Reform Scotland News: 5 February 2013


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



Huhne trial: Liberal Democrat MP Chris Huhne has changed his plea and admitted perverting the course of justice over a speeding offence. He has also announced he will be resigning his Eastleigh seat in parliament. (Scotsman page 1, Christine Jardine in the Scotsman, Record page 10, Sun page 8, FT page 4, Times page 1, Rachel Sylvester in the Times, Telegraph page 1, Express page 1, Herald page 7, Collette Douglas Home in the Herald, Guardian page 1, Mail page 1, Stephen Glover in the Mail, Courier page 22, P&J page 18)


Infrastructure investment: Deputy First Minister and infrastructure secretary Nicola Sturgeon yesterday published a progress report on the SNP’s 20-year infrastructure investment plan. About 40,000 jobs have been supported across Scotland by the works carried out under the plan but many of the schemes have run millions of pounds over budget or been hit by delays. (Scotsman page 8, Michael Levack in the Scotsman, Record page 2, Telegraph page 10, Express page 2, Mail page 31, P&J page 14)


Ministry of Defence: The Commons defence committee has criticised the Ministry of Defence’s decision to switch fighter aircraft for the Royal Navy’s new carriers. The decision was made in 2010 and reverted last May amid fears that the costs of fitting the necessary parts were spiralling out of control. The defence committee has said the flawed decision was rushed and led to increased costs and further delays. (Scotsman page 9, Times page 14, Herald page 2)


Independence debate: Ewan Crawford writing in the Scotsman comments on the Electoral Commission report into the conduct of the referendum and argues that the focus of the Yes campaign should be on the economic benefits of independence. Kerry Gill writing in the Express criticises the outspokenness of Scottish celebrities who no longer live in Scotland on the independence debate. 


Post-independence: March 2016 could mark Scotland’s “independence day” following a Yes vote next year and the SNP is set to produce a series of documents spelling out the details of independence. The first of which will be published today, when Nicola Sturgeon reveals the timetable after the October 2014 vote. (Sun page 4)


MP and lobbyist dispute: Lobbyist Mark Cummings has accused his former colleague MP Thomas Docherty of abusing parliamentary privilege in making allegations against him in parliament. (Herald page 1)


Richard III: A body exhumed from a car park in Leicester has been revealed as that of King Richard III. (Scotsman page 6, Record page 8, Sun page 19, FT page 4, Times page 10, Telegraph page 11, Express page 12, Herald page 5, Guardian page 10, Mail page 23, Courier page 25, P&J page 14)



Costume museum: The National Museum of Costume in Dumfries is being closed as a necessary cost saving measure. The museum is the smallest of Scotland’s five national museums and receives just 10,000 visitors a year but costs £220,000 a year to run. (Scotsman page 11, Times page 7, Telegraph page 9, Herald page 3)


Banking reform: George Osborne announced comprehensive reforms to banking regulation yesterday. The government will take control of the UK payments system and bank which try to avoid safety rules ringfencing retail and corporate services from riskier activities could be broken up. (FT page 1, Alistair Darling in the FT, Peter Jones in the Scotsman, Anne Treneman in the Times, Herald page 6, Mail page 12, Courier page 17, P&J page 12)


Stamp duty: The ESPC, one of Scotland’s largest groups of estate agents, has warned that middle-class families across the country face paying up to £7,750 more to move home under the SNP plans to replace stamp duty. Suggested bindings for the new Land and Buildings Transaction Tax would see households paying 30 per cent more in tax when it is introduced in April 2015. (Telegraph page 9)



Fake id: Chairman of the home affairs select committee Keith Vaz has said that the parents of dead children whose identities were used by undercover police must be informed. Scotland Yard’s Special Demonstration Squad reportedly used the details over three decades to make fake personas more credible but did not inform the children’s parents. (Scotsman page 17, Guardian page 6)


Police: Rose Fitzpatrick, the new head of local policing in Scotland, has said tailoring policing to the needs of individual council areas is critical to the success of the merged force and the public will see no difference when the national police force comes into effect. (Courier page 10)



College funding: The newly merged Edinburgh College has said the current rate of budget reductions risk creating a funding crisis that could damage education and lead to compulsory redundancies. The comments have come in response to the speed at which the Government cuts are being implemented. (Herald page 12)