Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 6 October 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.
Scottish Lib Dems: Scottish Liberal Democrat Leader Willie Rennie MSP has accused the SNP of trying to create a form of devolution that will be a “ticking timebomb designed to deliver independence”. His comments were directly particularly at Nicola Sturgeon after she claimed that independence is a matter of “when, not if”. (Scotsman page 1, Record page 9, Record page 6)
Liberal Democrats: A study conducted by The Times has shown that first-time voters cannot be relied upon to support the Lib Dems. The study predicts that they will receive about 84,000 votes from first-time voters in 2015 compared with 414,500 in 2010. (Times page 16)
Ed Miliband: John Prescott has criticised the Labour leader as being “far too timid” ahead of the general election. Some senior Labour MPs have reportedly already begun trying to persuade Alan Johnson to replace Mr Miliband. (Scotsman page 4, Herald page 9, Times page 2, Telegraph page 2, Financial Times page 2, Sunday Times page 1)
Scottish Green Party: Former First Minister Henry McLeish is expected to urge the Scottish Green Party to turn their “clear and determined” focus on independence into working for further devolution when he addresses their party conference in Edinburgh on Saturday. (Scotsman page 2, Herald page 9)
Devolution: A Panelbase poll commissioned by the SNP has found that two-thirds of Scots want to see all matters except foreign affairs and defence devolved to the Scottish Parliament. The poll also found that 71% of Scots want to see devolution of all Scottish Taxes to Holyrood. (Scotsman page 5)
Alistair Carmichael: The Secretary of State for Scotland has warned Labour that voters may punish them at the 2015 general election if they attempt to block new powers for Holyrood. He also called for Nicola Sturgeon to honour her “word” and rule out a second independence referendum (Herald page 8, Telegraph page 4, Express page 2)
Energy: Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing has called for urgent talks with the UK Government over the future of Longannet Power Station following the news that it may have to close due to the costs of it remaining on the main grid. (Scotsman page 10, Herald page 5)
Lesley Riddoch comments in The Scotsman on the future of democracy in the aftermath of the independence referendum
Brian Monteith comments in The Scotsman on the potential for a revival of the Scottish Conservatives
Gillian Bowditch comments in the Sunday Times on the potential success of Ruth Davidson as Scottish Conservative leader.
Gillian Bowditch and Jason Allardyce comment in the Sunday Times on the future of Johann Lamont as Scottish Labour leader.
Jack Boyle comments in The Scotsman on the need for employers to prevent harassment of their employees following the referendum
Struan Stevenson calls for Nicola Sturgeon to move away from Alex Salmond’s focus on wind power in The Daily Express.
Gender Quotas: Ruth Davidson has opposed 50/50 gender quotas for the Scottish Parliament, condemning them as a “crude tool” (Herald page 4, Times page 2)
Franchise: A Panelbase poll commissioned by the SNP has found that 55% of people agree with lowering the voting age to include 16 and 17 year olds. (Herald page 9)
Immigration: Iain Duncan Smith has suggested that quotas for EU migrants may be a red line in renegotiating Britain’s EU membership if the Conservatives win the next general election (Times page 2)
Workplace Fatalities: Managers responsible for people dying at work will face jail sentences under proposals contained in a bill to be launched at Holyrood this month (Times page1-2)
EU Referendum: Senior Liberal Democrats have said that a 2017 vote on Britain’s EU membership is more likely than ever and have drawn up plans to demand a heavy price for such a vote should they be in a coalition government after the next general election (Financial Times page 1)
More Powers: Institute for Government director Peter Riddell is expected to warn that more powers for the Scottish Parliament will entail some “very awkward tax and spending decisions” having to be made. (Scotsman page 5, Express page 2)
Tax Rises: Nick Clegg has said that his party would raise taxes to reduce the UK’s deficit. (Scotsman page 6, Herald page 9, Times page 17, Telegraph page 1)
Tax Rates: Finance Secretary John Swinney will propose the first Scottish rates of tax in 300 years when he outlines his budget plans for 2015-16 later this week (Telegraph page 6)
Confidence: Consumers in Scotland and England have said that they are more confident about the economy after the “No” vote in the independence referendum (Scotsman page 5, Express page 2)
A&E: A senior doctor, Dr Martin McKechnie, has warned of “unresolved and serious issues” in A&E departments despite investment of £50million to improve them. (Herald page 3)
Policing: Scotland’s chief constable, Sir Stephen House, has received the full backing of frontline officers after they accused politicians of “point-scoring” over the issue of armed police (Herald page 1)
Universities: Scottish Ministers have come under pressure to reverse cuts to bursaries which have left students from the poorest backgrounds facing more debt (Herald page 9, Lucy Blackburn comments in the Herald)