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Reform Scotland News: 5 November 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

Politics

Falkirk: Johann Lamont and Alistair Darling have called for the Labour Party to re-open the candidate selection at Falkirk (Scotsman, page 1, Herald page 1, Times page 1, Telegraph page 1, Express page 4, Guardian page 11, Mail page 4, Courier page 16, P&J page 11).   Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph argues that Ed Milliband’s silence shows ‘all the signs of a squalid cover-up.’

Phone Hacking: Rebekah and Charlie Brooks have been accused of trying to hide evidence from the police (Scotsman page 11, Herald page 5, Times page 9, Telegraph page 4, FT page 4, Express page 7, Guardian page 1, Mail page 8, Courier page 19, P&J Page 16) 

Independence: Alex Salmond has called for Multinationals to pay their fare share of tax if Scotland was to become an independent nation (Scotsman page 8).  A Scottish Government panel of experts have also said that the new post-independence tax system could ‘boost the economy’ (Herald page 6, P&J page 12)

Referendum Announcement: The official declaration will be made once all 32 counts have been fully verified (Herald page 6, Scotsman page 8, P&J page 12).  Referendum Chiefs have also warned of potential violence on the night of the referendum (Record page 6)

Increased tax raising powers in Wales: Peter Jones in the Scotsman reflects that granting more devolution in Wales could ‘alter the course of Scottish referendum voting’

European Referendum: David Cameron is confident that he will win a ‘Yes Vote’ (Scotsman page 12, Telegraph page 1)

Plebgate: Independent Police Complaints Commission leaders will appear before the House of Commons Select Committee this afternoon (Scotsman page 2)

Blacklisting: Construction union Ucatt has criticized the scheme to compensate blacklisted workers (Scotsman page 2)

Ethics Training for MPs: The Committee on Standards in Public Life has advocated MPs receive training to help them avoid abusing their position (Herald page 1)

Elected Senate: Magnus Gardham in the Herald calls the current ‘unreformed House of Lords a ready made argument for independence as far as the SNP are concerned’

Security Services: David Blunkett calls for ‘high-level review or a commission’ into current intelligence laws (Guardian, page 1)

Economy

Energy Bonus: Centrica Chief Executive Sam Laidlaw, the boss of British Gas, has opted not to take his bonus of £1.7 million. (Scotsman, page 1, Herald page 9, Times page 4)

Big Six Profits: Ed Milliband claims half the money made from energy price rises go directly into profits for the Big Six (Scotsman page 7)

Clyde Yard: Following projections that the cost of the aircraft carrier project has risen to over £6 million, fears have spread that the Clyde may be shut to make savings (Scotsman page 14, Herald page 8)

Post Office Closures: The Fabian Society warns post offices may be forced to close as a result of the privatisation of Royal Mail (Herald page 3)

Scottish Beef: Scottish beef farmers are now able to trade in the US following a 16 year ban (Herald page 7, Scotsman page 5)

China Exports: Alex Salmond has announced trade deals with China worth over £40 million to Scotland (Herald page 6).  A TV deal has also been struck to show Scottish football matches for the first time in China (Record page 1, P&J page 14).   Alex Salmond has also accused the Home Office of sabotaging the Scottish Government’s efforts to build cultural connections after declining the visas of two Chinese teachers looking to return to work in Scotland (Express page 2, Mail page 6, Courier Page 17)

Health

Blood tests to reduce deaths in pregnancy: A blood test has been developed for pre-eclampsia; which affects 1 in 10 pregnancies (Herald page 7, Mail page 1)

Education

Educational Equality: The Robert Owen Centre for Educational Change will be opened today by Mike Russell (Scotsman page 11, Herald page 7)

Local Government

Council Tax Freeze: Following rural condemnations that the council tax freeze undermines local decision making, Ruth Davidson has said she will ‘seriously consider’ scrapping the council tax freeze (Scotsman page 6, Times page 4, telegraph page 6, Courier Page 16, P&J page 15)

City of Culture: UK Culture Minister Ed Vaizey has advised that Dundee should capitalise on the buzz that has been created since Dundee has bid to become UK City of Culture even if it is not successful (Courier Page 11)

Council Mortgages properties: North Lanarkshire Council has taken on mortgages for 1,000 of its properties to raise funds (Herald page 8)