced yesterday that it was scaling bank operations in England and would cause 1400 job cuts across the group. The review of the Clydesdale and Yorkshire bank operations is proposed to save £74 million. About 60 jobs will be lost within Scotland and four financial solutions centres, which offer business advice, will be closed. (Scotsman page 39 and page 1, Guardian page 21, Times page 37, Express page 10, P&J page 12).

RBS to sell green belt land: RBS is alleged to be selling the green belt land around its headquarters in west Edinburgh for housing and new office developments. The city’s council is considering responses to its proposed local development plan. (Scotsman page 21).

Mortgage rate rises: There are fears that increased mortgage rates could increase Scottish householder debt as the Halifax – the UK’s biggest mortgage lender – and others announced increases in mortgage rates. (Herald page 1, Scotsman page 15, Times page 1).

Glasgow Games: The organisers of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow said that they would be the biggest yet and are planning a 17-sport, 11-day event. (Herald page 2).

Economic model: Wolfgang Michalski in the Scotsman says that Scotland could benefit from emulating the economic model used in Hamburg. Hamburg is the most important non-capital city in the EU and is the leading industrial and trading city in Northern Europe.


Same sex marriage: Faith in Marriage, a coalition of faith groups and religious leaders, has launched a campaign outside the Scottish Parliament to lift the ban on same sex marriage. Representatives from Faith in Marriage gave an open letter to MSPs. It follows the launch of a leaflet by Scotland for Marriage, which opposes the change. (Scotsman page 11, Herald page 6, Times page 5).

Strathclyde Police: Colin McKerracher, the chief constable of Grampian Police has revealed that he will challenge Strathclyde’s Stephen House to head up the single police force Police Service of Scotland which begins on April 1, 2013. The job will pay £200,000 a year. (Herald page 10).

Local Government

Salmond defends Glasgow’s SNP leader: Alex Salmond has defended the SNP’s leader, Alison Hunter, in Glasgow ahead of elections in the city. Mr Salmond also said that he is looking to take control  of councils across the country, particularly north-eastern councils. (Scotsman page 14, P&J page 11).

Liberal Democrats: Professor John Curtice has warned that the Lib Dem’s face losing half of their councillors in Scotland in next week’s local elections. They are expected to lose control of City of Edinburgh Council and heartland areas such as Aberdeenshire. (Daily Mail page 4).


Education audit criticism: Scotland’s largest teaching union, the Educational Institute for Scotland (EIS), has criticised Education Scotland’s decision to carry out an audit on whether schools are prepared for the introduction for new exams. (Scotsman page 7, Herald page 2).


Stoke care: A study by the Stroke Association has shown that a lack of post-hospital care may mean stroke survivors do not make the best recovery. 38% surveyed had not been assessed on their care needs to help their recovery and 53% of those who had suffered a stroke in the last three years had only been assessed once. (Scotsman page 6, Herald page 8, P&J page 16).

NHS budget: The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) will tells MSPs today that NHS budget cuts are effecting patient care and has cast doubt over claimed ‘efficiencies’ which provide the same service for less money. (Scotsman page 16, Telegraph page 7).

Asthma: A new survey of almost 25,000 sufferers by Asthma UK – including the branch Asthma UK Scotland – has shown that more than one-third of people are at risk of a potentially deadly attack. (Herald page 5).