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Reform Scotland News 7th 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

UK coalition: Nick Clegg has said he intends to drop plans to reform the House of Lords due to opposition from rebel Conservatives.  In doing so he accused the Conservatives of having broken the “contract” between the two parties and he said he would now allow his MPs to block Tory proposals to redraw parliamentary boundaries. (Scotsman page 1, Alan Trench in the Scotsman, David Maddox in the Scotsman, Sun page 10, Times page 3, Herald page 1, page 8, Daily Record page 6, Daily Telegraph page 10, The courier page 20, Press and Journal page 12, Express page 11, Janan Ganesh in the FT, Guardian page 1, Mail page 12)

 Legal right to hold referendum: A report by the Scottish Affairs Committee at Westminster has commented that the “overwhelming” weight of evidence they received showed that the Scottish Parliament has no legal right to hold a referendum on independence. The Scottish government has always insisted that Holyrood is legally competent to hold the vote. (Scotsman page 10, Sun page 10, Times page 11, Herald page 8, Daily Telegraph page 9, The courier page 2, Press and journal page 14, Express page 10, Mail page 18)

 Louise Mensch: Tory MP Louise Mensch has resigned as an MP in order to spend more time with her family, as her husband is based in New York.  Ms Mensch won her seat of Corby & East Northamptonshire with a majority of only 1,951 over Labour in 2010.  It is thought the by-election will take place in November. (Scotsman page 15, Sun page 10, Times page 3, Rachel Sylvester in the Times, Herald page 8, Daily Record page 6, Daily telegraph page 10, The courier page 20, Press and Journal page 13, Guardian page 11, Gaby Hinsliff in the Guardian, Andrew Pierce in the Mail)

 Shetland: Nicholas Tsgourias in the Scotsman considers the idea of Shetland opting out of the independence referendum.

 Economy

Standard Chartered: UK bank Standard Chartered has been accused by US authorities of scheming with the Iranian government to get round US financial sanctions. (Scotsman page 1, Express page 7, FT page 1, Guardian page 17, Mail page 2)

 Osborne credit: Both George Osborne and Danny Alexander have claimed that Britain’s rating with the international credit league is not “the be all and end all.” (Daily Record page 8)

 Energy Bills:  Professor Gordon Hughes of Edinburgh University as suggested that by 2020 domestic electricity bills will have risen by up to 58 per cent due to plans for a huge increase in the number of onshore and offshore wind turbines. (Express page 1)

 RBS: John McFall and Jon Moulton in the FT comment on the proposal of fully nationalising

 Education

 Exam results: Scottish pupils will receive their exam results today, with the pass rate for Highers increasing for the 6th year in a row to 76.9 per cent. (Scotsman page 8, David Raffe in the Scotsman, Sun page 10, Times page 13, Herald page 5, Daily Telegraph page 12. The press and journal page 11, Express page 15, Mail page 27)

Health

NHS- Obesity: Colette Douglas Home in the Herald suggests that one million obese Scots could bankrupt the NHS, as money is needed to get them back to shape through treatments such as bariatric surgery. She also questions what use the money could be put to, from cancer patients to car crashes, and whether the obese are really deserving of these life saving funds.

 Hayfever cure: Scientists at the University of Edinburgh studying the immune system believe they have identified a key mechanism involved in the body’s response to allergens, such as dust, pollen or pet hair which could lead to a cure for hayfever. (Mail page 1)