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Reform Scotland Media Summary 3 February 2015

Reform Scotland
Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 3 February 2015
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
David Cameron: The Prime Minister yesterday admitted more spending cuts were to come in the areas of defence and welfare. (Herald page 6, Financial Times page 2, Guardian page 1)

Ed Miliband
: The Labour leader has been accused of shutting down debate following his personal attack on Boots owner Stefano Pessina who criticised Mr Miliband’s attitude towards business. A number of business leaders, including former M&S chief Stuart Rose, have since accused the Labour leader of ‘stifling the debate’ (Telegraph page 1, Financial Times page 2, Daily Mail page 7)

Gordon Brown: Gordon Brown has commented that Labour would deliver “the vow plus”, because the coalition’s devolution bill did not include enough social justice powers. (Scotsman page 6, National page 1, Sun page 1, Times page 13, Express page 2, Herald page 6, Telegraph page 4, Courier page 14, Press & Journal page 17, Daily Mail page 6)

SNP: A YouGov poll has suggested that the SNP will take as many as 30 seats from Labour at the general election and gives the SNP a 21-point lead over Labour. (Times page 1)

SNP Surge: An SNP surge could win the election for the Conservatives, a report has also found.  A discussion paper by Professor Richard Rose of Strathclyde University, predicted sweeping gains by the SNP at Labour’s expense (Herald page 1, Telegraph page 8)

Votes for 16- and 17-year-olds: A Section 30 order was placed in the House of Commons yesterday on vote for 16- and- 17-year-olds for Holyrood and Scottish local authority elections. It means the change in the franchise in Scotland may happen in time for the Scottish 2016 election. (Scotsman page 8 , Herald page 3)

Ukip: David Maddox in the Scotsman comments that infighting within Ukip means that it is more likely that the SNP will be kingmakers after the general election.

Trident: Michael Gray in the National comments that the SNP must stick to their opposition to Trident in any negotiation after the general election.

Scottish votes:
William Hague is expected to unveil plans for English votes for English laws today.  It is thought that a Grand Committee of English MPs will be set up to scrutinise English legislation, but the full House of Commons would still have the final say. (Sun page 2, Times page 12, Herald page 3, Daily Telegraph page 1, Daily Mail page 6, Guardian page 2)

Economy
Oil & gas sector: Industry leaders have warned that exploration for new oil and gas fields have fallen by 90 per cent from the levels needed to “achieve a future” for the North Sea.  BP is also expected to reveal plans for billions of pounds worth of cuts. (Scotsman page 1,National page 8, Sun page 2, Express page 23, Herald page 1)

The First Minister has called for political unity and asked politicians to work together to help avert an oil price crisis (Herald page 7, Daily Record page 6-7, Courier page 15)

Health
Assisted suicide: A poll by My Life, My Death, My Choice, has found 78% back legalising assisted suicide. (National page 11, Times page 14, Herald page 5, Daily Mail page 2)

3 parent babies: MP’s are set to vote today on a number of measures that may enable three parent babies, whilst a number of scientists have warned of the increased risks involved (Telegraph page 5, Guardian page 4)

Justice
Rising crime rates: Soaring numbers of rape and domestic abuse cases are reportedly leading to a rise in the number of trials and fears of a log jam in courts in light of recent closures, despite recent claims by the Scottish government of a 35-year low crime rate (Daily Mail page 18)

Education
Teaching shortage: Moray councillors are to be warned this week that pupils may be sent home due to teacher shortages. (Scotsman page 1)

Universities Scotland: A row has broken out between university leaders and trade unions following their rejection of the proposal to give trade union representatives a seat on the governing bodies that run Scotland’s higher education institutions (Herald page 1)

Education reform: Graham Grant in the Daily Mail warns that First Minister Nicola Sturgeon must call for radical changes in education policy, in line with the Tories, and reduce the influence of the teaching unions that he believes are partly responsible for stagnating standards in Scottish schools (page 14)

Local Government
North East Investment
: Aberdeen Council and The Scottish Executive have united behind a proposal to secure funding for infrastructure improvement from the UK government in a £2bn ‘city deal’ set aside for cities in the North East (Press and Journal page 12-13)