Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 26 June 2014
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.
Federalism: Tory MSP Murdo Fraser is speaking at a Reform Scotland/ Glasgow University event tonight. He is expected to comment that he would like to see a federal UK with Holyrood having an equal status and sovereignty to Westminster. Mr Fraser also calls for the House of Lords to be replaced by a ‘senate’ made up of representatives from devolved parliaments and assemblies. (Scotsman page 8, Times page 17, Herald page 1, Mail page 5, P&J page 11, Courier page 16)
Hacking trial: Mr Justice Saunders has expressed his “concern” at the Prime Minister’s apology for hiring Andy Coulson in 2007 which was issued immediately after Mr Coulson was found guilty of plotting to hack phones. At the time of David Cameron’s comments, the jury was still deliberating on two other counts against Andy Coulson. (Scotsman page 1, Sun page 12, Times page 1, Tim Montgomerie in the Times, Express page 7, Record page 2, Herald page 6, Iain Macwhirter in the Herald, Telegraph page 6, Peter Oborne in the Telegraph, FT page 2, John Gapper in the FT, Mail page 6, Guardian page 1, David Blunkett in the Guardian, P&J page 17, Courier page 16)
Orange Lodge: The Orange Lodge yesterday registered with the Electoral Commission as an official campaign group for a ‘No’ vote. (Sun page 2, Mail page 5)
TV debate: Agreement on TV debates between Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling are reportedly stalling due to disagreements over the dates they will take place. (Times page 1, Express page 2, Record page 11, Herald page 2, Mail page 5, P&J page 12)
Stagecoach: SNP supporter Sir Brian Souter’s firm Stagecoach has issued a warning in its preliminary results that the referendum risked damaging the company’s prospects by limiting the “availability of public funding”. (Express page 2, Record page 11, Telegraph page 1, Mail page 5, P&J page 13, Courier page 17)
Monarchy: The monarchy cost taxpayers £35.7m last year – 56p for every person in the country. (Herald page 5)
Fraud: Audit Scotland has identified fraud and errors worth £16m, such as abuse of blue badges and claiming pensions for dead relatives, as part of an investigation into Scotland’s public bodies. (Telegraph page 2, Mail page 17, P&J page 16)
Fiscal Commission: Bill Jamieson in the Scotsman comments on the appointment of the First Minister’s special economic advisers to the new Fiscal Commission.
RBS branches: RBS has warned that further branch closures were inevitable. (Herald page 1, Mail page 10)
GP practices: The BMA’s Scottish GPs committee chairman, Dr Alan McDevitt, has blamed an increase in new housing developments without medical provision and difficulties recruiting staff for an increasing number of GP practices struggling to cope with patient demand. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 1)
Compensation: NHS Scotland spent more than £186 million on compensation claims in the last five years. (Record page 2, Courier page 17)
Right to buy: MSPs yesterday voted to end the “right to buy” policy with regard to council houses. (Scotsman page 9, Express page 2, Herald page 6, Telegraph page 10, Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph, FT page 4, Mail page 4, John MacLeod in the Mail)
Prison numbers: The chief inspector of prisons has expressed disappointment in the growing number of people in Scotland’s jails. (Scotsman page 13, P&J page 18)
Police shortages: Police authorities are reportedly getting lots of complaints that there are not enough officers on the street. (Courier page 1)