Reform Scotland News: 1 June 2012


Please note that due to the Jubilee Holiday the next media summary will be on Wednesday 6 June.


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



 Bank of England & independent Scotland: It emerged yesterday that Alex Salmond has not discussed monetary policy plans for an independent Scotland with the Bank of England and officials from HM Treasury reportedly said that an independent Scotland would have no say over monetary policy if it retained the pound. The comments came after Alex Salmond said it would be “entirely reasonable” for a separate Scotland to have the same influence that the UK Treasury does over the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee. Officials also appeared sceptical of a eurozone-style monetary union for sterling. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 6, Times page 3, Express page 2)


Immigration & population: Scotland’s population has reached a record high of 5.25million according to official figures. The increase was due to immigration with the number of people coming to Scotland reaching a 20-year high last year while births and deaths remained relatively static. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 13, Telegraph page 14, Sun page 2, Express page 14)


MSPs vote for independence: The Scottish Parliament yesterday voted in favour of independence, though the result was to be expected as the SNP has a majority of MSPs.  The vote is seen as largely symbolic.  (Scotsman page 5, Herald page 6, Record page 7)


Independence: Sir Phillip Hampton, the chairman of RBS, has said he is unable to assess what independence would mean for RBS due to the lack of clarity around the SNP’s plans. He said that although there are no current plans for RBS to move to London, “large institutions tend to be in large economies.” (Telegraph page 1)


Yes Campaign: The Yes Campaign reportedly removed a photo from the homepage of its website after it emerged that it was a stock photo. In addition, a number of people listed on the “Yes Declaration” were reportedly using false names, including one Osama bin Laden. George Kerevan in The Scotsman defends the Yes Campaign launch which took place last week. (Record page 7)


Voting at 16: The EIS, the largest teaching union in Scotland, has called for 16 and 17 year olds to be given the vote in the referendum. (Scotsman page 5, Herald page 6, Record page 7, Express page 14)


Leveson Inquiry: Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt yesterday gave evidence to the Leveson inquiry. It emerged that he had sent text messages to James Murdoch while assessing News Corp’s bid for BSkyB. At the moment it appears that Mr Hunt has the support of the Prime Minister though many have been questioning David Cameron’s judgement over the affair.  (Scotsman page 8, Eddie Barnes in the Scotsman, Herald page 7, Alison Rowat in the Herald, FT page 2, Times page 1, Telegraph page 1, Express page 10, Guardian page 1)


New forests: Scotland is to get 20 new forests as part of the Jubilee celebrations.  It is part of a UK wide project by the Woodland Trust. (Scotsman page 19, Herald page 5)


First Minister’s Questions: Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph comments on Alex Salmond’s ‘woeful performance’ this week.


Jubilee celebrations: Tiffany Jenkins in The Scotsman comments on what she believes are “lukewarm” Jubilee celebrations in Scotland.



Charities tax:  The UK government yesterday carried out another U-turn by announcing it was abandoning plans to introduce a so-called charities tax which would limit tax relief at £50,000. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 1, FT page 3, Times page 5, Sun page 2, Express page 11, Guardian page 2, Press & Journal page 14)


Business regulations: Madsen Pirie in The Scotsman comments that independence would be an opportunity to reduce the number of regulatory restrictions that businesses face.



Tuition fees: Michael Russell has said he will have to “refine” the advice given to universities over who does not have to pay university tuition fees.  His comments come following revelations that many applicants who are resident in Northern Ireland are applying with Irish passports, exempting them from the fees that apply to students from the rest of the UK. (Scotsman page 12, Herald page 6, Telegraph page 14, Record page 2)



Single police force: Alex Salmond yesterday refused to rule out the closure of any 999 fire and police call centres yesterday as a result of the creation of the single police and fire boards.   It has also been revealed that the new single police force is to introduce a 101 non-emergency number for contacting the police. (Scotsman page 5, Herald page 9)


Video use: The Chief Inspector of Prisons in Scotland has called for greater use of video technology for court appearances to prevent some prisoners having to travel “extraordinary distances”. (Scotsman page 12)


Lockerbie bombing: It has been alleged that a report has been kept hidden and highly classified by the UK government and never shared with the courts and indicates that a Palestinian terrorist group was involved in the bombing that killed 270 people.  The report originally came from Jordan.  The UK government reportedly threatened The Herald with legal action if they published the story.  (Herald page 1)


Andy Coulson: Andy Coulson has said he will “vigorously contest” allegations of perjury. (Sun page 6, Express page 10)



Doctors’ strike: Tom Peterkin in The Scotsman comments on the proposed industrial action by doctors.