{"JP":[ {"NewsSection":{"name":"politics","detaillevel":"full", "Articles": {"count":25,"detaillevel":"full","articlesList":[ {"article": { "url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/david-mundell-faces-fresh-calls-to-resign-over-1bn-dup-deal-1-4489410","id":"1.4489410","articleHeadline": "David Mundell faces fresh calls to resign over £1bn DUP deal","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498684771000 ,"articleLead": "

Anger continues to simmer at the £1 billion windfall for Northern Ireland to shore up the government, with the SNP stepping up calls for Scottish Secretary David Mundell to resign.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4483975.1498683195!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scottish Secretary David Mundell."} ,"articleBody": "

In his first outing at Prime Minister’s Questions as Westminster SNP leader, Ian Blackford challenged Theresa May over whether Mr Mundell opposed the deal with the Democratic Unionist Party, or requested any additional funding for Scotland.

The Scottish Government has made a formal complaint to the Treasury about the agreement, arguing it violates rules governing the Barnett formula that determines the UK government contribution to spending in Scotland. The Welsh government has also called for a review, which is under consideration.

Prior to the deal being agreed on Monday, Mr Mundell said he was “not going to agree to anything that could be construed as back-door funding to Northern Ireland”.

Accusing the Prime Minister of failing to give a “straight answer”, Mr Blackford twice demanded to know whether Mrs May had received “any representations from her Scottish Secretary about the DUP deal, either before or after it was signed”.

READ MORE: UK may not leave EU says Brexit secretary Michael Russell

She replied: “I regularly receive representations from the Secretary of State for Scotland about matters relating to Scotland, including regular representations pointing out that if the Scottish nationalists actually had the interests of Scotland at heart, they would want to remain part of the United Kingdom.”

Mrs May said Scotland had received £800 million at the Autumn Statement and £350m in the Budget.

Commenting afterwards, Mr Blackford claimed the Scottish Secretary’s “failure to secure anything for the people of Scotland must now mean he cannot remain in his position”.

A source dismissed the criticism, saying the SNP were trying to “deflect” from Nicola Sturgeon’s “mounting difficulties” on a second independence referendum and her record in government.

The source added that Mr Mundell had demanded a transparent funding arrangement with the DUP that conformed with the Barnett formula, and has secured that in the deal.

Today sees the deadline for talks to try restore the power-sharing executive in Northern Ireland, with Nationalists Sinn Féin expressing concern at the crucial role being played by the DUP in shoring up the government.

Sources have warned that implementation of the £1bn funding package for infrastructure, education and health may be delayed unless agreement is reached by 4pm today.

There was an indication of the close relationship between Conservatives and the DUP, with government ministers calling MPs from the Northern Irish party their “honourable friends”.

READ MORE: Kenny MacAskill: Peter Murrell must be ‘more than Nicola Sturgeon’s cheerleader’

Parliamentary protocol dictates that MPs from opposing parties usually refer to one another as “honourable members”, reserving the term “friend” for colleagues in their own party.

During the coalition of 2010-15, Conservative and Liberal Democrat ministers regularly addressed each other as “friend”.

“That is the terminology in which both parties will be addressing each other,” a Conservative source said.

There was criticism of the fact that, despite the deal, the ten DUP MPs will continue to receive “short money”, the public funding provided to support opposition parties in their parliamentary work.

Labour’s Kevin Brennan said that the continued provision of short money, along with the extra funding, amounted to “double bubble for her friends in the DUP”.

And the SNP’s Alison Thewliss claimed the £1bn funding deal in exchange for the ten DUP votes meant that each of the party’s MPs was “worth more than Ronaldo”, the Portuguese footballer transferred for just £80m.

The DUP’s Westminster leader Nigel Dodds defended the deal, saying extra funds would support mental health services dealing with “the legacy of 30 years of terrorism and violence”.

“Is it not time that people recognised that this is delivery for all the people of Northern Ireland, across all sections of the community, and that it is going to help some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged people in Northern Ireland?” he said at PMQs.

“People should get behind it and welcome it.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4483975.1498683195!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4483975.1498683195!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Scottish Secretary David Mundell.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scottish Secretary David Mundell.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4483975.1498683195!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/plea-to-secure-phone-box-heritage-as-950-face-axe-1-4489431","id":"1.4489431","articleHeadline": "Plea to secure phone box ‘heritage’ as 950 face axe","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498684340000 ,"articleLead": "

The prospect of almost 1,000 phone boxes being axed across Scotland has prompted concerns among MSPs at Holyrood about the impact on people living in remote areas.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4489430.1498684337!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A red phone box in Bearsden Cross. Picture: TSPL."} ,"articleBody": "

More than 90 per cent of Scots now own a mobile phone and their increased usage has seen a dramatic fall in the use of the traditional telephone box over the past decade.

It has prompted telecoms giant BT to propose axing about 950 kiosks, about one in five of these remaining in Scotland.

The issue came under the spotlight at Holyrood yesterday where Nationalist MSP Kenneth Gibson, who represents the Cunninghame North constituency, called on MSPs to back an “Adopt a Kiosk” scheme which allows councils and other local community bodies to take over phone boxes which have been earmarked for the axe.

He said the removal plans could be felt more acutely in remote regions.

“I was immediately concerned about the impact this would have on my constituents,” he said.

“This concern is of particular relevance to those living on Scotland’s islands, such as Arran and Cumbrae, where mobile coverage can be extremely poor, thus increasing isolation for island residents.”

BT’s plans have been watered down from the original proposals to remove up to 1,500 phone boxes and the MSP backed the firm’s “willingness to engage” with communities, including a pledge not to remove payphones on islands where there is an “unreliable, weak or even non-existent ­signal”.

They will also be retained where a “social need” has been identified such as accident blackspots and suicide hotspots where they may prove life-saving.

Rural affairs secretary Fergus Ewing told MSPs that the telephone box is “a very attractive piece of heritage”.

He added: “It’s nice thing to see around the place. It’s part of history – it would be very sad if they all disappeared.”

Their removal in some locations won’t be appropriate, he said, and offered to raise the issue with councils.

Conservative West Scotland MSP Jamie Green said: “It’s essential that any changes to payphones do not hinder the important community needs of a call box, such as access to emergency services, but more importantly in areas where there is no other means of contacting people where there’s poor mobile coverage.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "SCOTT MACNAB"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4489430.1498684337!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4489430.1498684337!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "A red phone box in Bearsden Cross. Picture: TSPL.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A red phone box in Bearsden Cross. Picture: TSPL.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4489430.1498684337!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/uk-may-not-leave-eu-says-brexit-secretary-michael-russell-1-4488658","id":"1.4488658","articleHeadline": "UK may not leave EU says Brexit secretary Michael Russell","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498646829099 ,"articleLead": "

The Scottish Government's Brexit secretary has said  it is still not certain that the UK will leave the EU.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488657.1498646945!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Mike Russell says Brexit is still not certain"} ,"articleBody": "

Michael Russell insisted there are \"lots of possibilities\", although he told Holyrood's constitution committee he does still see the UK's departure from the EU as the expected outcome.

Asked by Tory MSP Adam Tomkins if the Scottish Government accepts that the \"whole of the United Kingdom is leaving the European Union\", the cabinet secretary said the election result had diminished this prospect.

\"The certainty of that that existed before the 8th of June no longer exists in quite the same way,\" Mr Russell said.

\"The trajectory would still appear to be in that direction, but this is the most unpredictable set of circumstances I have ever seen in politics and I think any of us have ever seen in politics.\"

He added: \"It's like having lots of paralllel universes. I think there are lots of other possibilities still, some of which are of very limited likelihood, some of which are much greater likelihood.

\"So I can't be absolutely certain that that's the case, but I'm working on the basis that that present trajectory is where it's going.\"

But the Tory MSP questioned how the Scottish Government can demand a place at the Brexit negotiations, which are now underway, while being unclear about \"what they are designed to achieve.\"

Prof Tomkins said: \"The UK Government has made it perfectly clear that it wants these negotiations to achieve the United Kingdom leaving the European Union. Unless the First Minister and her Government are able to accept that - and to voice that in forums such as this - it seems to me difficult to understand how the Scottish Government can play a meaningful role in those negotiations.\"

" ,"byline": {"email": "scott.macnab@scotsman.com" ,"author": "Scott Macnab"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4488657.1498646945!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488657.1498646945!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Mike Russell says Brexit is still not certain","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Mike Russell says Brexit is still not certain","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4488657.1498646945!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/heritage/people-places/donald-trump-s-son-opens-king-robert-the-bruce-golf-course-1-4488710","id":"1.4488710","articleHeadline": "Donald Trump’s son opens King Robert the Bruce golf course","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498680837000 ,"articleLead": "

Eric Trump opened a second golf course at Turnberry yesterday as staff at the resort were asked not to display a Time Magazine cover featuring his father that was confirmed to be a fake.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488968.1498680835!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Eric Trump, son of US president Donald Trump, officially opens the newest Trump Turnberry golf course in Ayrshire. Picture: SWNS"} ,"articleBody": "

He declared his family have “made Turnberry great again” after Donald Trump bought the famous course in South Ayrshire in 2014. He has stepped away from the family business empire since being elected US president.

Eric jetted into Scotland to officially open the second revamped course, named after Robert the Bruce, said to have been born at Turnberry Castle.

The magazine cover was framed and hung at a number of Trump courses in the US and Ireland as well as at Trump Turnberry in Ayrshire, according to the Washington Post.

A member of staff at the Scottish resort told the newspaper the cover had been removed from the club’s Duel in the Sun Pub.

The cover, which dates to 1 March 2009, features an image of Donald Trump with the headline “Donald Trump: The Apprentice is a television smash!”

Time confirmed that the cover was a fake and said it had requested the Trump Organisation stops using it, according to reports.

A member of Turnberry staff who spoke to the Washington Post said the cover had been taken down a few weeks ago.

READ MORE: Fake Donald Trump Time Magazine cover removed from Trump Turnberry

However, it is not clear if it was taken down as a result of a request from Time.

The employee said: “We used to have a Time magazine cover up – aye, it was there for ages and ages, as long as I’ve been here. I know the one you’re on about,” the employee said. “But they came and took it down a while back.”

The staff member told the Washington Post that there had been a general reduction in the number of Trump images on show.

“We certainly have been hearing more grumbling about all the stuff like that up on the walls since his election,” the employee said.

“From Americans, mostly, funny enough. That’s why we all assumed they started taking some of his photos off the walls.

“But it was just a guess. I don’t actually have a scooby,” the employee added.

Eric Trump walked on to the new course with wife Lara, who he said was seven months pregnant, and they were piped on by a band led by a man dressed as the 14th-century king.

Mr Trump said: “Last time we were here there was a fun slogan ‘make Turnberry great again’.

“I think today we can finally say we made Turnberry great again and I’m incredibly proud of all we accomplished.”

READ MORE: Scottish actress married to President Trump’s Treasury secretary

Mr Trump did not take any questions from the media but told Turnberry members and invited guests that the completed resort was his father’s “dream”.

“Going back three years, I came to this property with my father and we spent each and every day building this thing and dreaming about this,” Mr Trump said. “Turnberry was always his dream, it was his painting, it was what he always envisioned – a course that could hold the best tournaments anywhere in the world.”

The new King Robert the Bruce course was designed by golf architect Martin Ebert, who also redesigned the Alisa course at Turnberry, and replaces the former Kintyre course. The cost of playing on the new course starts from £120 a round.

Mr Trump has appeared on 11 covers of Time Magazine in total.

But the real issue dated 2 March 2009 featured Kate Winslet on the front following her Oscars success.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ALISON CAMPSIE"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4488968.1498680835!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488968.1498680835!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Eric Trump, son of US president Donald Trump, officially opens the newest Trump Turnberry golf course in Ayrshire. Picture: SWNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Eric Trump, son of US president Donald Trump, officially opens the newest Trump Turnberry golf course in Ayrshire. Picture: SWNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4488968.1498680835!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4488709.1498658585!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488709.1498658585!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The Trump Turnberry Resort","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Trump Turnberry Resort","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4488709.1498658585!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/kenny-macaskill-peter-murrell-must-be-more-than-nicola-sturgeon-s-cheerleader-1-4489053","id":"1.4489053","articleHeadline": "Kenny MacAskill: Peter Murrell must be ‘more than Nicola Sturgeon’s cheerleader’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498676378000 ,"articleLead": "

Former Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill has launched an outspoken attack on the SNP’s top official, saying he must be more than “cheerleader-in-chief for his spouse”, Nicola Sturgeon.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4478930.1498660773!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Former Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill."} ,"articleBody": "

In a column for The Herald, Mr MacAskill said that by over-promoting the First Minister, SNP chief executive Peter Murrell had “eclipsed” the party’s other talents and the independence cause.

And he called for a concerted effort to reinvigorate and restore the SNP’s “organisation machine”, arguing that Ms Sturgeon could learn a lot from the Gordon Wilson, the party’s recently deceased former leader.

READ MORE: Tom Peterkin: Defiant Nicola Sturgeon in a struggle for indyref2 unity

Mr MacAskill said: “The organisation machine that had been built up needs to be restored.

“There should be a greater emphasis on that, not simply on social media and publicity. It’s a complicated job running a political party and Peter Murrell has done tremendous work. But, as party chief executive, he has to build the party from the base up, not simply be cheerleader-in-chief for his spouse.”

He added: “Likewise, the profile of the party has never been greater, yet the spotlight never more focused on one individual.

“Ms Sturgeon is hugely talented and a great asset. However, the concentration on her detracts from both colleagues and the wider cause. Both her cabinet ministers and the party more generally are eclipsed as a result.

“The SNP is bigger and the cause wider than just her. Focusing on her has been both a high-risk and short-term strategy. Others need allowed to blossom. The cause and the party both locally and nationally need promoted.

“She could learn a lot from Mr Wilson about building the base of the party and broadening her leadership team.”

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon to formally dispute DUP/ Conservative deal

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "RUSSELL JACKSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4478930.1498660773!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4478930.1498660773!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Former Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Former Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4478930.1498660773!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/3-5bn-warship-using-windows-xp-system-at-centre-of-nhs-hack-1-4489326","id":"1.4489326","articleHeadline": "£3.5bn warship ‘using Windows XP system at centre of NHS hack’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498675146000 ,"articleLead": "

Britain’s largest ever warship appears to be running an outdated computer operating system - sparking fears the £3.5 billion vessel could be vulnerable to cyber attacks.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4489325.1498675144!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "HMS Queen Elizabeth leaves Rosyth. Picture: Ian Georgeson"} ,"articleBody": "

According to The Telegraph, screens inside a control room on the HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier reportedly displayed Microsoft Windows XP - copyright 1985 to 2001.

Windows XP was the system being used in a number of NHS hospitals which were targeted in a WannaCry ransomware attack last month.

In total, 300,000 computers in 150 countries were affected during the attack.

READ MORE: HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier leaves Rosyth

Windows XP is no longer supported by Microsoft, meaning it does not receive updates to protect users from new types of cyber hacks.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has insisted the ship’s systems are safe because security around the computer software on the aircraft carrier is “properly protected”.

But Alan Woodward, professor of computing at the University of Surrey, said: “If XP is for operational use, it is extremely risky. Why would you put an obsolete system in a new vessel that has a lifetime of decades?”

Senior naval officers have rejected the criticisms.

Mark Deller, commander air on the Queen Elizabeth, said: “The ship is well designed and there has been a very, very stringent procurement train that has ensured we are less susceptible to cyber than most.

“We are a very sanitised procurement train. I would say, compared to the NHS buying computers off the shelf, we are probably better than that.

“If you think more Nasa and less NHS you are probably in the right place.”

READ MORE: 13 NHS health boards in Scotland affected by cyberattack

Sir Michael Fallon also said the vessel’s computers would be safe, adding: “It’s not the system itself, of course, that’s vulnerable, it’s the security that surrounds it.

“I want to reassure you about Queen Elizabeth, the security around its computer system is properly protected and we don’t have any vulnerability on that particular score.”

Concerns over HMS Queen Elizabeth’s computer systems came after the 65,000 ton warship slipped out of Rosyth dockyard and into open water on Monday.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ANGUS HOWARTH"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4489325.1498675144!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4489325.1498675144!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "HMS Queen Elizabeth leaves Rosyth. Picture: Ian Georgeson","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "HMS Queen Elizabeth leaves Rosyth. Picture: Ian Georgeson","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4489325.1498675144!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/snp-and-tories-back-john-swinney-s-school-reforms-1-4489307","id":"1.4489307","articleHeadline": "SNP and Tories back John Swinney’s school reforms","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498672831000 ,"articleLead": "

SNP and Conservative MSPs last night voted for Scottish education reforms that will see powers extended to headteachers and give parents more say in the running of schools.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4489306.1498672828!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "John Swinney"} ,"articleBody": "

The Tories backed Education Secretary John Swinney’s plans after a Holyrood debate on plans to give headteachers the ability to choose staff, decide on the curriculum and control more funding.

The reforms, which follow a review of school governance, will also give parents a stronger voice in the running of schools, Mr Swinney said.

The Scottish Conservatives voted for the reforms despite arguing that they are not radical enough.

Mr Swinney said: “We recognise also that we do not command a parliamentary majority and I am keen to engage constructively with members of parliament across the political spectrum to reach consensus on the way forward for education.

“Reform will require collective effort across the system and I am determined on the government’s behalf to work with others to put in place a strong system, to ensure that we have the necessary reforms undertaken to ensure that we make Scottish education world-class and that we can deliver the fulfilment that every young person and every child in Scotland has the right to deserve.”

Tory education spokeswoman Liz Smith said: “We do not believe that the proposed reforms go far enough to make good what is wrong in Scottish schools.”

She said the overhaul offered the opportunity to change where “real power lies” when it comes to decision-making, but she questioned how much autonomy headteachers would be given, including who would have the final say over direct funding for schools.

Headteachers have been “trapped in a myriad of directives” in the current system, she said.

“These have prevented headteachers from having freedom to take decisions in their own school, they have constrained choice and diversity, and they have led to a culture of conformity.

“All of which, I believe, have been a large part of what’s gone wrong.”

She added: “It is time to change the system ... but in a way that is much more radical than is being proposed by the SNP.”

Labour’s education spokesman Iain Gray condemned the reforms, describing them as “Thatcherite”.

Mr Gray said: “Tonight the SNP joined with the Tories to endorse Thatcherite reforms to Scotland’s school system. 

 “After a decade in charge of Scottish education, SNP minsters are harking back to Tory ideas of the late eighties for inspiration. These ‘reforms’ are more about emasculating local government than they are about empowering teachers. 

 “The major problem with our schools system is funding. There aren’t enough teachers in our schools, there are too many pupils per classroom and there isn’t enough investment in our young people. “

Remarkable Voices: find out more about the people who have shaped Scotland

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "TOM PETERKIN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4489306.1498672828!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4489306.1498672828!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "John Swinney","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "John Swinney","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4489306.1498672828!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/theresa-may-to-reconsider-public-sector-pay-cap-1-4488910","id":"1.4488910","articleHeadline": "Theresa May to reconsider public sector pay cap","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498655643000 ,"articleLead": "

Downing Street has signalled that it is ready to review the 1% cap on public sector pay rises.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488909.1498655641!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Picture: PA"} ,"articleBody": "

A senior Number 10 source said Prime Minister Theresa May had “heard the message” from the General Election that voters were “weary” of austerity.

He made clear ministers were ready to consider upcoming recommendations from public sector review bodies, which could bust the long-standing cap, and that the issue would be up for review in Chancellor Philip Hammond’s Autumn Statement.

Labour described the move as “very encouraging”, pointing out that it came ahead of a Commons vote on an opposition amendment to the Queen’s Speech calling for an end to the pay cap.

Asked about the future of the pay cap, the Downing Street source said: “Ministers, including the Prime Minister and the Chancellor, have been clear that we are going to listen to the messages that were sent at the election.

“We understand that people are weary after years of hard work to rebuild the economy.

“Public sector pay restraint is one of the tough choices we’ve had to make to balance the books after Labour’s crash and what was left behind. We are working through and looking at recommendations from pay bodies that are coming.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4488909.1498655641!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488909.1498655641!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Picture: PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Picture: PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4488909.1498655641!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/gap-between-uk-rich-and-poor-widening-1-4488223","id":"1.4488223","articleHeadline": "Gap between UK rich and poor widening","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498653639000 ,"articleLead": "

Britain risks becoming more divided unless there is a renewed effort to reduce the gap between the “haves and have-nots”, the influential Social Mobility Commission has warned.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488845.1498653636!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Picture: John Devlin"} ,"articleBody": "

In a damning report, the commission found two decades of government efforts had failed to deliver enough progress and urged ministers to adopt new approaches to tackle the problems in British society.

Alan Milburn, the commission’s chairman, warned “whole tracts of Britain feel left behind” in “volatile and uncertain times”.

The commission’s findings come as a study released today by Edinburgh University reveals school leavers from poorer families in Scotland are significantly more likely to be unemployed regardless of which subjects they have studied.

The commission’s analysis of efforts to bridge the gap between rich and poor under Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Theresa May found failings at every stage of a person’s life.

The report covered areas such as education, employment and housing.

It found at current rates of progress it will take about 15 years before all children are school-ready by age five and 40 years before the attainment gap between rich and poor at that age is closed.

In higher education, it will take about 80 years before the participation gap between students from rich and poor areas closes.

It also stated there is “currently no prospect of the [Westminster] government achieving its ambition of Britain becoming a high-skilled, high-paying economy”.

It highlighted the income and wealth divide which is said has become “more acute” – between 1997 and 2017 the bottom fifth of households saw incomes increase by just over £10 a week compared with £300 for the top fifth.

Former Labour minister Mr Milburn said the UK had reached an “inflection point”.

“If we go on as we have been, the divisions that have opened up in British society are likely to widen, not narrow.

“There is a growing sense in the nation that these divisions are not sustainable, socially, economically or politically. There is a hunger for change.The policies of the past have brought some progress, but many are no longer fit for purpose in our changing world.”

The commission recommended the Prime Minister establish a single cross-government plan to deliver the social mobility agenda, with ten-year targets to halt the short-term nature of many interventions.

It recommended a social mobility test for new public policies and every Budget should identify how taxpayers’ money is redistributed to address geographical, wealth and generational divides.

Professor Cristina Iannelli, of Edinburgh University, said: “In contrast to official government statistics showing more than 90 per cent of school leavers are in education or employment, the study found about 30 per cent of S4 leavers and 9 per cent of S5/S6 leavers were unemployed or inactive a few years after leaving school.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4488845.1498653636!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488845.1498653636!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Picture: John Devlin","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Picture: John Devlin","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4488845.1498653636!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/odd/jon-snow-accused-of-shouting-f-k-the-tories-at-glastonbury-festival-1-4488572","id":"1.4488572","articleHeadline": "Jon Snow accused of shouting ‘f**k the Tories’ at Glastonbury Festival","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498646879000 ,"articleLead": "

Jon Snow has played down claims that he shouted a derogatory remark about the Conservatives while at the Glastonbury Festival.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488571.1498644007!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow has been accused of chanting 'f**k the Tories' at Glastonbury. Picture: Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

A photo showing the veteran Channel 4 News presenter with a group of revellers at the world famous festival was posted on Twitter on Monday night by a user with the handle Danny Millea.

The caption read: “Boss place that Glasto. Having a dance with Jon Snow and hearing him shout ‘f**k the Tories’ is what dreams are made of.”

But Mr Snow issued a statement in response to the claims, saying: “After a day at Glastonbury I can honestly say I have no recollection of what was chanted, sung or who I took over 1000 selfies with.”

Conservative politicians hit out at the 69-year-old journalist, who had earlier tweeted: “Amazing to be amongst 200,000 at Glastonbury amid a real energy for a better politics.”

Andrew Bridgen, MP for North West Leicestershire, said: “[Mr Snow’s] position as a serious political interviewer is untenable after that vociferous, deeply offensive outburst.

“How could he possibly interview a Conservative politician after that outburst? It’s disgraceful. He should do the decent thing and resign. If not, he should be sacked, of course.”

Philip Davies MP added: “It is a clear example of political bias and is completely unacceptable for a publicly-owned, public service broadcaster to be so blatantly partisan.

“Channel 4 should dismiss him immediately from his position. If they do not, they wpould be just as guilty as he is.”

Mr Snow tweeted that it was his first visit to the festival, saying: “First trip to Glastonbury: dusty selfies, great music, loads of longing for a decent politics.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4488571.1498644007!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488571.1498644007!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow has been accused of chanting 'f**k the Tories' at Glastonbury. Picture: Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow has been accused of chanting 'f**k the Tories' at Glastonbury. Picture: Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4488571.1498644007!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4488578.1498646878!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488578.1498646878!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "A general view of the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury. Picture: Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A general view of the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury. Picture: Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4488578.1498646878!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/scott-macnab-nicola-sturgeon-s-indyref2-reset-won-t-change-anything-1-4488232","id":"1.4488232","articleHeadline": "Scott Macnab: Nicola Sturgeon’s Indyref2 ‘reset’ won’t change anything","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498641246000 ,"articleLead": "

The constitutional battle will continue as the First Minister keeps a second vote on the table, says Scott Macnab

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488517.1498669338!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Nicola Sturgeon's 'climbdown' on a second vote was anything but. Picture: PA"} ,"articleBody": "

Any idea that Nicola Sturgeon had performed a major climbdown on a second independence referendum was quickly extinguished yesterday by the launch of a new campaign by the SNP to mobilize support for a Yes vote.

The First Minister had barely left her seat in the Scottish Parliament, where she unveiled plans to “reset” her independence dream in a statement to MSPs, when it emerged that the party had set up a new website to help build the case for indyref2.

So if Ms Sturgeon imagined her long-awaited statement to MSPs on her “reflections” about the general election result would be enough to appease pro-union opponents, one can only hope she takes disappointment well.

Opposition leaders went on the offensive immediately, slamming the SNP leader’s lack of humility, contempt for the public and recognition of the election outcome earlier this month which saw the Nationalists lose more than 20 seats.

In a campaign north of the Border dominated by the independence issue, this was widely seen as a rejection of plans for another referendum which were set out the day after the Brexit vote. The fact that the SNP clearly won the election in Scotland with 35 of the country’s 59 seats was overshadowed by the seat losses along with a plunge in vote share from 50 per cent to 37 per cent.

It meant almost two-thirds of Scots backed pro-union parties.

Ms Sturgeon insisted she was listening to the views of Scots, including hundreds of conversations both inside and outside the SNP. This silent majority, she insists, believe that it is “just too soon right now to make a firm decision” about the precise timing of a second referendum. So the Bill to pave the way for a second vote is to be pushed back a bit.

But not for long. It will still be held in the coming years, with Ms Sturgeon herself to make a call on the timing in autumn next year, with the date for a repeat of the 2014 vote to be based on the state of the Brexit negotiations.

It takes a year of Parliamentary procedure and official campaigning before the vote can happen, so it could still conceivably be staged as early as autumn 2019, although a date in mid-2020 seems more likely. Even this shift is largely cosmetic, with the First Minister having already relented on the timescale as she launched her general election manifesto last month, when she accepted it could run beyond the spring 2019 deadline she had previously set out.

The question is to what extent Ms Sturgeon’s shift in position can allow her manage the trickiest of political balancing acts.

She needs to carry wider Scottish public opinion with her on this issue which will be essential if she wants to win a second referendum. At the same time, it is vital that frontline members of the Nationalist movement, including the 100,000-odd new members who signed up to the SNP following the referendum defeat, intent on pushing for independence, remain on board. These are the foot soldiers who will be at the heart of the second drive for a Yes vote.

And will the First Minister come through this process undamaged? However menial the changes to her timescale, the widespread perception is that Ms Sturgeon has been forced into this shift by sheer force of public opinion. The loss of 21 seats in the Commons and about half a million Scottish votes would appear to have spooked the First Minister into this public concession, to put her plans “on hold”, even if she remains adamant that indyref2 is still coming at the conclusion of the Brexit process.

It seems that Ms Sturgeon, who once appeared impervious at the summit of Scottish politics, has made a colossal miscalculation by rushing into her plans for a second referendum on the day after the Brexit vote.

It may have been in the SNP’s manifesto, Scotland being taken out of the EU against its will, but it simply wasn’t in tune with the pubic mood.

A wider problem for SNP strategists is that the party seems to be on the back foot on the independence issue and trying to turnaround this shift in momentum won’t be an easy task.

Perhaps more serious for Ms Sturgeon is that, after ten years in power, the SNP’s domestic record is under increasing scrutiny. The criticism over the referendum plans in the recent election campaign, the so-called “obsessing” about the constitution was happening while schools, hospitals and the economy were being neglected, according to opponents.

The impact on Ms Sturgeon’s own popularity was stark, as polling emerged during the campaign which indicated she is now the most unpopular party leader in Scotland. Almost two-thirds of Scots believe that her “defining mission” was to achieve Scottish independence, compared with just 3 per cent who saw it as education, while 6 per cent believed it was the NHS, according to the YouGov survey commissioned by Labour.

Whisper this among Nationalists, but it really did seem as if Theresa May’s matronly admonition that “Now’s not the time” for another referendum was more in touch with broader Scottish public opinion on the referendum issue than the First Minister’s bullrush into a second vote in the aftermath of last year’s EU referendum outcome.

And of course it’s worth remembering that no matter how loudly Ms Sturgeon demands a second referendum, it needs the approval of the UK government which has control over the constitution and is ruling it out for the duration of this Parliament.

And that’s before Ms Sturgeon faces up to the prospect of making the case for independence a second time around with all the unanswered questions over currency, the economy in the era of $50 a barrel oil and the £15 billion deficit this has left Scotland with.

Will Scots be ready to vote Yes and face up to a future outside the UK as well as the EU, with no guarantee that the Brussels bloc would allow us back in any time soon? As Holyrood prepares to go into recess tomorrow, Ms Sturgeon may have bought herself some summer respite with her “reset” referendum timetable yesterday, but it’s clear that Scots face years of more constitutional wrangling as Brexit and indyref2 continue dominate the political landscape.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "SCOTT MACNAB"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4488517.1498669338!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488517.1498669338!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Nicola Sturgeon's 'climbdown' on a second vote was anything but. Picture: PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Nicola Sturgeon's 'climbdown' on a second vote was anything but. Picture: PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4488517.1498669338!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/regions/aberdeen-north-east/scottish-episcopal-church-elects-mark-strange-as-new-primus-1-4488466","id":"1.4488466","articleHeadline": "Scottish Episcopal Church elects Mark Strange as new primus","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498637741000 ,"articleLead": "

The Right Reverend Mark Strange has been named as primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488465.1498637738!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Bishop Mark Strange has been elected the new Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church. Picture: Contributed"} ,"articleBody": "

Bishop Strange, who has been bishop of Moray, Ross and Caithness since 2007, and was elected to succeed the Most Reverend David Chillingworth.

The 56-year-old father-of-three said he was ‘humbled by the confidence’ shown in him by his colleagues, adding:” I will seek to serve the church as Primus with love and strength.

“I am deeply privileged to be Bishop of Moray, Ross and Caithness and am very aware that it has been 82 years since a Bishop of Moray became Primus. I pray that I may be worthy of this trust.”

Bishop Strange, who is married to Jane, a teacher in Inverness, and has a son and two daughters, has taken on the role just days after the General Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church voted in favour of same-sex marriage, making it the first major Christian church in the UK to back same-sex marriage.

Bishop Strange added: “I will continue to serve in my beloved Highlands while I also step out into new and exciting journeys of faith in both Scotland and the wider international church.”

The bishop hit the headlines in June 2015, when he called for ministers to be given the right to marry gay couples - and revealed that, as a teenager, he had been in love with a man.

He said at the time: “None of us fall in love by design, we just fall in love. In my teenage years I fell in love with two people – one was a woman and one was a man.

“I was unable to shape that emotion, however complicated it might be, and on both occasions that love was not returned.

“But I am always aware that things might have been different and that I would have been devastated if the church I belonged to had cast me aside because of who I happened to be in love with.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4488465.1498637738!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488465.1498637738!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Bishop Mark Strange has been elected the new Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church. Picture: Contributed","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Bishop Mark Strange has been elected the new Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church. Picture: Contributed","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4488465.1498637738!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/tom-peterkin-defiant-nicola-sturgeon-in-a-struggle-for-indyref2-unity-1-4488441","id":"1.4488441","articleHeadline": "Tom Peterkin: Defiant Nicola Sturgeon in a struggle for indyref2 unity","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498635370000 ,"articleLead": "

For the leader of a party coming off the back of a general election that saw her lose 21 seats, Nicola Sturgeon struck a defiant pose at Holyrood yesterday.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488440.1498654203!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. Picture: PA"} ,"articleBody": "

To studied applause from her backbenchers, she reminded them that despite those losses the SNP had “won” the election in Scotland “handsomely”.

Furthermore, the mandate for a second independence referendum was “beyond question”. This was a result of the SNP emerging as the largest party in two elections and because indyref2 has been endorsed by the Scottish Parliament.

Others, however, took a different view. The Conservative Deputy Leader Jackson Carlaw was withering in his analysis of what had happened to the SNP earlier this month.

“On 8 June, her party lost 500,000 votes – one third of its total support – and achieved the lowest share of the vote for a leading party in Scotland since 1955,” was how Carlaw put it.

But whatever gloss one chose to put on the result, it was down the fact that the SNP lost ground that Ms Sturgeon pledged to reflect on her pursuit of another referendum and the fact that it had counted against her. So when she revealed the outcome of her ruminations there was some acknowledgement that large sections of the electorate did not share her enthusiasm for hurtling towards another vote.

Her attempts to “reassure” those voters included a declaration that she respected the views of those implacably opposed to another vote.

But the reassurance offered by Ms Sturgeon in the form of a revised timetable for her indyref2 plans failed to placate the Conservatives, Labour or Lib Dems.

They saw it as a hollow gesture – a device to give the impression that she has listened to public opinion – while keeping another referendum well and truly on the agenda.

“She has announced no change,” said an exasperated Mr Carlaw.

“Is it not now clear that the only refresh that Scotland needs and the only way to move beyond constitutional turmoil is for an outraged Scotland to be done with this First Minister and done with this failing Scottish Government?”

Despite Ms Sturgeon’s claim she wanted to “build unity”, her statement appeared to have more to offer the independence faithful than the sceptics.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4488440.1498654203!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488440.1498654203!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. Picture: PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. Picture: PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4488440.1498654203!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/scots-tory-mps-asked-to-defend-david-mundell-over-dup-deal-1-4488413","id":"1.4488413","articleHeadline": "Scots Tory MPs ‘asked to defend David Mundell over DUP deal’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498633944000 ,"articleLead": "

Some of Scotland’s 12 new Conservative MPs were called on to defend the Scottish Secretary amid claims that David Mundell’s position was “untenable” over the £1bn DUP deal.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488412.1498633941!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ross Thomson: 'Group will always fight for Scotland's corner'. Picture: Contributed"} ,"articleBody": "

As the sole Scottish Conservative MP before the election, Mr Mundell has been a familiar face and voice on the airwaves, but it fell to new MPs Douglas Ross and Ross Thomson to defend plans to hand cash to Northern Ireland in exchange for the DUP’s support, without any additional funding for Scotland.

The pair both served as MSPs for a year before being sent to Westminster earlier this month.

Mr Mundell said the day before the deal was signed that “any funding that goes to Northern Ireland, then Barnett rules will ensure the appropriate funding comes to Scotland.”

The SNP accused the Scottish Secretary of being “posted missing” after waiting until yesterday evening to comment. Aides said he was travelling on Monday.

Mr Thomson, the Aberdeen South MP, faced a tough examination on Good Morning Scotland when he was asked by presenter Gary Robertson whether Scottish Conservative MPs were “going to ignore any extra money that might come Scotland’s way”.

He insisted the 13-strong group would “always fight for Scotland’s corner and we’ll do so from the heart of government” and said Mr Mundell had been “very clear”.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Paris Gourtsoyannis"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4488412.1498633941!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488412.1498633941!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Ross Thomson: 'Group will always fight for Scotland's corner'. Picture: Contributed","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ross Thomson: 'Group will always fight for Scotland's corner'. Picture: Contributed","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4488412.1498633941!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/education/john-swinney-urges-rival-parties-to-back-education-reform-1-4488379","id":"1.4488379","articleHeadline": "John Swinney urges rival parties to back education reform","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498631613000 ,"articleLead": "

Education Secretary John Swinney will urge rival parties at Holyrood to back his plans for sweeping reforms to Scotland’s schools.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488377.1498631605!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "John Swinney is looking to close the attainment gap - and raise the bar for all. Picture: John Devlin"} ,"articleBody": "

The changes, which were unveiled earlier this month, are to be debated by the Scottish Parliament.

Ahead of the debate, Mr Swinney said: “Government alone cannot realise our ambition of creating a world-class education system for Scotland. That is why I am reaching out to everyone in Parliament.

“The detail of our reforms will need to be developed in close collaboration with local government, the teaching profession, parents and young people.

READ MORE - Spending on Scottish schools to rise this year

“I want everyone to join with us in closing the attainment gap and raising the bar for all.”

The changes will see headteachers given a raft of new powers as they become responsible for raising attainment and closing the gap between the poorest and richest pupils.

Heads will also have the power to choose staff and management structures, decide on the curriculum - within a broad national framework - and directly control ‘’significantly’’ more funding.

The reforms, which follow a review of school governance, will also give parents a stronger voice in the running of schools, Mr Swinney said.

READ MORE - Labour hits out over maths failures

Some of the reforms will be contained in an Education Governance Bill, to be introduced to Holyrood next year, while others can be implemented without legislation.

Mr Swinney said: “The reforms I have announced are driven by this government’s unwavering focus on improving Scottish education so that all our young people can fulfil their potential.

“At their heart is a simple idea - we are putting more power and money in the hands of schools and teachers, who are best-placed to make decisions about the learning of young people. International evidence shows this approach works.”

Conservative education spokesman Liz Smith welcomed greater devolution of power to teachers but said more radical reform is needed.

Labour’s Iain Gray said the “first reform we need is more teachers, properly paid, properly supported and properly resourced”.

READ MORE - US-style behaviour programme set for Scottish schools

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4488377.1498631605!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488377.1498631605!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "John Swinney is looking to close the attainment gap - and raise the bar for all. Picture: John Devlin","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "John Swinney is looking to close the attainment gap - and raise the bar for all. Picture: John Devlin","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4488377.1498631605!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4488378.1498631611!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488378.1498631611!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The changes will see headteachers given a raft of new powers. Picutre: PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The changes will see headteachers given a raft of new powers. Picutre: PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4488378.1498631611!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/education/rise-in-racial-bullying-calls-to-childline-after-terror-attacks-1-4488342","id":"1.4488342","articleHeadline": "Rise in racial bullying calls to ChildLine after terror attacks","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498630217000 ,"articleLead": "

ChildLine has seen a spike in the number of calls about race and faith-based bullying in the wake of recent terror attacks.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488341.1498630215!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Calls to ChildLine almost double in the wake of the Westminster terror attack in March. Picture (posed by model): Contributed"} ,"articleBody": "

Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Sikh and black children were among those who contacted the NSPCC helpline about the issue and said abuse and negative stereotyping was so cruel some had self-harmed while many said they wished they could change who they are.

The charity has handled 2,500 counselling sessions in the last three years while centres in Glasgow and Aberdeen have dealt with 159 calls on the subject from children in the last year.

In the two weeks following the Manchester Arena attack in May, ChildLine held nearly 300 counselling sessions across the UK with children concerned about terrorism.

READ MORE - Bullies target Edinburgh Muslim girl following Paris terror attacks

The number of calls after the Westminster attack in March almost doubled to 128.

Many concerned about bullying said they endured constant name-calling and felt threatened. Some young Muslim girls told the helpline they had been victimised when they wore a hijab or headscarf.

One 15-year-old girl told ChildLine: “The boys in my class are always calling me a ‘terrorist’ but my teachers do nothing about it.

“It makes me so angry and upset that I’ve started to cut myself because it numbs the pain.”

A boy, aged 12, said: “I’m upset because people are making racist comments to me today and talking about the Manchester attack. It’s annoying and unfair because I have nothing to do with the attack.”

ChildLine president and founder Dame Esther Rantzen said: “When these events happen, we adults are so often overwhelmed with horror we sometimes forget about the children watching too.

“ChildLine is in a unique position to be able to hear from children who may be ignored or overlooked when there are major events, like terror attacks.

“It is crucial adults are aware of this issue and protect those who may be targeted.”

READ MORE - ChildLine held 151 online sex abuse counselling sessions in 2015

Joanna Barrett, acting national head of NSPCC Scotland, said: “No child should be targeted because of their race or faith and we cannot allow prejudice to make children feel ashamed of who they are.

“It takes huge courage for a child to speak up about this issue and they must be encouraged to speak up if they are being targeted.

“Some children don’t understand how painful and damaging their words can be, so adults must not turn a blind eye if they see young people turning on one another.

“We must defend those who are being targeted and explain to those who are bullying others why their actions are harmful and wrong.”

• Any child worried about bullying can call ChildLine on 0800 11 11. Adults concerned about a child can call the NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "PAUL WARD"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4488341.1498630215!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488341.1498630215!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Calls to ChildLine almost double in the wake of the Westminster terror attack in March. Picture (posed by model): Contributed","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Calls to ChildLine almost double in the wake of the Westminster terror attack in March. Picture (posed by model): Contributed","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4488341.1498630215!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/1-in-4-scots-saving-nothing-for-retirement-1-4488336","id":"1.4488336","articleHeadline": "1 in 4 Scots ‘saving nothing for retirement’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498629488000 ,"articleLead": "

A quarter of Scots are saving nothing for retirement, according to a report.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488335.1498629486!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Around 25 per cent of Scots are putting nothing away for their retirement, a new report has found. Picture: PA"} ,"articleBody": "

A quarter of Scots are saving nothing for retirement, according to a report.

Experts described the number as a “real concern”, with younger people in particular struggling to put money away for life after work.

READ MORE - Bill Jamieson: Financial advice ‘not just for the well off’

The Scottish Widows Adequate Savings Index found the number of workers saving nothing rose from 19 per cent last year to 25 per cent this year.

It contributed to a 2 per cent fall overall in the number of people “saving adequately for retirement” to 59 per cent.

The survey found 70 per cent of 22 to 29-year-olds are not saving adequately compared to 51 per cent of Scots in their 30s and just 28 per cent of 50 to 59-year-olds.

Catherine Stewart, retirement planning expert at Scottish Widows, said: “The drop in adequate savers in Scotland over the last 12 months is a real concern and it is especially concerning to see how much the younger generation is struggling to put enough away for later years.”

READ MORE - Gareth Shaw: Mind the gap for your state pension

Scottish Widows said auto-enrolment schemes have helped but contributions need to be raised to a “combined 12 per cent employer and employee contribution” for an adequate level of saving.

Levels of debt, student loans and credit card bills were also highlighted as 29 per cent of Scots said they cannot afford to save any more into a workplace pension than they currently do.

Scottish Widows believes better use of technology and social media is needed to reach younger workers.

Ms Stewart said: “To really help the younger generation start to think seriously about retirement savings, the essential first step is to understand what information they need.

“If we don’t get this right, then it is far more difficult for them to reach their desired savings levels in their 30s and 40s.

“What we know for sure is that younger people are far more likely to engage with technology and information that can be easily digested.

“We have therefore created a series of pension basics films available on our YouTube channel and are currently developing a smart phone app allowing members of corporate pension schemes to keep track of how their savings are growing.”

Visit our personal finance section

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "PAUL WARD"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4488335.1498629486!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488335.1498629486!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Around 25 per cent of Scots are putting nothing away for their retirement, a new report has found. Picture: PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Around 25 per cent of Scots are putting nothing away for their retirement, a new report has found. Picture: PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4488335.1498629486!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/chris-marshall-police-authority-s-problems-run-deeper-than-just-flanagan-s-leadership-1-4488228","id":"1.4488228","articleHeadline": "Chris Marshall: Police authority’s problems run deeper than just Flanagan’s leadership","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498626000000 ,"articleLead": "

After weeks of uncertainty over his future, Scottish Police Authority chairman Andrew Flanagan finally gave way to pressure when he announced his resignation earlier this month.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488227.1498593031!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Andrew Flanagan resigned as chairman of the Scottish Police Authority earlier this month after his leadership came under heavy criticism, including from MSPs."} ,"articleBody": "

Mr Flanagan has achieved a remarkable feat in almost two years leading the board, taking over an organisation struggling for credibility and managing to reduce its reputation further.

But if the SPA thought Mr Flanagan’s departure would allow it some breathing space, the arrival of a critical inspection report just days later shattered that particular illusion.

The report by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland (HMICS) raised concerns about leadership of the organisation and said there was “dysfunction” in the relationship between Mr Flanagan and SPA chief executive John Foley.

Within hours of the report being leaked last week, it was Mr Foley who found himself in the eye of the storm, with what Scottish Labour called “difficult questions” to answer over his role.

Commenting on his report, HM Inspector of Constabulary in Scotland Derek Penman said increasing concerns over the openness and transparency of the SPA had undermined confidence in the organisation and “detracted from its ability to perform its statutory function”.

A further HMICS report, published yesterday, said both the SPA and Police Scotland have failed to deliver on improvements to forensic services with no overall strategy in place for over four years. Again, the leadership of the SPA was questioned.

All this matters because the SPA has an important dual function of overseeing the £1.1 billion Police Scotland budget and holding the chief constable to account.

The constant scrutiny of the SPA and the need for it to defend itself is a distraction from the job the organisation was set up to do.

Now is an important time for the SPA, and it’s crucial it gets the appointment of its new chairman right.

However, it’s also becoming clear the organisation’s problems go beyond the personalities of those in charge.

With confidence in the SPA continuing to falter, urgent action is needed to re-vitalise its staid public board meetings.

At last week’s meeting in Edinburgh, an attempt was made to introduce questions from members of the public which had been submitted in advance. The idea was a good one, but it seems some of the more pointed questions may have been watered down, leaving the whole thing feeling gimmicky.

There also appears to be a collective failure by the board to take seriously the criticism levelled at the SPA by HMICS.

At Thursday’s meeting, discussion of the HMICS report extended only as far as calls for an “inquiry” into how the document came to be leaked to the press, and an admission staff morale had been “badly bruised”.

The board could badly use an injection of fresh ideas and impetus.

The suggestion has previously been made that representatives of staff associations such as the Scottish Police Federation or unions representing civilian police staff could sit on the board.

This seems like one way of revitalising the meetings and increasing overall knowledge of day-to-day policing on the board.

Whatever happens, the SPA must move fast because its continuing drift is damaging not just for itself, but Scottish policing as a whole.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "CHRIS MARSHALL"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4488227.1498593031!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488227.1498593031!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Andrew Flanagan resigned as chairman of the Scottish Police Authority earlier this month after his leadership came under heavy criticism, including from MSPs.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Andrew Flanagan resigned as chairman of the Scottish Police Authority earlier this month after his leadership came under heavy criticism, including from MSPs.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4488227.1498593031!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/gap-between-uk-rich-and-poor-widening-warns-think-tank-1-4488162","id":"1.4488162","articleHeadline": "Gap between UK rich and poor widening, warns think tank.","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498604401000 ,"articleLead": "

Britain risks becoming more divided unless there is a renewed effort to reduce the gap between the “haves and have-nots”, the influential Social Mobility Commission has warned.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4486541.1498586284!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Social Mobility Commission warning on Britain's social divide."} ,"articleBody": "

In a damning report, the commission found two decades of government efforts had failed to deliver enough progress and urged ministers to adopt new approaches to tackle the problems in British society.

Alan Milburn, the commission’s chairman, warned “whole tracts of Britain feel left behind” in “volatile and uncertain times”.

The commission’s findings come as a study released today by Edinburgh University reveals school leavers from poorer families in Scotland are significantly more likely to be unemployed regardless of which subjects they have studied.

The commission’s analysis of efforts to bridge the gap between rich and poor under Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Theresa May found failings at every stage of a person’s life.

The report covered areas such as education, employment and housing.

It found at current rates of progress it will take about 15 years before all children are school-ready by age five and 40 years before the attainment gap between rich and poor at that age is closed.

In higher education, it will take about 80 years before the participation gap between students from rich and poor areas closes.

It also stated there is “currently no prospect of the [Westminster] government achieving its ambition of Britain becoming a high-skilled, high-paying economy”.

It highlighted the income and wealth divide which is said has become “more acute” – between 1997 and 2017 the bottom fifth of households saw incomes increase by just over £10 a week compared with £300 for the top fifth.

Former Labour minister Mr Milburn said the UK had reached an “inflection point”.

“If we go on as we have been, the divisions that have opened up in British society are likely to widen, not narrow.

“There is a growing sense in the nation that these divisions are not sustainable, socially, economically or politically. There is a hunger for change.The policies of the past have brought some progress, but many are no longer fit for purpose in our changing world.”

The commission recommended the Prime Minister establish a single cross-government plan to deliver the social mobility agenda, with ten-year targets to halt the short-term nature of many interventions.

It recommended a social mobility test for new public policies and every Budget should identify how taxpayers’ money is redistributed to address geographical, wealth and generational divides.

Professor Cristina Iannelli, of Edinburgh University, said: “In contrast to official government statistics showing more than 90 per cent of school leavers are in education or employment, the study found about 30 per cent of S4 leavers and 9 per cent of S5/S6 leavers were unemployed or inactive a few years after leaving school.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "sross@scotsman.com" ,"author": "SHN ROSS"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4486541.1498586284!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4486541.1498586284!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Social Mobility Commission warning on Britain's social divide.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Social Mobility Commission warning on Britain's social divide.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4486541.1498586284!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/snp-demands-review-of-dup-deal-as-david-mundell-faces-quit-call-1-4488052","id":"1.4488052","articleHeadline": "SNP demands review of DUP deal as David Mundell faces quit call","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498595825000 ,"articleLead": "

David Mundell has faced down calls to quit over his role in the UK government’s decision to hand Northern Ireland £1 billion of public money in exchange for the support of the Democratic Unionist Party.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4479213.1498595824!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scottish Secretary David Mundell has come under pressure from the SNP. Picture: John Devlin"} ,"articleBody": "

The Scottish Secretary insisted that he hadn’t suggested Scotland would see a cash windfall from the deal, which will not see funding for Northern Ireland matched anywhere else in the UK, and said the agreement did not undermine the Barnett formula that calculates the size of Scotland’s block grant.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon ‘resets’ indyref2 plans

The UK Treasury said it would respond to a formal complaint about the decision lodged by the Scottish and Welsh finance secretaries.

Mr Mundell came under pressure from the SNP after saying before the deal was signed that he was “not going to agree to anything that could be construed as back door funding for the DUP”.

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford said Mr Mundell’s position was “untenable”, and Scottish finance secretary Derek Mackay accused Mr Mundell of being “incompetent, ill-informed and incommunicado” after waiting more than 24 hours before commenting on the deal.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon to formally dispute DUP deal

Last night Mr Mundell said: “I was very clear that any arrangement had to be absolutely transparent – it is. I was clear that it had to be subject to the Barnett rules – it is.

“I was also clear there should be no subversion of the Barnett rules, and that hasn’t happened.”

The Scottish Secretary said he “always” argues for resources for Scotland, and added: “Only a year ago the SNP were arguing that we should give up the Barnett formula and that we should have full fiscal autonomy which would’ve cost Scotland billions.”

SNP MP Pete Wishart, who failed in a bid to call an urgent debate in the House of Commons on DUP deal money, claimed Mr Mundell’s comments show he “failed to lift a finger” to secure additional investment for Scotland.

Earlier, a Downing Street spokesman said the deal with the DUP had the unanimous support of the UK cabinet, and that the Prime Minister “of course has full confidence” in Mr Mundell.

The SNP has argued that the £1bn for Northern Ireland should mean Scotland getting £2.9bn if the funds were distributed by the Barnett formula.

The formula ensures that if funding goes up in England, there are consequentials for the devolved nations.

The extra cash negotiated by the DUP will not be handed over via Barnett, but sees an increase in Northern Ireland’s block grant.

At a cabinet meeting yesterday, SNP ministers agreed to invoke a “dispute resolution mechanism” through the Joint Ministerial Council (JMC), the body dealing with relations between the UK government and devolved administrations.

Nicola Sturgeon’s spokesman said the cabinet had “expressed its displeasure at the nature of the deal with the DUP, which would appear to be a gross breach of established principles of devolution”.

In a letter to the Chief Secretary of the Treasury, Liz Truss, Mr Mackay said the Scottish Government “fundamentally disagrees” with the way funds were promised in the DUP deal and claimed the arrangement breaches rules governing the Barnett formula.

Mr Mackay said the statement of funding policy that governs devolved funding requires that investment bypassing the Barnett formula “should be exceptional”.

It also says that decisions should “be evidence-based, be undertaken in a timely manner, and be considered by Treasury ministers and their counterparts in the devolved administrations to ensure all viewpoints are understood before final decisions are taken”.

Mr Mundell added that he welcomed the call for a review of the deal and was “confident that when it’s reviewed formally it will be absolutely clear that the position the government adopted is fully compliant with the rules”.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Paris gourtsoyannis and TOM PETERKIN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4479213.1498595824!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4479213.1498595824!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Scottish Secretary David Mundell has come under pressure from the SNP. Picture: John Devlin","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scottish Secretary David Mundell has come under pressure from the SNP. Picture: John Devlin","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4479213.1498595824!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"1498577251370"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/leader-comment-referendum-rethink-was-the-only-option-1-4488235","id":"1.4488235","articleHeadline": "Leader comment: Referendum rethink was the only option","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498595400000 ,"articleLead": "

Three weeks after the general election altered the Scottish political landscape, we have confirmation of what was just about the only firm conclusion to be drawn from the results. There is insufficient appetite for a second Scottish independence referendum to be held, and the matter should not be pursued.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488234.1498593425!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, with Fiona Hyslop MSP and Deputy First Minister John Swinney, prepares to inform the Scottish Parliament of her revised position on a second independence referendum. Picture: Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

Yesterday’s statement by the First Minister was long-awaited, but it did not represent a carefully constructed shift of strategy. Instead, it was based on common sense, and acknowledged the public mood.

Critics rounded on Nicola Sturgeon for not ruling out a referendum for the duration of this current Parliament, insisting that nothing had changed. In one way, it is true that little differs from where we were at the time of the election, with Ms Sturgeon admitting in the closing stages of the campaign that her timetable for a referendum had slipped back. But the difference is that her previous shift was based on the time that Brexit negotiations would take. This time, she is tacitly acknowledging that a referendum will not be any time soon because it does not carry public support.

However, Ms Sturgeon is entitled to retain a second referendum as an option, up until the end of this Parliament’s term in 2021. It is possible there will be no rise in support for independence during that time, but it is also possible that the Brexit process could deliver a grim scenario for the UK – no access to the single market, no trade deal, no “settled status”, and possibly no deal at all, with the UK feeling a damaging economic backlash after turning its back on the EU. That kind of circumstance, rather than the initial vote to leave the EU, could represent the kind of material change Ms Sturgeon has previously spoken of as justification for a second referendum. As we know, much can happen in three years. A worst-case scenario post-Brexit cannot be ruled out at this stage.

In the meantime, Ms Sturgeon must ensure that her administration, and her party, park independence for the next year – more likely at least two years – and allow full attention to be focussed on the domestic problems that need to be addressed. Opposition parties have a responsibility here too, if independence is to come off the agenda.

Asecond referendum remains a possibility, but its likelihood will be determined by factors outwith the SNP’s control. The electorate has made it clear that it will not be pushed into a second vote.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4488234.1498593425!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488234.1498593425!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, with Fiona Hyslop MSP and Deputy First Minister John Swinney, prepares to inform the Scottish Parliament of her revised position on a second independence referendum. Picture: Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, with Fiona Hyslop MSP and Deputy First Minister John Swinney, prepares to inform the Scottish Parliament of her revised position on a second independence referendum. Picture: Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4488234.1498593425!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/msps-to-work-longer-hours-due-to-added-brexit-workload-1-4488230","id":"1.4488230","articleHeadline": "MSPs to work longer hours due to added Brexit workload","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498593254000 ,"articleLead": "

The Scottish Parliament could start sitting for longer hours and bring in extra staff to deal with the extra workload expected by the Brexit process.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488229.1498593252!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The debating chamber of Holyrood. Picture: Toby Williams"} ,"articleBody": "

Thousands of UK laws will need to be scrutinised as the nation seeks to disentangle itself from the European Union in the years ahead and it is expected to be the biggest challenge which the Parliament has faced in the 18 years since devolution.

Holyrood normally only sits on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, with mornings taken up by committee business getting under way between 9am and 10am. Afternoon business in the main debating chamber generally finishes at 5.30pm, but can sit longer. But a report by Holyrood’s assistant chief executive Ken Hughes states: “The overall impact of these extra scrutiny demands should not be underestimated.”

The Commons’ procedures committee has warned that it is potentially one of the “largest legislative projects ever undertaken in the UK.”

Holyrood business chiefs are now being asked to consider a review of the current committee structure as these are likely to face the “heaviest scrutiny burden” from the Brexit demands, Mr Hughes’ report says. They will also look at the prospect of bringing in extra staff, as well as more academics and experts to help ease the looming Brexit workload.

The prospect of “sitting times being expanded” is also being examined which is likely to mean late night sessions for MSPs. It is less likely that Parliament would sit on Mondays and Fridays, as MSPs are keen protect this time for constituency business.

The UK government has proposed that Brexit is likely to lead to an increase in the decision making powers of the Scottish Parliament.

However, there some powers which currently sit at Holyrood and other devolved administrations which could be exercised at UK level in the aftermath of the repatriation of powers, to ensure UK frameworks replace EU frameworks in areas such as such as farming regulation.

Other legislation, such as the Great Repeal Bill which returns power from Brussels to Westminster, will also require a vote in Holyrood as these impact on devolved areas. But although MSPs can vote such legislation down, they do not have a legal veto meaning Westminster could overrule objections from Holyrood.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4488229.1498593252!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488229.1498593252!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The debating chamber of Holyrood. Picture: Toby Williams","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The debating chamber of Holyrood. Picture: Toby Williams","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4488229.1498593252!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/scottish-government-ignoring-major-risk-of-nhs-shortages-1-4488203","id":"1.4488203","articleHeadline": "Scottish Government ‘ignoring major risk’ of NHS shortages","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498589812000 ,"articleLead": "

Doctors have accused the Scottish Government of “simply ignoring a major risk to the health service” by failing to deal with staff shortages in the NHS, the chair of the British Medical Association (BMA) in Scotland is set to claim.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488202.1498589809!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Doctors have warned MSPs not to 'ignore' staff shortages. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)"} ,"articleBody": "

Dr Peter Bennie will use a speech today to highlight the “unrelenting” pressures staff and services are facing - adding there are areas where the NHS lacks enough staff to “look after patients properly”.

Official figures show more than 400 consultant jobs across Scotland are unfilled while Brexit could spark an “exodus of talented staff” from the health service, Dr Bennie will claim.

He will say “urgent action” is now needed to tackle the problems, with the BMA calling on governments across the UK to increase the amount of cash that goes to the NHS.

The BMA’s Scottish chair will use his speech to the organisation’s annual representative meeting in Bournemouth to speak out about the issues medical staff are facing.

He will argue the public must be consulted about which services they want to see provided on the NHS as well as being told “honestly how much it will cost”.

Both the “financial difficulties facing the NHS in Scotland and the pressures on our clinical workforce are unrelenting,” Dr Bennie will say.

He will add: “Good health services cost money and health spending is a political choice.

“The UK spends a smaller proportion of its national wealth than the average levels spent by comparable leading European nations and the BMA is calling for that to change, in all four nations.”

On the “key area” of staffing, he will insist: “We simply do not have enough doctors in general practice or secondary care in Scotland to look after patients properly. The most recent government figures show that more than 400 consultant posts in Scotland are unfilled and almost half of these have been unfilled for more than six months.”

Junior doctor positions in many specialities “lie empty”, he will add, while more than a quarter of GP practices are “missing” senior staff.

Dr Bennie will say: “Scottish Government repeatedly says that ‘there are more doctors than ever before’ - but this is simply ignoring a major risk to the health service and it is demoralising and frustrating for doctors to hear time and time again.”

The BMA is calling for a “realistic approach to workforce planning in Scotland” to help reduce “the risk of burnout”..

Dr Bennie will also argue that many of the health problems doctors have to deal with are “due to many years of deprivation, inequalities and poor public health”.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Katrine Bussey"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4488202.1498589809!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488202.1498589809!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Doctors have warned MSPs not to 'ignore' staff shortages. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Doctors have warned MSPs not to 'ignore' staff shortages. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4488202.1498589809!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/rail-policing-to-be-taken-over-by-police-scotland-1-4487402","id":"1.4487402","articleHeadline": "Rail policing to be taken over by Police Scotland","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498587368000 ,"articleLead": "

Controversial plans for railway policing to be taken over by Police Scotland have received final approval by MSPs.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4487401.1498567149!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Picture: TSPL"} ,"articleBody": "

The merger of British Transport Police (BTP) north of the Border with the national force was agreed yesterday by 68 votes to 53.

The Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats opposed the move, which followed powers being devolved by the Smith Commission.

• READ MORE: Corbyn backs calls for transport policing merger to be scrapped

READ MORE: Police chief warns over ‘complicated’ Transport Police merger

The British Transport Police Federation also fought it.

Transport minister Humza Yousaf said the prime objective was to protect and advance the high standards of safety and security on Scotland’s railways.

He also sought to allay fears from BTP officers by pledging to retain the “triple lock” guarantee over their jobs, pay and pensions.

Mr Yousaf said they would “transfer over without any detriment to their terms and conditions”.

He said the merger would provide specialist resources to protect the railways, such as in counter-terrorism.

Justice secretary Michael Matheson said it would bring “a level of scrutiny over BTP that we have never had before in this country”.

However, opposition MSPs claimed the move simply followed SNP dogma.

Dumfriesshire Conservative MSP Oliver Mundell said: “This ill-judged and ill-thought out idea is before us for one reason and one reason only - this SNP Scottish Government’s constitutional and ideological obsession with control.”

He said it “goes to the heart of everything that has gone wrong on their watch”.

Labour transport spokesman Neil Bibby agreed it had been a “political choice” rather then necessary, and the railways would not be policed better or passengers be safer.

Labour justice spokeswoman Claire Baker said: “The SNP failed to listen to the long list of industry experts and railroaded this Bill through Parliament.

“There are clear financial and operational questions that still remain unanswered. This is an expensive plan to fix a problem that isn’t broken.”

Liberal Democrat transport spokesman Mike Rumbles said: “Ministers made up their minds long ago that they were right, and that those in the sector...were all wrong. That is neither sensible, nor healthy, but it is sadly characteristic.”

Police Scotland Deputy Chief Constable Johnny Gwynne said: “Police Scotland acknowledges the decision of the Scottish Parliament and will look to build on the good work of BTP to sustain and improve the delivery of policing services and meet the needs of the travelling public and rail industry across Scotland.”

READ MORE: Scottish Government urged to drop transport police merger plan

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ALASTAIR DALTON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4487401.1498567149!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4487401.1498567149!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Picture: TSPL","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Picture: TSPL","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4487401.1498567149!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/nicola-sturgeon-resets-indyref2-plans-1-4487869","id":"1.4487869","articleHeadline": "Nicola Sturgeon ‘resets’ indyref2 plans","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498580654000 ,"articleLead": "

Nicola Sturgeon said today the Scottish government will “reset” the plan on indyref2.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488099.1498580650!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "First Minister Nicola Sturgeon talks in the Chambers in the Scottish Parliament where she said the Government will reset indyref2 plans. Picture: SWNS"} ,"articleBody": "

The First Minister has said she remains committed to a second independence referendum but has conceded that the timetable should slip slightly following the SNP’s poor General Election.

The First Minister said she would not introduce her Referendum Bill “immediately” following the loss of 21 SNP seats, but would take stock in autumn next year on how and when to proceed.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon to formally dispute DUP deal

READ MORE: David Mundell’s position ‘becoming untenable’, say SNP

The “reset” of her referendum proposal means that her original plans to hold a vote between Autumn next year and Spring 2019 will be unable to be met.

Ms Sturgeon’s revised timetable is still in line with her ambition to hold indyref2 this parliament, although the vote would require permission from the UK Government through a Section 30 order.

In the meantime, Ms Sturgeon pledged to work to grow the independence movement and influence the Brexit process to protect Scotland’s interests.

Addressing parliament, Ms Sturgeon said: “It remains my view and the position of this government that at the end of the Brexit process the people of Scotland should have a choice about our future direction as a country.

“Indeed the implications of Brexit are so potentially far reaching that as they become clearer I think people will increasingly demand that choice.”

But she added that she wanted to “reassure” people that her proposal was “not for a referendum now” but was to give them a choice at the end of the Brexit process when there was “clarity” about the options.

She said she would “reset” her proposals laid out in March when she said a vote should be held between autumn next year and spring 2019.

“We will not seek to introduce the legislation for an independence referendum immediately,” Ms Sturgeon said.

“Instead, we will - in good faith - redouble our efforts and put our shoulder to the wheel in seeking to influence the Brexit talks in a way that protects Scotland’s interests.

We will seek to build maximum support around the proposals set out in the paper that we published in December - Scotland’s Place in Europe - to keep us in the single market, with substantial new powers for this parliament. We will do everything we can to influence the UK in that direction.

“Then at the end of this period of negotiation with the EU - likely to be around next autumn - when the terms of Brexit will be clearer, we will come back to Parliament to set out our judgment on the best way forward at that time, including our view on the precise time-scale for offering people a choice over the country’s future.”

How the other parties reacted

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson called on Ms Sturgeon to “give the country some certainty” by taking the Referendum Bill off the table for the rest of this parliament.

She said: “Yes voters and No voters, most people simply don’t want this brought back any time soon and none of the questions - none of the questions - that are raised by Brexit are answered by ripping Scotland out of our own union of nations, our biggest market and our closest friends.

“I’m afraid to say that that statement will fail to give an assurance to those people that this First Minister is listening to them.

“Again, she makes virtually no mention of her domestic responsibilities.

“Instead she appears to be in denial about her mistakes over this last year and, as a result, is leaking credibility and confidence in her leadership by the hour.

“Her response actually hasn’t been to reflect but to simply lash out at the UK Government at every opportunity and to sing the same old songs in the same old tune.”

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale urged Ms Sturgeon to “get on with the job that really matters - improving our schools, growing our economy and fixing our NHS”.

She said: “The First Minister says she has heard the views of the people, that she’s reflected on the result of the general election, and her incredulous conclusion is to double down and continue with her campaign for independence.

“The truth is the threat of an unwanted second independence referendum is dead and this didn’t happen because Nicola Sturgeon wanted it to, the people of Scotland have taken that decision for her.

“The First Minister is digging her heels in, putting her fingers in her ears and pressing on regardless. She is just not listening.

“First Minister, why don’t you understand the people of Scotland sent you a clear message at the general election - get back to governing.”

The Scottish Greens urged the First Minister not to retreat from her referendum timetable.

Co-convener Patrick Harvie said: “Scotland has not consented to being taken out of the European Union against our will.

“Scotland has not consented to the social and economic wreckage which we know will result if that happens.

“If the First Minister does not introduce a referendum bill until after autumn next year, how long will it be after we’ve been dragged out of Europe without having consented to it before the people of Scotland are even entitled to make their choice?

“Why after a negotiation between a UK Government and EU institutions, and decisions made by every other member state in Europe, why should the people of Scotland be the only people without the right to make a decision on that timescale?”

Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said “absolutely nothing has changed” in Ms Sturgeon’s approach.

“If she wants to prove she has listened, the First Minister should trigger a vote in this chamber which would rule out another independence referendum in this parliamentary term,” he said.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "TOM PETERKIN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4488099.1498580650!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488099.1498580650!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "First Minister Nicola Sturgeon talks in the Chambers in the Scottish Parliament where she said the Government will reset indyref2 plans. Picture: SWNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "First Minister Nicola Sturgeon talks in the Chambers in the Scottish Parliament where she said the Government will reset indyref2 plans. Picture: SWNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4488099.1498580650!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4488100.1498580652!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4488100.1498580652!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson. Picture: SWNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson. Picture: SWNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4488100.1498580652!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"1498577251370"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} ]}}} ]}