Reform Scotland News: 7 September 2015

Politics
Scottish Independence: Jim Sillars, the former SNP Deputy leader, has called on the SNP to launch an immediate campaign for independence and be ready to hold another referendum before 2020. He has also said that the Yes movement needs to distance itself from the party in order to win a second referendum and that a majority of members of the board of Yes Scotland, which governed the pro-independence campaign, privately supported a plan B on the currency of a separate Scottish currency. (Herald page 1, National page 13, Sunday Times page 1, Telegraph page 1, P&J page 15)

Refugees: Nicola Sturgeon and Yvette Cooper have both offered to welcome refugees into their own homes as thousands arrived in Germany. The UK Government has announced it is to divert money from the UK’s aid budget and hand it to councils to help house refugees. Donations from people in Scotland are also increasing as a response to the crisis and there have been calls by the SNP for the Prime Minister to take responsibility for the slow and inefficient response. (Herald page 1, Scotsman page 1, Scotland on Sunday, Times page 1, Telegraph page 1, National page 2 and page 7, FT page 2, Sunday Times page 1, Record page 8, Express page 4 and 5, Sun page 5, P&J page 17)

Brian Monteith comments on the current crisis in The Scotsman.

EU referendum: A new Survation poll shows that Scotland may be forced to leave the EU even though a majority of people in Scotland want to remain in it. The poll shows that a majority in the UK would vote to leave. (Herald page 6, Scotsman page 6, FT page 1, Express page 2, Sun page 2)

T in the Park: Nicola Sturgeon has ruled that Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop acted appropriately in the row over the Scottish Government’s decision to award the T in the Park music festival £150,000. (Herald page 3)

UK Labour leadership: Yvette Cooper has dismissed claims that Andy Burnham represents the best chance of stopping Jeremy Corbyn from becoming Labour leader as ‘playing games around tactical voting’ (Herald page 6, Scotsman page 10, P&J page 16)

Alistair Carmichael: Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has said that the legal bid to oust former Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael as an MP is ‘not very sound’. (Herald page 6)

Lesley Riddoch comments on the case in The Scotsman.

Health
Staffing complaints: Over 7,000 complaints about staffing in Scottish hospitals have been made to NHS bosses according to data released to the Liberal Democrats under Freedom of Information laws. (Scotsman page 9, Record page 11)

Education
Educational autonomy: In a summary of a piece for a forthcoming Reform Scotland publication, leading educationalist Keir Bloomer has argued that schools, universities and colleges need greater autonomy if the system is to improve. (Sunday Times page 21 and 29)

Justice
Sheku Bayoh: Hundreds of people have taken part in a march in support of the family of Sheku Bayoh as they are set to meet the Chief Constable Sir Stephen House for the first time since Sheku Bayoh’s death in police custody. (Herald page 2, Scotsman page 6, Record page 12, National page 15)

Transport
Borders Railway: The Borders Railway has reopened, the longest new domestic railway built in Britain for over a century. (Scotsman page 1, National page 14)

SPT: Strathclyde Partnership for Transport has been accused of ‘sleight of hand’ after it emerged that its directors billed taxpayers for almost £50,000 in travel, hotel and entertainment which didn’t appear in published expenses. (Herald page 3)

Lothian Buses: The public transport body Lothian Buses is looking for a new Managing Director. (Herald page 4)