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Reform Scotland News: 3 August 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

Politics

Political donations: The SNP reportedly received more than £5million in income during 2011, spending almost £3.5m.  Scottish Labour spent £781,569 and received £735,774 in income.  The Lib Dems received £533,782 and spent nearly £500,000.  No figures were published for the Scottish Conservatives, with their figures grouped together with the UK party which raised £23.7m and spent £22.8m.  The figures were published by the Electoral Commission. (Scotsman page 7, John Curtice in the Scotsman, The Herald page 7, Daily Record page 2, Daily Express page 35, Mail page 13, P&J page 17)

Population report: The registrar general, George MacKenzie, published his latest annual report yesterday. It indicated that Scotland’s population had reached an all time high at 5,254,800 and that 27,000 more people came to Scotland than left.  The report also suggested that life expectancy in Scotland, at 76.1 years for men and 80.6 years for women, is one of the lowest in Europe.  Furthermore, it was revealed resurgence in what is viewed as traditional family life in Scotland; with the report showing more marriages, fewer divorces and a record low in number of births registered to single mothers.  The report also predicted that by 2035, over 65s will make up a quarter of the country’s population. (Scotsman page 20, George Mackenzie in the Scotsman, The Herald page 10, The Times page 19, Daily Record page 21, Mail page 12, Courier page 13, P&J page 14, Sun page 10, Daily Express page 11)

Reshuffle: David Cameron last night commented that the Chancellor was “not going anywhere” following comments by some critics that George Osborne should leave the Treasury.  The Prime Minister reportedly did not give the same assurances regarding Jeremy Hunt, the Culture Secretary. (The Herald page 4, Mail page 20, The Daily Telegraph page 10)

Boris Johnston: Rupert Murdoch is reportedly considering backing Boris Johnston to replace David Cameron as Tory leader.  Mr Murdoch will be a guest of the Mayor of London at the Aquatics centre at the Olympics today. (Guardian page 11, Philip Collins in The Times, Chris Roycroft-Davis in the Daily Express)

SNP activist resigns following gay marriage legislation: Robert Stewart recently resigned from the SNP despite being a member for 22 years.  He declared that the decision to encourage gay marriage legislation was “undemocratic”, as the SNP had not fully discuss the matter with the party’s membership. (The Herald page 10, The Times page 23, Daily Express page 15, Daily Telegraph page 11)

Axed doctor loses tribunal appeal: Biological Sciences researcher Dr Prim Singh contested the decision by an employment tribunal to waive his unfair dismissal claim, branding the Scottish courts “anti-English”. (The Times page 15, Daily Record page 15)

The union: Joyce McMillan in the Scotsman and Alison Rowat in the Herald suggest that regardless of the result of the independence referendum, the debate over Scotland’s place in the union will continue.

Avoiding decisions: Trevor Davies in the Scotsman explains why politicians in power sometimes chose to avoid making a decision.

House of Lords: Dr Paul Behren in the Scotsman comments on the debate to reform the House of Lords. (The Daily Telegraph page 10)

Economy

RBS: The Treasury sought to dismiss claims last night that it was considering nationalising RBS in a bid to increase lending. Business Secretary Vince Cable believes that nationalisation could boost the economy, as the bank could lend to businesses and home buyers.  These discussions arose amid reports that the bank will suffer a £300 million hit. (Scotsman page 8, The Herald page 6, Daily Record page 2, Financial Times page 3, The Daily Telegraph page 23)

Transport

Rest & Be Thankful: It is hoped that the Rest and Be Thankful pass on the A83 will open again today following the 1,000-tonne landslide.  (Scotsman page 16)

Health

Cancer deaths: Official figures published yesterday have shown that the percentage of deaths cause by cancer has increased from 22 per cent in 1980-82 to 29 per cent in 2011.  (Scotsman page 15)