Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 2 June 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.



Charles Kennedy: Former leader of the Liberal Democrats, Charles Kennedy, has died. (BBC News, Sky News)


EU:  The First Minister is expected to use a speech in Brussels to launch her campaign for a Yes vote for the UK to remain in the EU.  However, she is also expected to call for national governments to be given greater discretion in a number of areas. (Scotsman page 1, The Herald page 1, The Sun page 2, The Courier page 14, Record page 2, National page 3, Mail page 8, P&J page 12)


Dan Hannan in the Telegraph argues that the UK would flourish outside of the EU.


EU Referendum: Rachel Sylvester discusses the upcoming EU Referendum and the tactics which can be used to secure a victory.


Islands: Nicola Sturgeon has promised to devolve more power to Scottish islands and has announced a consultation on the issue will be launched in the summer. (Scotsman page 4, The Herald page 6, The Sun page 2, The Times page 5, Express page 2, National page 9, P&J page 13)


Constitutional convention: Peter Jones in the Scotsman comments on Jeremy Purvis’ proposal for a British constitutional convention. (Jermey Purvis’ comments in The Courier page 14)


Full fiscal autonomy: Lib Dem Peer Jeremy Purvis has challenged the SNP to bring forward amendments to the Scotland Bill to call for full fiscal autonomy.   (Telegraph page 1)


Scottish Devolution: Lord Forsyth has called for the “half-baked” Smith Commission devolution plans to be scrapped as events had overtaken the deal. (Record page 2, The Herald page 6)


Scottish Labour: Pat Rafferty, the Scottish Secretary of the trade union Unite,  has said that Scottish Labour’s refusal to back a second question in the Independence Referendum is a major factor in their recent electoral performance (The Herald page 6, The Sun page 2. The Times page 11, National page 6)


Labour: Janan Ganesh in the FT comments that the Labour Party has nothing left to say on tax.


Trident: The SNP have described the Prime Minister’s creation of a new cabinet sub-committee on Trident as showing a lack of respect towards Scotland (The Herald page 6)


Freedom of Information: The Scottish Government has reportedly blocked a Freedom of Information request for correspondence between the leadership of the SNP and figures such as Rupert Murdoch and Sir Brian Souter (The Herald page 6)


Child Benefit: David Cameron has ruled out cutting child benefit as a means of achieving £12 billion in savings from the welfare bill (The Herald page 6, The Sun page 2, The Times page 1 ,Telegraph page 4, Mail page 12)


Welfare Cuts: SNP politicians at Westminster and in Edinburgh are to increase the pressure on the UK Government to u-turn on proposed welfare cuts (The Times page 11, The Times page 17)


Human Rights: Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has reportedly commented that pulling out of the Human Rights Act was “off the table”. (Telegraph page 1, The Herald page 6)


Snoopers’ Charter: Companies have reportedly warned of a “mass exodus” of tech industry firms  from the UK should the UK Government’s proposal to force companies using encryption software to include  “back doors” into the software for MI5 and GCHQ go ahead. (National page 1)


Electoral Reform: Iain MacWhirther discusses the problems associated with the arguments for reform of the UK electoral system.



RBS: Chancellor George Osborne is expected to outline plans for the privatisation of the Royal Bank of Scotland. The proposals are set to be announced in next week’s Mansions House speech (The Herald page 1, The Times page 39, FT page 1)


Glasgow: Glasgow City Council is to unveil plans on how it intends to spend £400 million in government grants for infrastructure projects over the next two decades. (The Herald page 5)


Jobs: SNP trade and investment spokeswomen Tasmina Ahmed-Sheik MP has said that Scotland needs more high quality, well paid jobs instead of zero-hour contracts to lift people out of poverty (The Sun page 2)



Health Travel Scheme: NHS Highland’s new patient travel policy where patients travelling 30 miles for treatment can only claim car mileage 13p a mile has been attacked as ‘draconian’ by an Island GP ( The Herald page 4)


GP shortages: Almost 20,000 people are reportedly set to lose their family GP due to GP shortages closing surgeries in Scotland. (Mail page 1)


Frank’s Law: Health Secretary Shona Robison MSP is to give evidence to the Holyrood’s Public Petitions Committee on the campaign to implement a care system which is free for under 65s who are suffering from debilitating diseases (The Courier page 19)



Nursery Workers: The Independent Review of Scottish Early Learning and Childcare Workforce has recommended that Nursery Workers should be given better pay and qualifications to improve the quality of early-year education. (The Herald page 7, The Times page 11, The Courier page 14)



Automatic Early Release: A new law proposed by the Scottish Government may need to be changed to ensure prisoners are not released without supervision or support. (The Herald page 2)


Police Scotland: New research by pressure group Big Brother Watch has found that Scottish Police requested access to private data communications more than 60,000 times in the last 3 years (The Courier page 14)



Rail Strike: A national rail strike has been cancelled after Network Rail offered an improved pay offer to the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union (The Times page 2, The Sun page 4, The Herald page 9)