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Reform Scotland News: 6 November 2013

Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 6 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

Shipbuilding yards: Finance Secretary John Swinny yesterday demanded clarity on the fate of Scottish shipbuilding workers, after indications that BAE systems is set to announce job losses in Portsmouth, Govan and Scotstoun this week, while potentially closing one of the latter two shipbuilding yards. Cuts are reportedly due primarily to the lack of orders once the MoD contract to build aircraft carriers is completed. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 1, David Leask in the Herald, Times page 1, Telegraph page 1, FT page 2, Express page 5, Record page 4, Sun page 2, Mail page 10)

Falkirk selection probe: Labour leader Ed Miliband has refused to commit to an inquiry into allegations of vote-rigging by Unite during the Falkirk constituency candidate selection, despite calls from within his own party to do so. Meanwhile, Unite has hit back at accusations about its conduct, claiming it had been the victim of a “tremendous witch-hunt”. (Scotsman page 4, Herald page 6, Ian Bell in the Herald, Times page 6, Express page 17, Record page 2, Mail page 6)

Payday lenders: Experts have called for adverts by payday lenders to be banned from children’s television channels, accusing payday lenders of “grooming” the next generation of borrowers. (Scotsman page 8, Herald page 7, Record page 2, Courier page 20, Mail page 8, Melissa Kite in the Mail)

Corroboration reform: Lord Hope, one of Scotland’s most senior legal figures, has warned the Scottish Government over its plans to abolish the requirement for corroboration, expressing fears convictions based on confessions alone could be “dangerous”. (Scotsman page 12, Herald page 11, Times page 4, Telegraph page 6, Express page 2)

Renewable energy: Infinis, one of Scotland’s largest renewable power firms has warned potential investors that Scottish independence could have “adverse affects” on its operations, future and finances, whilst also damaging First Minister Alex Salmond’s drive for wind power. (Telegraph page 13)

Phone hacking trial: The jury yesterday heard that police failed to investigate claims by a senior News of the World executive that the tabloid had listened to murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler’s voicemail while she was still believed missing. (Herald page 10, Telegraph page 11, Express page 17, Guardian page 11, P&J page 19, Courier page 23, Mail page 12)

Bedroom tax: The Professor in housing economics and director for public policy at Glasgow University, Ken Gibb, has said that calls for a Scotland-wide policy of no evictions for tenants affected by the ‘bedroom tax’ risked sending out a message that some arrears were not as important as others. (Herald page 6)

Energy prices: Ed Miliband yesterday challenged David Cameron over living standards, and what he said was the coalition’s failure to curb energy prices, challenging coalition MPs to back Labour plans for a temporary freeze on energy bills in a House of Commons vote today. (Guardian page 16, Scotsman page 4)

Bigotry laws: MSPs are considering a review of laws aimed at tackling bigotry among football fans amid claims they are causing widespread problems. (Express page 2)

Economy

Pension charge cap: Two of the UK’s largest insurers, L&G and Royal London, have responded to coalition plans to introduce a cap on fees for workplace pension schemes, arguing that the charges should be even lower. (Scotsman page 36)

Currency union: The Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, has claimed that it is highly unlikely that an independent Scotland could secure a deal with the rest of the UK that would allow it to retain the pound. (Herald page 6, Times page 2, P&J page 16)

Business confidence: A survey by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants has shown that business confidence in Scotland rose again in the third quarter, though at a slower pace than in the UK as a whole. (Herald page 23)

Education

Secular education: An attempt by independent MSP John Finnie to exclude all religious groups from voting on education matters on council committees has been greeted by fierce opposition from a number of Scottish churches. (Scotsman page 6, Herald page 5, Courier page 2)  

Health

Access to GPs: Health Secretary Alex Neil has announced a £1million drive to improve patients’ access to GPs, explaining that the current 48-hour target “can be an issue”. (Scotsman page 13)

NHS staffing: The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow (RCPSG) has called for hospitals to be staffed to the same level at evenings and weekends as they are during the week. (Herald page 1)

Crime

Sexual and violent offenders: New police figures show that 4,032 people with histories of extreme violence or sexual offending are residing in various Scottish communities, a figure victim support groups have described as “worrying”. (Scotsman page 15, Herald page 5, Telegraph page 6, Sun page 6)