Reform Scotland News: 15 June 2012



 Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 15 June 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



 Leveson inquiry: Prime Minister David Cameron attended the Leveson inquiry yesterday, facing questions about his relationship with Rebekah Brooks. A series of potentially embarrassing text messages emerged, including one in which Ms Brooks wrote that “we’re in this together.” However, Mr Cameron insisted that there was no discussion of News International’s business interests. He admitted he regretted the hiring of Andy Coulson, and also faced questions over Jeremy Hunt’s handling of the BSkyB bid. He suggested that it would be better for everyone if the newspaper industry regulated and reformed itself, without government regulation. (Scotsman page 8, Joyce McMillan comments in the Scotsman, Herald page 6, Telegraph page 1, Times page 8, Times page 1, Sun page 13, Express page 6, Record page 8, Guardian page 4, Press & Journal page 12, Mail page 8)

Alex Salmond and bank account hacking: First Minister Alex Salmond has refused to report allegations that the Observer hacked into his bank account in the late 1990s to the police. His office has said that this is to protect the source of the information. (Scotsman page 9, Alan Cochrane comments in the Telegraph, Times page 21, Sun page 13, Express page 6)

Olympic torch flags: The SNP has come under fire for reportedly paying a marketing firm to hand out Scottish flags to crowds waiting to see the Olympic torch at a reported cost of £1,450 of public money. (Telegraph page 1, Mail page 7) 

Bill Walker: MSP Bill Walker has suspended his appeal against expulsion from the SNP following allegations of domestic abuse. (Scotsman page 13, Courier page 2) 

Nimrod scrapping: In a written response to SNP defence spokesman Angus Robertson, the MoD admitted that it earned about £1 million from scrap of the brand new £3.8 billion surveillance aircraft, of which it spent about £500,000 on taking the aircraft apart. (Scotsman page 14)

Gay clergy: The 500-member congregation of St George’s Tron, one of the most prominent churches in Glasgow, has left the Church of Scotland over issues surrounding gay clergy. It is the first congregation to do so, prompting fears of a wider schism. A legal battle is expected over the control of the physical building. (Herald page 10, Telegraph page 4, Times page 20)

Lottery meeting: It was ruled yesterday that Alex Salmond broke no rules by meeting with two lottery winners shortly before they donated £1 million to the SNP. (Scotsman page 12, Telegraph page 4, Times page 21, Sun page 2, Record page 8)


Emergency scheme: George Osborne has announced a £140 billion scheme to try to avert further economic difficulties in the face of the eurozone crisis. The money is intended to help high-street banks and small businesses keep credit flowing, and is a joint programme between the Government and the Bank of England. Sir Mervyn King, governor of the Bank of England, has warned that the world economy is worse than it was two years ago. The comments came shortly after Chancellor George Osborne commented that there “could still be worse to come” in the eurozone crisis, and that drastic measures including the potential exit of Greece might be the only solution. (Herald page 1, Telegraph page 1, Times page 1, Sun page 2, Express page 2, Scotsman page 1, Guardian page 1, Mail page 1)

Apprentices:  First Minister Alex Salmond faced questions over the apprenticeship programme yesterday at First Minister’s Questions. Labour claims that out of 25,000 apprenticeships aimed to help some of the 100,000 young unemployed Scots, 10,000 went to people who were already employed. Mr Salmond argues that the rules were the same under Labour, and alleged that the proportion was even higher then. (Scotsman page 12)

Rangers: There is continuing coverage of Rangers Football Club’s liquidation. (Scotsman page 7, Herald page 1, Times page 11, Sun page 1, Express page 1, Record page 1, Mail page 5)

Recycling nappies: A new government-funded scheme to recycle disposable nappies is being piloted in various areas of Scotland. Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead claimed that currently 450,000 nappies each day end up in landfills in Scotland. (Scotsman page 3, Herald page 8)

Tourism: The Diamond Jubilee bank holiday weekend helped to significantly boost visitor numbers at major Scottish attractions. (Scotsman page 15)

Energy contract: Scotland’s two biggest energy firms, ScottishPower and SSE, lost out to EDF energy on a £600 million contract to supply almost every school, hospital and council building in Scotland. The Scottish government has come under fire for the decision, as neither of the Scottish firms are able to compete for similar contracts in France. (Scotsman page 15)

Edinburgh trams: Retailers are furious that tramworks on St Andrew Square and York Place will continue over the Christmas shopping period. The construction on Princes Street is expected to conclude at the end of the month, and council officials say that the work is still following the agreed-upon timetable. (Scotsman page 20)

Demographic statistics: The number of couples getting married has risen to a four-year high, with a small increase in the number of births and a decrease in the number of deaths caused by cancer, heart disease and stroke. (Scotsman page 11, Herald page 5)



Paedophile arrests: Eight men in Scotland were arrested as part of an operation to target UK internet paedophiles.  This was out of over eighty total arrests across the UK. (Scotsman page 13, Herald page 4, Guardian page 10)



Teaching jobs: A survey by the General Teaching Council for Scotland has found that only a quarter of newly qualified teachers have secured full-time, permanent jobs in Scottish schools. (Scotsman page 16, Herald page 5)



Legionnaires’ disease: A second victim has died in Edinburgh from Legionnaires’ disease, but Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon stated that authorities believe that the worst of the outbreak has passed. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 1, Record page 9)

Hospital spot-checks: The health watchdog Health Improvement Scotland is to begin unannounced checks on Scottish hospitals, designed to check the treatment and care of elderly and infirm patients. (Herald page 1)