Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 21 May 2015


Reform Scotland

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.


Selling assets:  George Osborne has pledged to create new company, UK Government Investments (UKGI), to oversee a new wave of privatisation and ensure value of money for taxpayers. (Scotsman page 1, Financial Times page 2, Daily Telegraph page 2)

Business and politics: Bill Jamieson in the Scotsman comments on the need for politicians to listen to Scottish businesses.

More powers: The SNP have called for the new Scotland Bill, likely to be introduced by the Conservatives in the House of Commons on Thursday, to include significant improvements on the draft legislation. (The National page 3)

English issues: The SNP leadership has reportedly sent out a message of intent that it will cover all policy areas at Westminster, regardless of whether they are reserved or devolved, by announcing its extensive team of spokespeople. (The Herald page 1)

SNP: SNP MPs have been urged to stop “behaving like children” in the Commons, being told not to “take selfies” in Parliament by staff of the chief whip, Mike Weir. (Daily Telegraph page 10, Tom Peterkin in the Scotsman, Keith Aitken in the Daily Express)

David Torrance in the Guardian comments on the re-invention of the SNP.

Michael Deacon comments on the different way the SNP MPs decided to sworn into office in the Parliament yesterday.

Reiner Luyken, a German journalist, has sparked a furious response by comparing the Scottish Nationalists’ ideology to the political one that spawned Nazism. (Times page 16)

Hunting ban: Torcuil Crichton comments in the Daily Record the potential of SNP MPs voting on the fox-hunting ban at Westminster, which solely concerns Wales and England.

 Energy policy: First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has reportedly demanded a veto over Britain’s energy policies. (The Herald page 6, The Times page 1, Daily Express page 2)

Mhairi Black: The new 20-year-old SNP MP Mhairi Black made history as she officially sworn into office yesterday, being the first youngest MP since the 17th century. (The Herald page 6, Times page 8, Daily Express page 4, The National page 2)

Labour leadership: Tristram Hunt has pulled out of the Labour leadership contest, giving his backing to Liz Kendall. (Sun page 2, The Herald page 6, Times page 8, Financial Times page 2, Mail page 20, P&J page 12, Seumas Milne in the Guardian)

Labour MSP Duncan McNeil has criticized former leader Jim Murphy, saying that a more radical approach was required, otherwise, the party “may never recover”. (The National page 2, Daily Record page 6)

EU referendum: Prime Minister David Cameron announced yesterday that the UK would leave the EU even if Scotland voted to stay. (The National page 4)

David Aaronovicth comments in the Times on the reasons British people need to stay in the EU.

Voting age: MSPs backed proposals to extend the franchise to 16 and 17-year-olds for Scottish elections. (The National page 4)

Land Reform: Lesley Riddoch comments in the National on the reason why the Scottish people do not pay attention to the land reform.

Samantha Cameron’s step-father,  William Astor, has commented that the Scottish Government’s land reform proposals raised fears of a “Mugabe style land grab”.  (Mail page 6)

Trident: Paul Kavanagh comments in the National on how Trident is “Viagra for an ageing empire”.

Scotland’s senior servant: Leslie Evans is the first woman who has been appointed to be as Scotland’s most senior civil servant and take over the role of Permanent Secretary to the Scottish Government, replacing  Sir Peter Housden. (The Herald page 6, Times page 8, Daily Record page 2)


RBS fine: RBS was fined £430m by US authorities yesterday for its part in allegations that banks rigged the foreign exchange market. (Scotsman page 1, The National page 1, Financial Times page 1, Mail page 1, Courier page 2)

Spending cuts: George Osborne has reportedly told Whitehall departments that a new squeeze on spending had begun to find £13bn savings. (Guardian page 1 )

Civil servant strike: The Government is facing the threat of industrial action by civil servants because of cuts to jobs, pay and pensions, after delegates at the annual conference of the Public and Commercial Services union have called for coordinated action with other unions over cuts in the public sector. (The Herald page 6)


Fire service: Scotland’s fire service is reportedly facing a new £42.7m funding gap. (Scotsman page 8 )

Work for ex-prisoners: Scottish businesses have welcomed the Government’s plans to change the law to make it easier for convicted offenders to find work. (The National page 6 )


Literacy: The Scottish Government’s education record has been criticised, with Labour’s Jackie Baillie commenting in the Scottish Parliament yesterday that decline in performance could be seen at every stage of schooling. (Scotsman page 10, Daily Record page 7, Daily Express page 10, Mail page 10, Courier page 16)


Rail strike: ScotRail has warned that if the national 24-hour rail strike goes ahead on Monday it will run only a “handful of services”. (Scotsman page 5, Times page 6, Daily Record page 2, Daily Express page 2, Herald page 4, P&J page 11)