{"JP":[ {"NewsSection":{"name":"news","detaillevel":"full", "Articles": {"count":25,"detaillevel":"full","articlesList":[ {"article": { "url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/cabinet-summoned-after-brexit-negotiators-agree-draft-text-1-4829253","id":"1.4829253","articleHeadline": "Cabinet summoned after Brexit negotiators agree draft text","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1542127161784 ,"articleLead": "Theresa May’s cabinet will meet on Wednesday to discuss a draft Brexit withdrawal agreement after the text of the UK’s ‘divorce’ was agreed in Brussels.","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4829252.1542127461!/image/image.png_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.png","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "editorial image"} ,"articleBody": "

UK and EU negotiators have agreed draft wording of a ‘backstop’ plan for the Irish border, in a potentially significant breakthrough in the Brexit process.

However, the text must still be approved by Cabinet before being put to the House of Commons. Downing Street confirmed an emergency meeting would take place at 2pm on Wednesday.

READ MORE: Theresa May will not sign up to a Brexit agreement ‘at any cost’

The draft addresses contentious issues around the future of the Irish border, which could see it rejected by ministers, members of Theresa May’s party, or her allies in the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).

These are understood to include a 'review mechanism' to bring the Irish border backstop to an end. Senior Tories including the Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab have demanded the UK have the right to quit the backstop, which will see the whole UK remain under EU customs rules until the trading relationship between London and Brussels is resolved.

Separate regulations could still be applied to goods moving between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK as part of the backstop, a measure that the DUP has said it cannot accept.

Cabinet ministers were summoned to Downing Street individually on Tuesday evening to be briefed on the draft text.

Scottish Secretary David Mundell and the Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson have signalled their refusal to accept a withdrawal agreement that includes a new trade barrier in the Irish Sea between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

Both senior Tories wrote to the Prime Minister last month highlighting that “having fought just four years ago to keep our country together, the integrity of our United Kingdom remains the single most important issue for us in these negotiations.”

They said: “Any deal that delivers a differentiated settlement for Northern Ireland beyond the differences that already exist on all Ireland basis (eg Agriculture), or can be brought under the provisions of the Belfast Agreement, would undermine the integrity of our UK internal market and this United Kingdom.

READ MORE: Ruth Davidson and David Mundell in quit threat over Brexit plan

“We could not support any deal that creates a border of any kind in the Irish Sea and undermines the Union or leads to Northern Ireland having a different relationship with the EU than the rest of the UK, beyond what currently exists.”

A spokesman for the Irish deputy prime minister Simon Coveney was quoted as saying: “Negotiations between the EU and UK on a withdrawal agreement are ongoing and have not concluded. Negotiators are still engaged and a number of issues are outstanding."

" ,"byline": {"email": "paris.gourtsoyannis@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Paris Gourtsoyannis"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4829252.1542127461!/image/image.png_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.png","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4829252.1542127461!/image/image.png_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.png","alt": "editorial image","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "editorial image","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4829252.1542127461!/image/image.png_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.png","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/angus-robertson-was-told-of-alex-salmond-concerns-by-airport-staff-1-4829038","id":"1.4829038","articleHeadline": "Angus Robertson ‘was told of Alex Salmond concerns by airport staff’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1542118661000 ,"articleLead": "

The SNP's former Westminster leader was made aware of concerns about former First Minister Alex Salmond's behaviour by Edinburgh Airport staff, it has been claimed.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4829037.1542115488!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Alex Salmond denies any misconduct"} ,"articleBody": "

It emerged yesterday that police investigating misconduct claims against the former SNP leader have spoken to staff at the Airport. It centres on concerns raised a decade ago by female employees about Mr Salmond's behaviour.

Read more: Alex Salmond harassment probe investigates alleged incidents at Edinburgh Airport
The ex-First Minister denies all claims of wrongdoing and no formal complaint was ever raised with airport staff.

Broadcaster Sky News has now claimed that airport officials related their concerns to the former SNP Deputy leader Angus Robertson, who was also leader of the party's Westminster group at the time.

Asked by the broadcaster about what he knew, Mr Robertson said: \"There are ongoing processes and... I'm not making any more comment.\"

Read more: Alex Salmond allegations: What we know so far
Sky News also revealed that it had approached the SNP about the Edinburgh Airport claims a year ago, but the party did not respond.

Following the Airport revelations yesterday, a party spokesman said: \"The SNP will not comment on matters relating to Alex Salmond while police inquiries are ongoing.\"

The police probe was launched after the force was contacted by the Scottish Government following complaints from two staff members relating to Mr Salmond's conduct during his time as First Minister.

Mr Salmond has launched a legal challenge over the process used by the Scottish Government to investigate the claims against him.

A spokesman for the ex-First Minister said: \"Mr Salmond denies all suggestions of misconduct at any time and suggests that everyone should allow police enquires to take their proper course without briefing or breaching their confidentiality.

\"Alex has not been interviewed by the police about any matter. He is content to have his case against the Scottish Government stated in the Court of Session in January.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "scott.macnab@scotsman.com" ,"author": "Scott Macnab"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4829037.1542115488!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4829037.1542115488!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Alex Salmond denies any misconduct","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Alex Salmond denies any misconduct","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4829037.1542115488!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5752726847001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/uk/man-arrested-in-hunt-for-ross-geller-look-a-like-1-4829061","id":"1.4829061","articleHeadline": "Man arrested in hunt for ‘Ross Geller’ look-a-like","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1542116845000 ,"articleLead": "

Police looking for a suspected thief with a resemblance to Friends actor David Schwimmer have made an arrest in London.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4829060.1542116841!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Friends star Schwimmer posted a parody video of himself (right) in a New York store. Picture: PA"} ,"articleBody": "

Social media users pointed out the likeness to Schwimmer’s character Ross Geller in the popular US sitcom when police in Blackpool posted an image of a man leaving a restaurant and carrying what appeared to be a carton of cans.

READ MORE: Video: David Schwimmer responds to police hunt for ‘Ross Geller suspect’

Schwimmer later responded to the picture by posting a video to his Twitter account that showed him scurrying through a convenience store carrying a carton of beer before looking up furtively at a CCTV camera.

He captioned the video: “Officers, I swear it wasn’t me. As you can see, I was in New York.”

“To the hardworking Blackpool Police, good luck with the investigation.”

He added the hashtag #itwasntme to the post.

On Tuesday, Lancashire Police posted an update on the investigation into the alleged theft in the resort on September 20.

The force tweeted: “Following the appeal we posted looking for a man who resembles a well-known actor, we now have an update.

“Thanks to our colleagues @MetPoliceUK, a 36-year-old man was arrested in Southall last night on suspicion of theft. Thank you for the support, especially @DavidSchwimmer!”

The Met Police retweeted the post, saying: “Happy to help @LancsPolice #IllBeThereForYou”, referring to the Friends theme tune.

Join our Facebook group Our Edinburgh to share images and news from and around the Capital

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4829060.1542116841!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4829060.1542116841!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Friends star Schwimmer posted a parody video of himself (right) in a New York store. Picture: PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Friends star Schwimmer posted a parody video of himself (right) in a New York store. Picture: PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4829060.1542116841!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/visa-free-eu-travel-for-britons-even-if-no-deal-1-4829399","id":"1.4829399","articleHeadline": "‘Visa-free EU travel for Britons – even if no deal’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1542144898000 ,"articleLead": "

Britons travelling to EU nations after Brexit should not have to get an entry visa even if Britain leaves without a deal, the European Commission has said.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4829398.1542144894!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Britons travelling to EU nations after Brexit should not have to get an entry visa even if Britain leaves without a deal, the European Commission has said."} ,"articleBody": "

Senior officials had discussed yesterday whether UK nationals should be treated as “third country” nationals as part of its no-deal planning, which would require travellers to buy a 60-euro (£52) permit to cross the channel.

But EC vice-president Frans Timmermans said the council of commissioners had agreed change the rules – as long as the UK did the same for EU citizens after next March.

He said: “On visas we propose to amend the visa regulation to allow UK nationals to be exempt from any visa requirement for short stays in the EU once EU law stops applying to the UK.

“But of course an important point: this is entirely conditional on the UK also doing the same thing for EU nationals, reciprocating.”

A Number 10 spokeswoman said: “We have said that we want to ensure reciprocal visa-free travel for tourists and short-term visitors with the EU.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4829398.1542144894!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4829398.1542144894!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Britons travelling to EU nations after Brexit should not have to get an entry visa even if Britain leaves without a deal, the European Commission has said.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Britons travelling to EU nations after Brexit should not have to get an entry visa even if Britain leaves without a deal, the European Commission has said.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4829398.1542144894!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/theresa-may-braced-for-cabinet-revolt-over-brexit-deal-1-4829386","id":"1.4829386","articleHeadline": "Theresa May braced for Cabinet revolt over Brexit deal","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1542144426000 ,"articleLead": "

A Brexit breakthrough is hanging in the balance after negotiators in Brussels agreed a draft text of the UK’s divorce deal.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4829385.1542144422!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "British Prime Minister Theresa May attends the Nordic Council Sessions 2018 at Stortinget ( Parliament) on October 30, 2018 in Oslo, Norway. (Photo by Rune Hellestad/Getty Images)"} ,"articleBody": "

The draft Withdrawal Agreement was immediately condemned by Theresa May’s critics on the Conservative back benches, as well as her allies in the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), adding to growing fears that the Commons could reject the deal and send the UK crashing out of the EU.

The Prime Minister will assemble her Cabinet tomorrow afternoon and seek their approval for the draft Withdrawal Agreement. Senior ministers were summoned to Downing Street for individual meetings with Mrs May tonight in a bid to shore up support.

The text is understood to include contentious elements of the ‘backstop’ plan to maintain the status quo along the Irish border after Brexit, including separate regulatory checks for goods moving between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

It sets out a proposal for the UK to remain under EU customs union rules until a trade deal between London and Brussels can guarantee the free flow of goods across the Irish border, but an ‘exit mechanism’ from the customs backstop is not expected to include a firm end date or give the UK the right to walk away unilaterally.

Brexiteers and DUP MPs seized on leaked details of the draft agreement, with Jacob Rees-Mogg, the leader of the pro-Brexit European Research Group of Tory backbenchers, calling on cabinet to reject the draft as “a failure of the government’s negotiating position and a failure to deliver on Brexit”.

Boris Johnson dismissed the breakthrough as “vassal state stuff” and claimed it “failed to protect our precious Union”.

“For the first time since partition, Dublin will have more say over aspects of government in Northern Ireland than London,” the former foreign secretary added. “Am I going to vote against it? Yes.”

Scottish Conservative MP Ross Thomson suggested Northern Ireland was being “hived off”, and the DUP’s Westminster leader Nigel Dodds said: “If the reports are as we are hearing, then we couldn’t possibly vote for that.”

Cabinet will meet at 2pm tomorrow afternoon, at the same time as ambassadors from the 27 other EU member states gather in Brussels for a briefing on the draft text from chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier.

If ministers give their approval, the draft deal could be published as early tomorrow afternoon, with the Prime Minister unveiling the agreement with a Downing Street statement, UK government sources suggested.

However, several cabinet ministers including the Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab are understood to be unhappy with aspects of the Irish border backstop, and the risk that the UK could be prevented from signing its own trade deals if it is held within the EU customs union indefinitely.

Scottish Secretary David Mundell is expected to view the draft agreement tonight. Welcoming the progress, he said it was “encouraging there’s a potential agreement”.

“We need to reflect on that detail and see what’s there and hopefully be in a position to take forward a deal,” he told journalists.

Mr Mundell and the Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson have previously signalled their refusal to accept new trade barriers in the Irish Sea.

In a letter to Prime Minister Theresa May last month, both senior Tories highlighted that “having fought just four years ago to keep our country together, the integrity of our United Kingdom remains the single most important issue for us in these negotiations.”

They said: “Any deal that delivers a differentiated settlement for Northern Ireland beyond the differences that already exist... would undermine the integrity of our UK internal market and this United Kingdom.

“We could not support any deal that creates a border of any kind in the Irish Sea and undermines the Union.”

As well as the UK’s divorce treaty, the draft texts includes an outline declaration of objectives for the future trade and security partnership between London and Brussels, which could include details of EU demands for access to British fishing waters - another contentious issue for Scottish Conservative MPs.

Responding to news of the potential breakthrough on social media, Nicola Sturgeon said: “If the PM’s ‘deal’ satisfies no-one and can’t command a majority, we mustn’t fall for her spin that the UK crashing out of EU without a deal is then inevitable – instead we should take the opportunity to get better options back on the table.”

“Also, though the Withdrawal proposals will get most attention initially, the declaration on future relationship is just as important.

“If that is vague and dodges tough issues, a blindfold Brexit would beckon. It would be deeply irresponsible for parliament to sanction that.”

As news of the draft agreement broke, ministers from devolved administrations were in London for their latest meeting with UK counterparts on post-Brexit power-sharing.

Their meeting in the Cabinet Office, where a reading room was set up tonight for ministers to review the draft deal, broke up half an hour early.

Scottish Government’s Constitutional Relations Secretary Michael Russell issued a call for devolved administrations to be shown the text, but UK government sources said it couldn’t be shared before the Cabinet had seen it.

“It is completely unacceptable that devolved administrations have still not seen the detail of any draft deal,” Mr Russell said following the meeting. “We know no more coming out of tonight’s JMC than we did going in.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4829385.1542144422!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4829385.1542144422!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "British Prime Minister Theresa May attends the Nordic Council Sessions 2018 at Stortinget ( Parliament) on October 30, 2018 in Oslo, Norway. (Photo by Rune Hellestad/Getty Images)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "British Prime Minister Theresa May attends the Nordic Council Sessions 2018 at Stortinget ( Parliament) on October 30, 2018 in Oslo, Norway. (Photo by Rune Hellestad/Getty Images)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4829385.1542144422!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/mike-russell-demands-immediate-repeal-of-part-of-uk-brexit-legislation-1-4829322","id":"1.4829322","articleHeadline": "Mike Russell demands ‘immediate repeal’ of part of UK Brexit legislation","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1542143618000 ,"articleLead": "

Mike Russell has demanded part of the UK’s Brexit legislation be “immediately repealed” after MPs were told progress is being made between Holyrood and Westminster on key cross-border issues.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4829320.1542143614!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scottish Brexit minister Mike Russell. Picture: Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

The Scottish Constitutional Relations Secretary said this was the way to resolve the row over what SNP ministers have branded a Brexit “power grab”.

He spoke out after Theresa May’s de facto deputy, the UK Cabinet Office Minister David Lidington told MPs that “significant progress” was being made on agreeing common policy frameworks.

The Scottish Government has been insistent that when powers are returned from the European Union, these should go straight to the Edinburgh administration, rather than London.

But UK ministers have argued that in areas such as agriculture, fishing and environmental issues, common frameworks need to be established.

With progress being made on these, Mr Russell said the UK Government should now repeal section 12 of the EU Withdrawal Act - the part of the legislation he said permitted UK ministers “imposing policies and laws on Scotland against our democratic will”.

READ MORE: Cabinet summoned after Brexit negotiators agree draft text

No orders have been made so far under this controversial part of the legislation.

And Mr Russell was clear that while the Scottish Government still opposed the “chaos” of leaving the EU, he added: “If Brexit is to happen, we have always said that co-operation between governments is clearly the right and best way both to ready our statute books and to agree common UK frameworks, where these are in Scotland’s interests.”

He continued: “The significant progress being made on frameworks vindicates the Scottish Government’s consistent position and renders section 12 completely unnecessary.

“We have made it clear that if the UK Government tried to introduce a section 12 order we could not continue co-operation.

“Grabbing power from the Scottish Parliament and undermining the devolution settlement is obviously not conducive to cooperative working and section 12 should be immediately repealed.”

He made the plea as it emerged a Brexit deal has been reached by negotiators in Brussels, which will be put before UK ministers at a crunch Cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

Confirmation that a deal had been reached by officials follows months of protracted talks in Brussels, with measures to prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland having been the main stumbling block.

Mr Russell has already called for details of any Brexit deal to be shared with the Scottish Government and the other devolved administrations as a matter of urgency.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "KATRINE BUSSEY"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4829320.1542143614!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4829320.1542143614!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Scottish Brexit minister Mike Russell. Picture: Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scottish Brexit minister Mike Russell. Picture: Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4829320.1542143614!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5773872462001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/family-calls-for-urgent-action-to-prevent-deaths-in-custody-amid-suicide-epidemic-1-4829382","id":"1.4829382","articleHeadline": "Family calls for urgent action to prevent deaths in custody amid suicide ‘epidemic’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1542142410000 ,"articleLead": "

The lawyer representing the families of two young people who took their own lives in prison has called for urgent action to address a “spiralling epidemic” of suicides in custody.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4829381.1542142406!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Picture: Jon Savage Photography"} ,"articleBody": "

The family of Katie Allan yesterday met with Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf following the death of the 21-year-old in Polmont Young Offenders’ Institution in June.

Last month William Lindsay, a vulnerable 16-year-old, killed himself within 48 hours of being remanded there despite being flagged as a suicide risk.

Stuart and Linda Allan, together with lawyer Aamer Anwar, met Mr Yousaf to call for an independent review of deaths in custody.

Mr Anwar claimed there could be as many as 12 suicides in Scottish jails this year, adding this would represent the “worst rate of suicides for over a decade”. He said while 26 deaths have been recorded behind bars in 2018, only one had been formally recorded as suicide.

He said: “We heard today that half of the deaths so far they believe are in relation to natural causes. That means approximately 12 deaths in Scottish prisons are potentially suicides.

“We are not at the end of the year. If that is the case then this is the worst rate of suicides for over a decade.”

Mr Anwar claimed the Scottish Prison Service’s (SPS) “system of recording deaths in prison hides the spiralling epidemic of suicides in our prisons”.

He added: “The families of Katie Allan and William Lindsay hold the Scottish Prison Service, the health service and the care system directly responsible for their deaths, and they will fight to ensure other lives can be saved.”

Mrs Allan said she was hopeful after the family’s meeting with Mr Yousaf, but said she wanted to see the justice secretary come back with proposals in the next couple of weeks.

Asked about the number of suicides being recorded in Scotland’s prisons, she said: “I certainly believe there is a cover-up going on, whether that’s intentional or whether it’s just not been pointed out before.

“We believe this year has seen the highest rate of suicides in the prison estate in Scotland.”

Addressing MSPs at Holyrood, Mr Yousaf said: “Any death of a young person is a tragedy for the individual and their family. As with any death in custody, there will be an FAI (Fatal Accident Inquiry). However, I am determined that appropriate early actions are taken to ensure the safety and wellbeing of young people in custody.”

The SPS said the number of all deaths in custody had remained largely stable over the past few years. A spokesman said: “I’m not aware of a significant rise in the number of deaths by suicide, but one death by suicide is one death too many.

“We do everything in our power to look after people who come into our care, many of whom are incredibly vulnerable. We’ve invested very heavily in training and development for staff to help address the issue of people who want to self-harm.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4829381.1542142406!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4829381.1542142406!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Picture: Jon Savage Photography","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Picture: Jon Savage Photography","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4829381.1542142406!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/scottish-ministers-not-being-shown-draft-brexit-deal-branded-unacceptable-1-4829368","id":"1.4829368","articleHeadline": "Scottish ministers not being shown draft Brexit deal branded ‘unacceptable’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1542140498000 ,"articleLead": "

Scotland’s Brexit Secretary Mike Russell has hit out at the UK Government after a provisional deal on the UK’s exit from the European Union was agreed with Brussels.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4829320.1542143614!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scottish Brexit minister Mike Russell. Picture: Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

Mr Russell insisted it was “completely unacceptable” that Holyrood ministers and the other devolved administrations had not been given details of the draft document.

He spoke out after a Number 10 spokesman confirmed this would be discussed at a crunch meeting of Theresa May’s cabinet on Wednesday.

“Cabinet ministers have been invited to read documentation ahead of that meeting,” the spokesman added.

But Mr Russell hit out: “It is completely unacceptable that devolved administrations have still not seen the detail of any draft deal.”

He had spent the day in London for a Joint Ministerial Committee meeting chaired by Cabinet Office Minister David Lidington, and involving the other devolved adminsitrations of the UK.

Read more: Mike Russell demands ‘immediate repeal’ of part of UK Brexit legistlation

But Mr Russell said he knew no more coming out of the meeting than he had when he arrived.

“We must be able to scrutinise the deal and understand its implications,” the Scottish Constitution Relations Secretary said.

He was also clear that “reaching agreement at technical level does not negate the threat posed by Brexit to jobs and living standards” adding the “best way to avoid that is to stay in the EU, in line with how people in Scotland voted”.

And he reiterated the Scottish Government’s stance that if it was not possible, the only option Holyood ministers would accept was one keeping the UK in both the European single market and customs union.

Ms Sturgeon said if the PM is unable to get her Brexit deal through the House of Commons, campaigners aiming to keep the UK in the single market should then “take the opportunity to get better options back on the table”.

The First Minister tweeted: “If the PM’s ‘deal’ satisfies no-one and can’t command a majority, we mustn’t fall for her spin that the UK crashing out of EU without a deal is then inevitable - instead we should take the opportunity to get better options back on the table.”

She also warned if the deal was “vague and dodges tough issues” on the UK’s future relationship with the EU then “a blindfold Brexit would beckon” - with Ms Sturgeon insisting it would “be deeply irresponsible for parliament to sanction that”.

Read more: Cabinet summoned after Brexit negotiators agree draft text

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Katrine Bussey"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4829320.1542143614!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4829320.1542143614!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Scottish Brexit minister Mike Russell. Picture: Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scottish Brexit minister Mike Russell. Picture: Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4829320.1542143614!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/scots-jobless-total-falls-while-rising-uk-wide-1-4828821","id":"1.4828821","articleHeadline": "Scots jobless total falls, while rising UK-wide","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1542104932778 ,"articleLead": "

Unemployment in Scotland has fallen by almost 12,000 - while rising elsewhere around the UK, official figures show.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4828820.1542105032!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Unemployment in Scotland has fallen by 12,000"} ,"articleBody": "

The number of Scots out of work fell to 103,000 among over 16's, although the number of people in work was also down by 6,000 to 2.64 million.

It means Scotlad's uenployment rate of 3.8% is now below the 4.1% UK-wide rate, the figures for July to September show.

Read more: Unemployment rate in Scotland falls below UK average
The reason for the fall in unemployment, as well as declining numbers for those in work is because there has been a drop in those classed as \"economically active\" - the size of the potential workforce - by 18,000.

Read more: Edinburgh's unemployment at lowest for a decade as figures show city booming
The UK-wide picture saw unemployment increase by 21,000, but there are also record numbers of people are in work as this rose by 23,000 to a record high of 32.4 million.

Scotland's employment rate of 75% among 16 to 64s is 0.5% below the UK-wide rate.

" ,"byline": {"email": "scott.macnab@scotsman.com" ,"author": "Scott Macnab"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4828820.1542105032!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4828820.1542105032!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Unemployment in Scotland has fallen by 12,000","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Unemployment in Scotland has fallen by 12,000","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4828820.1542105032!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/cautious-welcome-for-brexit-deal-from-scottish-secretary-1-4829315","id":"1.4829315","articleHeadline": "Cautious welcome for Brexit deal from Scottish Secretary","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1542133653000 ,"articleLead": "

Scottish Secretary David Mundell said the draft Brexit agreement was “encouraging” but suggested the details could yet stymie agreement.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4817102.1542133649!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scottish Secretary David Mundell said the draft Brexit agreement was 'encouraging' but suggested the details could yet stymie agreement. Picture: PA"} ,"articleBody": "

The Tory Cabinet Secretary said colleagues needed to “reflect on the detail”, understood to be referring to the latest technical details of the Northern Irish backstop.

Mr Mundell was heading into talks between the devolved UK nations chaired by de facto Deputy Prime Minister David Lidington as No 10 confirmed a draft Brexit deal would be laid in front of the Cabinet on Wednesday.

On his way into the joint ministerial council (JMC) at the Cabinet Office, Mr Mundell said: “I think it’s encouraging there’s a potential agreement.

“Obviously members of the Cabinet are going to have the opportunity to look at that in detail this evening and there will be a special Cabinet meeting tomorrow to reflect on what’s in that documentation.

“So I’m encouraged, but we need to reflect on that detail and see what’s there and hopefully be in a position to take forward a deal.

“That’s what the Government has been working for all this time, to get a deal, and negotiators have worked incredibly hard to get us to this point, but we have to reflect on the detail and consider at Cabinet tomorrow.”

Read more: Cabinet summoned after Brexit negotiators agree draft text

On his way into the JMC, Scottish Brexit Secretary Michael Russell warned the threat of no-deal Brexit would not go away even if there was a deal struck.

He said: “I don’t know what we will hear from David Lidington and Dominic Raab, but quite clearly they’re here to discuss a range of issues including what progress they’re making, and particularly to get some information on that.

“It’s not good enough, with respect, to read it in the newspapers.

“We need to know what’s being done and we need to know what is being done in our name.

“Myself and the Welsh representative, Mark Drakeford, will be making that point forcibly here today as well as the point about the issue of no-deal.

“Whatever is resolved, that threat will not go away, given there are at least three more years of negotiations if there is a deal, and under those circumstances we will want to know what preparations there are for that.”

Mr Russell had called for the UK Government to reveal documents to ministers in the devolved administrations, and not just the UK Government, ahead of the meeting.

The Press Association understands the Scottish Government has so far only had information about the draft deal via back channels.

Read more: Theresa May will not sign up to a Brexit agreement ‘at any cost’ ahead of Cabinet meeting

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Jennifer McKiernan"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4817102.1542133649!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4817102.1542133649!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Scottish Secretary David Mundell said the draft Brexit agreement was 'encouraging' but suggested the details could yet stymie agreement. Picture: PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scottish Secretary David Mundell said the draft Brexit agreement was 'encouraging' but suggested the details could yet stymie agreement. Picture: PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4817102.1542133649!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5838151705001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/humza-yousaf-says-concerns-raised-over-police-complaints-are-extremely-serious-1-4829305","id":"1.4829305","articleHeadline": "Humza Yousaf says concerns raised over police complaints are ‘extremely serious’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1542132777000 ,"articleLead": "

Concerns raised by a watchdog about the way Police Scotland investigates complaints against its own officers are “extremely serious”, Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf has said.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4817199.1542132702!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Concerns raised by a watchdog about the way Police Scotland investigates complaints against its own officers are 'extremely serious', Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf has said. Picture: Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

Kate Frame, the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (Pirc), last week told MSPs that Police Scotland was failing to refer criminal allegations against its officers to prosecutors.

She said that during a rape investigation, a complaint against a serving officer was categorised as “incivility”.

Read more: Humza Yousaf pledges to learn lessons from early release killing
After the Pirc’s intervention, the matter was reported by Police Scotland to the Crown Office as “an attempt to pervert the course of justice”.

Ms Frame highlighted another case where police recorded a “quality of service” complaint after a member of the public was “unlawfully detained” for a number of days. Following a Pirc investigation, a number of officers were later arrested.

Asked by Labour MSP Daniel Johnson if he agreed that an attempt to pervert the course of justice by a police officer was “an extremely serious matter,” the justice secretary said: “I agree the charge the commissioner made is an extremely serious one.”

Former Lord Advocate Dame Elish Angiolini is carrying out a review of police complaint procedures at the request of the Scottish Government.

Mr Yousaf told MSPs an interim report would be published in the spring.

In a letter sent to MSPs on the justice committee earlier this week, Ms Frame said: “I remain confident that the majority of police officers carry out their duty with integrity in highly challenging circumstances but that a number of cases have now come to light which calls into question Police Scotland’s willingness to exercise its discretion in a transparent and open manner.”

Assistant Chief Constable Alan Speirs said: “We have written to the justice committee setting out our position with regards to a number of inaccuracies contained within the evidence given by the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner.”

Read more: Humza Yousaf urged to address fall in police officer numbers

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4817199.1542132702!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4817199.1542132702!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Concerns raised by a watchdog about the way Police Scotland investigates complaints against its own officers are 'extremely serious', Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf has said. Picture: Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Concerns raised by a watchdog about the way Police Scotland investigates complaints against its own officers are 'extremely serious', Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf has said. Picture: Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4817199.1542132702!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/msps-unanimously-back-move-to-raise-criminal-age-of-responsibility-to-12-1-4829289","id":"1.4829289","articleHeadline": "MSPs unanimously back move to raise criminal age of responsibility to 12","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1542130422000 ,"articleLead": "

Legislation to raise the age of criminal responsibility in Scotland to 12 has been approved in principle at Holyrood, despite some MSPs calling on ministers to go further.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4828080.1542138431!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Scottish Parliament voted unanimously in favour of raising the age of criminal responsibility from eight to 12. Picture: Ian Rutherford"} ,"articleBody": "

Scotland has one of the lowest ages of criminal responsibility in the world at eight years old.

The Age of Criminal Responsibility (Scotland) Bill unanimously passed its first stage at the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday.

But Liberal Democrat MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton complained progress in increasing the age has been made at a “snail’s pace”

The Scottish Lib Dems have called for the age to be raised further to 16, which is the case in countries such as Portugal, Lithuania and Luxembourg.

Mr Cole-Hamilton said: “I don’t think its unreasonable to suggest that this government arguably lied to the United Nations.

“The UN set a floor of 12 as the minimum age of criminal responsibility to be adopted no later than 2007 and for countries to work upwards from that point.

“Three parliaments have sat and risen from this chamber since that international starting gun was fired - only now has this government finally brought our country to the races.”

He said while the Lib Dems backed the Bill it was “with a sense of disappointment”, adding: “This is not a radical Bill, this is not even a progressive Bill.”

The Liberal Democrat MSP spoke out after Children’s Minister Maree Todd stressed it was “important to reflect on how far we’ve come, not least in understanding how best to prevent and address harm in children’s lives”.

She said: “We should be very honest with ourselves as parliamentarians - only a few years ago, we wouldn’t be here with a consensus right across this chamber that the age of criminal responsibility should be raised.

“Now our discussions are about what age to raise criminal responsibility to and on what safeguards and other issues need to be addressed. That is a significant and welcome shift.”

Scottish Conservative MSP Oliver Mundell urged the Scottish Government to progress with caution and not be swayed to raise the age beyond the internationally recommended 12.

He said: “In many senses, this Bill is simply an attempt to tidy up our legal system and reflects the fact that a significant change was made in policy some time ago.

“It is of course tempting to look at other European nations and to try to consider ourselves behind when it comes to this legislation but I think that is a false conclusion to draw.

“It’s about looking at children’s rights and the way our legal system operates in the round, and that’s how we best identify the positive steps that can be taken.

“We are on a journey and part of that journey is about making progress and moving at a pace that allows everyone to sign up and support initiatives.”

Meanwhile, Labour’s Daniel Johnson said it was important Scotland complied with the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Child and “that we seek to prevent our most vulnerable children and young people from being exposed to the harmful effects of the criminal justice system”.

He added: “This is an area of law that needs to remain under constant review to make sure that the children’s justice system is doing what it was set up to do.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "LEWIS MCKENZIE"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4828080.1542138431!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4828080.1542138431!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The Scottish Parliament voted unanimously in favour of raising the age of criminal responsibility from eight to 12. Picture: Ian Rutherford","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Scottish Parliament voted unanimously in favour of raising the age of criminal responsibility from eight to 12. Picture: Ian Rutherford","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4828080.1542138431!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/britons-should-get-visa-free-eu-travel-even-after-no-deal-brexit-commission-1-4829239","id":"1.4829239","articleHeadline": "Britons should get visa-free EU travel even after no-deal Brexit - Commission","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1542126343000 ,"articleLead": "

Britons travelling to EU nations after Brexit should not have to get an entry visa even if Britain leaves without a deal, the European Commission has said.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4829237.1542126338!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "EC vice president Frans Timmermans. Picture: AFP/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

Senior officials had discussed on Tuesday whether UK nationals should be treated as “third country” nationals as part of its no-deal planning, which would require travellers to buy a 60 euro (£52) permit to cross the channel.

But EC vice president Frans Timmermans said the council of commissioners had agreed change the rules - as long as the UK did the same for EU citizens after next March.

He told a Tuesday press conference in Strasbourg: “On visas we propose to amend the visa regulation to allow UK nationals to be exempt from any visa requirement for short stays in the EU once EU law stops applying to the UK.

“But of course an important point: this is entirely conditional on the UK also doing the same thing for EU nationals, reciprocating.”

A document released by the Commission says the rules would apply to Britons travelling to Schengen Area nations, which includes all western European EU members states and eastern ones including Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

READ MORE: Brexit deal ‘almost within touching distance’ says Theresa May’s deputy

Travel to Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, which are “Schengen-associated states”, would also be covered, it said, as well as Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia and Cyprus, which are EU members but are not part yet part of the free-travel area.

It would apply to trips of up to 90 days within any 180-day period, starting from March 30 in the event of a no-deal Brexit and from the end of any transition period if a deal is achieved.

Adding to Mr Timmerman’s remarks, it also says: “This proposal is entirely conditional upon the UK also granting reciprocal and non-discriminatory visa-free travel for all EU Member States, in line with the principle of visa reciprocity.

“The UK government has declared its intention not to require a visa from citizens of the EU27 Member States for shorts stays for the purposes of tourism and business.

“EU rules on non-EU nationals travelling to the EU, such as those on border control, would of course apply to UK citizens once they are no longer EU citizens.”

The Commission urged the European Parliament and Council to back the change quickly “so that it can be adopted in good time before 30 March 2019”.

Brexit will also see UK nationals barred from the fast lane at airports and other national boundaries.

An EC document on travel arrangements says Britons “will not be entitled to use the separate lanes” for citizens of the EU, European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland “and will be subject to thorough checks of all entry conditions for third country nationals upon entry”.

READ MORE: Gordon Brown says Brexit ‘power grab’ is a risk to the Union

Those staying in EU nations for more than 90 days will require a residency permit or a long-stay visa issued by the country they are staying in.

Lib Dem Brexit spokesman Tom Brake said: “Now we are beginning to realise why the Brexiters wanted everyone to get new, blue passports; to collect all the visa stamps they will need to travel as freely as they do now.

“This will come as a real shock to those who spend their winter months in Spain or Portugal and will now see additional costs and potential queues providing extra baggage.

“Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn need to start listening to the people up and down the country, the majority now want a People’s Vote, and the chance to walk away from this terrible Tory mess.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4829237.1542126338!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4829237.1542126338!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "EC vice president Frans Timmermans. Picture: AFP/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "EC vice president Frans Timmermans. Picture: AFP/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4829237.1542126338!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"1508862309336"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/medics-shouldn-t-force-organ-donation-if-family-are-opposed-say-experts-1-4829141","id":"1.4829141","articleHeadline": "Medics ‘shouldn’t force organ donation’ if family are opposed, say experts","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1542122174000 ,"articleLead": "

Healthcare professionals must not be made to force through an organ donation against the wishes of a distressed family, experts have told MSPs.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4829140.1542122170!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A change will see Scotland move to an 'opt-out' system. Picture: Rob McDougall."} ,"articleBody": "

The Scottish Parliament’s Heath Committee heard claims medics would be put in a “very difficult” position if there were any rules that compelled them to override the wishes of relatives.

The committee has been taking evidence on plans to introduce an opt-out system for organ donations in Scotland.

The change proposed under the Human Tissue (Authorisation) (Scotland) Bill would mean people would be assumed to have consented to their organs being used to help others unless they had signed an opt-out, potentially increasing the number of organ transplants that can take place each year.

READ MORE: Half of Scots registered for organ donation

In an evidence session on Tuesday, SNP MSP Keith Brown sought clarity on where the rights of the person whose organs may be donated should sit in relation to the rights of the state and the rights of their own relatives.

He also later sought views on whether a so-called family veto should be written into the Bill.

Rachel Cackett, policy adviser for the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Scotland said: “Professionals who are doing this at a very difficult time for families are highly trained, sensitive to the conversations that they are having and have an ongoing relationship with the family.

“But we’re also very clear that no practitioner should be put in the place of having to force a donation ...

“Certainly, our position is that if a family does not want a donation to go ahead it should not be forced.”

Two other experts giving evidence appeared to share a similar view.

READ MORE: 10% of people could opt out of organ donation system

Mary Agnew, assistant director for standards and ethics at the General Medical Council (GMC) said: “In situations of extreme distress to the family, I don’t think you would want to put professionals in a position where it was felt they had to somehow override a very distressed family.”

Dr Sue Robertson, deputy chairwoman of British Medical Association (BMA) Scotland, told MSPs: “I think that to have the soft opt-out part of this legislation means that if the healthcare professionals involved feel that this is just going to cause undue distress to this family then I do think we have a duty of care to them as well ...

“If you feel it’s going to cause undue distress then I think there should be a situation whereby authorisation (for the donation) will not go ahead.”

MSPs later heard it is relatively rare for families to override the donation wishes of their deceased loved one.

Lesley Logan, regional manager for organ donation at NHS Blood and Transplant, suggested such disagreement happens only around three times a year in Scotland.

Dr Stephen Cole, consultant in intensive care medicine at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee, representing the Scottish Intensive Care Society, told MSPs: “Having dealt with this on a daily and weekly basis, I would find it difficult in my profession to over-ride the wishes expressed by the relatives of those patients.

“Or if a patient’s family said ‘Yes, he signed up to the organ donor register, it was the expression of a wish at a point in time, I now have more information which says this is actually not what he or she wanted’, then as the intensive care consultant speaking to that family, I would listen to that.

“I don’t think that we can push families into a situation where donation is forced through against their wishes. I would find that a very difficult situation to be in.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4829140.1542122170!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4829140.1542122170!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "A change will see Scotland move to an 'opt-out' system. Picture: Rob McDougall.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A change will see Scotland move to an 'opt-out' system. Picture: Rob McDougall.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4829140.1542122170!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/the-democratic-disaster-of-90-seats-reserved-for-men-in-parliament-1-4829126","id":"1.4829126","articleHeadline": "‘The democratic disaster of 90 seats reserved for men in Parliament’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1542122112000 ,"articleLead": "

A so-called by-election is showing the House of Lords up as a disaster for democracy – and diversity, writes Darren Hughes of the Electoral Reform Society.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4829125.1542122109!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The state opening of parliament is full of pomp and ceremony but hereditary peers are a historic part of the UK Parliament that should be consigned to history (Picture: Suzanne Plunkett /WPA Pool/Getty Images)"} ,"articleBody": "

Here’s a strange fact, a week ahead of the centenary of women’s right to stand for Parliament: 90 seats in the Palace of Westminster are effectively reserved for men.

Voting has just begun for the current hereditary peer ‘by-election’, to replace retired crossbencher Lord Northbourne. Yes, in the 21st century, not only do we still have hereditary peers, but they are replaced with a bizarre ‘election’ every time one dies or retires.

The 1999 House of Lords Act removed all but 90 of the hereditary peers plus holders of the offices of Earl Marshall and Lord Great Chamberlain – 92 in total. But instead of letting this number reduce over time, any vacancies – whether through death, retirement or expulsion – are filled again.

According to ERS analysis in June, these hereditary by-elections have an average of just 29 voters (excluding rare elections that require all peers to vote). This compares to an average of 29,116 votes cast over the last 32 Commons by-elections – a larger democratic mandate by a factor of 1,000. Some 3,190 votes have been cast in total for the 32 peers elected in hereditary peer by-elections since 2003. By contrast, 931,725 votes have been cast in the last 32 House of Commons by-elections.

READ MORE: Electoral Reform Society: Government is putting democracy in danger

At its highest, the Lords electorate has been 803 people, at its lowest just three. And at least four by-elections have had more candidates than electors, including the only by-election within the Labour group of hereditary peers – for which there were 11 candidates and only three voters – which took place on 30 October 2003.

As a Crossbench Peer, Lord Northbourne’s replacement will be selected by the current hereditary peers of the Crossbench group – 31 in total – with the election ending on 27 November. There are 11 candidates and just 31 voters. All but one (Countess Mar) are men.

Eligible candidates are drawn from an obscure ‘Register of Hereditary Peers’ held by the Clerk of Parliaments. This list contains any hereditary peer who has expressed an interest in standing in a by-election.

Yet next Wednesday marks the centenary of some women winning the right to stand for election to the Commons. Out of 211 on the hereditary peerage register, there is only one woman – effectively reserving the 90 electable hereditary seats in the House of Lords for men.

READ MORE: Jess Garland: Here’s why UK election rules are a cheaters’ charter

It is hard to see how these elections do anything but make a laughing stock of Parliament. Aristocrats and life peers are deciding who can vote on our laws for life.

Earlier this year, government peer Lord Young said the Prime Minister will not seek to obstruct a bill passing through Parliament which aims to end hereditary peer by-elections at last. But we must go much further.

It must be the first step towards a fairly elected Lords. Let’s end this silly side-show once and for all.

The House of Lords is bringing our democracy into disrepute. We need a fairly elected and representative second chamber – not an unaccountable, scandal-ridden one.

Sign the Electoral Reform Society’s petition to scrap the Lords and replace it with a fairly elected second chamber.

Darren Hughes is chief executive of the Electoral Reform Society

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Darren Hughes"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4829125.1542122109!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4829125.1542122109!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The state opening of parliament is full of pomp and ceremony but hereditary peers are a historic part of the UK Parliament that should be consigned to history (Picture: Suzanne Plunkett /WPA Pool/Getty Images)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The state opening of parliament is full of pomp and ceremony but hereditary peers are a historic part of the UK Parliament that should be consigned to history (Picture: Suzanne Plunkett /WPA Pool/Getty Images)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4829125.1542122109!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/uk/doctors-save-unborn-baby-s-life-after-mother-shot-dead-with-crossbow-1-4829077","id":"1.4829077","articleHeadline": "Doctors save unborn baby’s life after mother shot dead with crossbow","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1542118448000 ,"articleLead": "

Doctors have saved the life of an unborn baby after his mother was shot dead with a crossbow.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4829076.1542118445!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Heavily pregnant Devi Unmathallegado was fatally injured at her home in Applegarth Drive, Illford, east London."} ,"articleBody": "

Heavily pregnant Devi Unmathallegadoo, 35, was fatally injured at her home in Applegarth Drive, Ilford, east London, on Monday, but medics managed to deliver her son in hospital.

Her husband Imtiaz Muhammad, told the Evening Standard that she was shot in front of her five other children, aged between one and 17, after he found her killer hiding in their garden shed.

The 42-year-old told the newspaper: “I went to put a cardboard box in the shed.

“He was there with the crossbow loaded.

“He stared at me, he was going to shoot so I ran into the house.

“My wife was doing the washing up, I was shouting ‘run’ ‘run’ ‘run’.

“He shot her. I can’t help thinking she took my arrow.

“Maybe it should have hit me. The kids were all there, it was horrific.”

A Metropolitan Police spokesman confirmed that the baby had been delivered in hospital, where he remains.

Ramanodge Unmathallegadoo, 50, of no fixed abode, appeared at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday accused of her murder and is next due in court at the Old Bailey on November 15.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4829076.1542118445!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4829076.1542118445!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Heavily pregnant Devi Unmathallegado was fatally injured at her home in Applegarth Drive, Illford, east London.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Heavily pregnant Devi Unmathallegado was fatally injured at her home in Applegarth Drive, Illford, east London.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4829076.1542118445!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/unemployment-rate-in-scotland-falls-below-uk-average-1-4815501","id":"1.4815501","articleHeadline": "Unemployment rate in Scotland falls below UK average","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1542116797000 ,"articleLead": "

The unemployment rate in Scotland has fallen to 3.9%, slightly below the UK as a whole.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4815500.1539690294!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The unemployment rate in Scotland is below the UK average."} ,"articleBody": "

Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures for June to August put the jobless total north of the border at 106,000 - down from 120,000 in the previous quarter.

The unemployment rate was down from 4.3% in the previous three months and is just below the UK-wide rate of 4%.

Meanwhile, the number of Scots aged 16 to 64 in employment during the quarter was 2,551,000 (74.9%) - down from 2,570,000 (75.5%) in the previous three months.

Finance Secretary Derek Mackay said: “There are now 132,000 fewer people unemployed in Scotland than the recession peak and we continue to outperform the UK on both employment and unemployment rates for women and young people.

“While these results show a decrease in employment, our employment rate has increased over the longer term and remains high by historical standards.

“We have 71,000 more people in employment compared with the pre-recession peak.

“Despite the ongoing risks posed by Brexit, our ambitious economic strategy will create the right environment for job growth.

“This includes commitments on the Scottish National Investment Bank and Manufacturing Institute, and in this year’s Programme for Government we have committed to the biggest infrastructure spending Scotland has ever seen.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4815500.1539690294!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4815500.1539690294!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The unemployment rate in Scotland is below the UK average.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The unemployment rate in Scotland is below the UK average.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4815500.1539690294!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"1505402556636"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/concerns-over-police-scotland-s-handling-of-complaints-against-officers-extremely-serious-says-humza-yousaf-1-4829055","id":"1.4829055","articleHeadline": "Concerns over Police Scotland’s handling of complaints against officers ‘extremely serious’, says Humza Yousaf","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1542116206000 ,"articleLead": "

Concerns raised by a watchdog about the way Police Scotland investigates complaints against its own officers are “extremely serious”, Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf has said.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4829053.1542116202!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Humza Yousaf MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Justice. Picture: Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

Kate Frame, the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (Pirc), last week told MSPs that Police Scotland was failing to refer criminal allegations against its officers to prosecutors.

And she said that during a rape investigation, a complaint against a serving officer was categorised as “incivility”.

After the Pirc’s intervention, the matter was reported by Police Scotland to the Crown Office as “an attempt to pervert the course of justice”.

When questioned about the Commissioner’s comments at the Scottish Parliament’s justice committee, Mr Yousaf said he was due to meet with Ms Frame later today.

Asked by Labour MSP Daniel Johnson if he agreed that an attempt to pervert the course of justice by a police officer was “an extremely serious matter,” the justice secretary said: “I agree the charge the Commissioner made is an extremely serious one.

READ MORE: Humza Yousaf vows to take action after teenager’s death in custody

“I will listen very carefully to what the Commissioner has to say.”

Former Lord Advocate Dame Elish Angiolini is currently carrying out a review of police complaint procedures at the request of the Scottish Government.

Mr Yousaf told MSPs an interim report would be published in the spring.

In a letter sent to MSPs on the justice committee earlier this week, Ms Frame said: “I remain confident that the majority of police officers carry out their duty with integrity in highly challenging circumstances but that a number of cases have now come to light which calls into question Police Scotland’s willingness to exercise its discretion in a transparent and open manner.

“It is notable that in some incidents, the officers involved in events have themselves, self-referred to (Police Scotland’s) Professional Standards Department (PSD) and suggested that the incidents be referred for a Pirc investigation, but PSD has deemed that to be unnecessary.

“The question of police discretion in the above areas requires to be addressed to secure a level of reassurance and public confidence in the process. The evident resistance to that is disappointing.”

Assistant Chief Constable Alan Speirs said: “We have written to the justice committee setting out our position with regards to a number of inaccuracies contained within the evidence given by the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner.

“The primary objective of our complaints handling procedures is to build trust and confidence in policing and all complaints are fully recorded and subject to fair and rigorous investigation.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4829053.1542116202!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4829053.1542116202!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Humza Yousaf MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Justice. Picture: Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Humza Yousaf MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Justice. Picture: Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4829053.1542116202!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5575129060001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/bbc-presenter-andrew-neil-slams-rocker-bobby-gillespie-as-miserable-jock-1-4829012","id":"1.4829012","articleHeadline": "BBC presenter Andrew Neil slams rocker Bobby Gillespie as ‘miserable Jock’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1542113393000 ,"articleLead": "

BBC politics presenter Andrew Neil has escalated his feud with Primal Scream frontman Bobby Gillespie, labelling the rocker a ‘miserable Jock’ as he reflected on their awkward recent TV appearance together.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4829011.1542113389!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Primal Scream star looked distinctly unimpressed. Picture: BBC"} ,"articleBody": "

Gillespie appeared on the Andrew Neil-fronted political magazine show This Week last month, where he was billed as discussing a lack of ‘progress’ after previous recessions.

Gillespie, who was also in seminal band The Jesus and Mary Chain, went viral after he was photographed looking distinctly unimpressed with the show’s ending, during which Neil, alongside Labour MP Caroline Flint and former Tory Minister Michael Portillo performed a dance craze called ‘skibidi’.

Gillespie took to Primal Scream’s Instagram to address the appearance, where he hit out at Neil, and claimed the ‘sickening’ display was indicative of how the media ‘enables’ the political class in Britain.

READ MORE: Bobby Gillespie hits out at ‘smug’ Andrew Neil

He wrote of his appearance:““I was immediately cut off by Andrew Neil who quickly handed the question over to Michael Portillo. I never got to say what I fully wanted, my impression was that Andrew Neil sensed an alternative opinion that he didn’t want to hear and closed me down.

“I found him to be arrogant, rude & smug.”

At the time, Neil was relatively diplomatic, posting: “The purpose of the final item on @bbcthisweek is to get away from party politics and ideology and have a bit of fun. I’m afraid Mr Gillespie fulfilled neither criterion.”

However as he reflected on the episode last night, the former Scotsman editor decided not to pull his punches.

Told by a follower the footage was ‘the TV highlight of the year’, Neil tweeted: “I hope we show it again so somebody can tell who the miserable Jock is and what he’s ever done.

“Other than scowl and spout Corbynista propaganda from his fancy Islington pad.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4829011.1542113389!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4829011.1542113389!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The Primal Scream star looked distinctly unimpressed. Picture: BBC","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Primal Scream star looked distinctly unimpressed. Picture: BBC","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4829011.1542113389!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/firm-behind-mr-kipling-to-start-stockpiling-ingredients-ahead-of-brexit-1-4829007","id":"1.4829007","articleHeadline": "Firm behind Mr Kipling to start stockpiling ingredients ahead of Brexit","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1542112808000 ,"articleLead": "

Mr Kipling cakes firm Premier Foods has revealed it is to start stockpiling ingredients ahead of Brexit amid fears of gridlock at ports if the UK crashes out without a deal.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4829005.1542112805!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Mr Kipling cakes firm Premier Foods has revealed it is to start stockpiling ingredients ahead of Brexit amid fears of gridlock at ports if the UK crashes out without a deal."} ,"articleBody": "

The group, also behind well-known brands including Bisto and Oxo, said it was “shortly” to begin building up stocks of raw materials “in the absence of certainty over the arrangements for the UK’s departure from the EU”.

It said this could lead to a working capital hit of around £10 million over the next few months.

The group said: “Like all businesses, for several months, Premier Foods have been planning on a range of scenarios subject to the nature of any Brexit deal that is reached.

“In the absence of certainty for the UK’s departure from the EU, Premier Foods shortly intend to begin the process of building stocks of raw materials to protect the company against a risk of delays at ports.”

It stressed the move was “purely precautionary”.

The revelation came as Premier Foods also announced that under-fire boss Gavin Darby will leave in January and said it plans to sell off its Ambrosia brand as it looks to appease disgruntled shareholders.

Mr Darby will step down on January 31 after six years in the role, which follows a public row with activist investor Oasis Management and comes just months after he narrowly survived a shareholder rebellion against his re-election.

Premier said it was in talks with third parties over the possible sale of Ambrosia and its factory in Lifton, Devon, as it looks to boost its performance and slash its £500 million debt pile.

Mr Darby said: “The board has determined that it should focus resources on areas of the business which have the best potential for growth through accelerated investment in consumer marketing and high return capital projects.

“Accordingly, we are pursuing options to fund these plans as well as delivering a meaningful reduction in net debt, through discussions with third parties regarding the potential disposal of our Ambrosia brand.”

He added: “Having today announced a new strategic initiative for the business, I have decided to step down as chief executive on January 31 2019, which will mark the sixth anniversary of my joining Premier Foods.”

Premier is now starting the hunt for his successor.

At Premier’s annual general meeting in July, 41% of investors voted against Mr Darby’s re-election.

Oasis had called for his departure, claiming he had presided over value destruction and having been critical of his strategy in the past when he oversaw the successful defence of a takeover tilt from US firm McCormick in 2016.

There was also investor discontent over Premier’s recent decision not to sell its fast-growing Batchelors brand.

The potential sale of Ambrosia is seen as an olive branch, with the division being the group’s third biggest brand.

Ambrosia, which is famous for its Devon Custard and Rice Pudding, was 100 years old last year and has been produced in Devon since the factory opened in 1958.

Premier’s half-year results also announced on Tuesday showed pre-tax losses widened to £2.2 million in the six months to September 29.

On an underlying basis, pre-tax profits rose 14.3% to £30.2 million.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4829005.1542112805!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4829005.1542112805!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Mr Kipling cakes firm Premier Foods has revealed it is to start stockpiling ingredients ahead of Brexit amid fears of gridlock at ports if the UK crashes out without a deal.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Mr Kipling cakes firm Premier Foods has revealed it is to start stockpiling ingredients ahead of Brexit amid fears of gridlock at ports if the UK crashes out without a deal.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4829005.1542112805!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5670822690001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/bbc-newsnight-slammed-after-snp-leader-mistake-1-4828910","id":"1.4828910","articleHeadline": "BBC Newsnight slammed after SNP leader mistake","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1542110362000 ,"articleLead": "

SNP figures have criticised the BBC’s flagship politics show Newsnight after the programme used an incorrect picture of the party’s leader at Westminster.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4828909.1542110359!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ian Blackford. Picture: PA Wire"} ,"articleBody": "

Deputy Leader Keith Brown was among those sharing their ire after a graphic on the programme regarding a People’s Vote on Brexit was shown with a picture of former Westminster leader Angus Robertson.

Mr Robertson led the SNP group of MPs at Westminster for over ten years, but lost his seat in the snap general election last year and was replaced by Ian Blackford.

READ MORE: SNP criticise BBC over coverage

The graphic showed the SNP represented by Mr Robertson, who was also until earlier this year the party’s Depute Leader, while Vince Cable represented the Lib Dems.

Keith Brown tweeted: “Newsnight coverage is getting worse these days. Graphic showing Westminster Party Leaders manages to get SNP Leader wrong. Just basic stuff.”

Another Twitter user added: “Poor show you couldn’t get the SNP Westminster Leader correct.

READ MORE: Rocker Bobby Gillespie hits out at ‘smug’ Andrew Neil after BBC appearance

“You’re a serious political programme but you don’t know who leads the third largest party in the House of Commons?

“We’re SO used to this lack of respect and serious interest in Scotland, but please up your game.”

Another noted “When the leaders came out at the cenotaph David Dimbelby mentioned them all in turn... Except one.

“Guess which one?”

Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis was quick to apologise after being notified of the error, writing on her own Twitter: “We got this wrong. Apologies to @IanBlackfordMP. This was poor.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4828909.1542110359!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4828909.1542110359!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Ian Blackford. Picture: PA Wire","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ian Blackford. Picture: PA Wire","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4828909.1542110359!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5802065688001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/jonny-hughes-why-eating-the-wrong-type-of-biscuits-is-putting-orang-utans-in-peril-1-4828643","id":"1.4828643","articleHeadline": "Jonny Hughes: Why eating the wrong type of biscuits is putting orang-utans in peril","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1542103639000 ,"articleLead": "

You can find palm oil in around half the packaged products in your local supermarket – in instant noodles, pizza dough, lipstick, toothpaste, chocolate, soap, shampoo, bread and biscuits, writes Jonny Hughes.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4828799.1542103636!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Partial ecological restoration of palm oil plantations could make them friendly to orang-utans and other wildlife (Picture: Esme Allen)"} ,"articleBody": "

Global production has boomed in recent years, from 4.5 million tonnes in 1980 to 70 million tonnes. The environmental cost has been incalculable. Many conservation professionals I speak to cite the destruction of the tropical forests of Indonesia and Malaysia as the world’s number one unfolding environmental disaster.

Every year between 750 and 1,250 orang-utans are killed in areas where palm oil agriculture is expanding. A further 10,000 orang-utans live in areas where government concessions have been granted. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) estimates that global palm oil production directly threatens 193 species on its Red List.

READ MORE: Iceland to ban rainforest-damaging palm oil from own-brand products by next year

Humans are also affected. As tropical forests are cleared, the peat on which they grow is often burned, releasing billions of tonnes of carbon in the atmosphere and creating life-threatening hazes. In 2015 the haze crisis in Southeast Asia caused severe respiratory illnesses in over half a million Indonesians, forcing Jakarta to deploy thousands of troops and seek international help.

Well done then to Iceland Foods for committing to remove all palm oil from its own-brand range before Christmas. Using a Disney-style Greenpeace animation, Iceland made an advert to get the good news across, but it has been banned for being ‘too political’. Iceland’s managing director said he was “absolutely gutted” – though the clip has gone viral on social media.

Is Iceland right, is it right to ban palm oil? Should others follow its lead? Oil palm plantations produce 35 per cent of global vegetable oil on less than 10 per cent of the land allocated to oil crops. Oil palm also yields up to nine times more oil per unit area than other oil crops, making its land footprint per calorie much lower than rapeseed, soya or sunflower oil. If we banned palm oil without reducing demand for vegetable oil, the expansion of other oil crops could place serious pressures on already stressed agricultural ecosystems.

READ MORE: Nestle among brands hit by palm oil child labour claims

The solution to the palm oil crisis is therefore complex but there are three actions that are needed urgently. First, strict protection of all remaining primary forests so there is no further conversion to plantation monocultures. Second, partial ecological restoration of existing plantations to be more orang-utan friendly. This means less intensive oil production and more connected patches of restored forests through which orang-utans and other species can move. Restoration of peat swamp forests should be a top priority here given their importance as carbon stores and habitats. Third, phasing out the use of palm oil for bio-fuels and other non-food uses where less environmentally damaging alternatives are available. As consumers, we can all help facilitate these actions by only buying palm oil products certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil.

Jonny Hughes is Scottish Wildlife Trust’s chief executive. Follow him on Twitter @JonnyEcology.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4828799.1542103636!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4828799.1542103636!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Partial ecological restoration of palm oil plantations could make them friendly to orang-utans and other wildlife (Picture: Esme Allen)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Partial ecological restoration of palm oil plantations could make them friendly to orang-utans and other wildlife (Picture: Esme Allen)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4828799.1542103636!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/more-scots-commuter-misery-as-train-cancellations-hit-new-high-1-4828693","id":"1.4828693","articleHeadline": "More Scots commuter misery as train cancellations hit new high","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1542101178000 ,"articleLead": "

The number of train services being cancelled on Scotland’s railways has reached a new high amid growing calls for services to be take into public hands.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4828692.1542101175!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The number of train services being cancelled on Scotland's railways has reached a new high amid growing calls for services to be take into public hands."} ,"articleBody": "

Operator ScotRail says the recent Storm Ali was mainly to blame as cancellations hit 3.66 per cent of services across the country between 16 September and 13 October. Many axed services are also down to Network Rail which maintains the tracks and has seen engineering works run over.

MSPs will vote on the future of the ScotRail franchise tomorrow with Labour calling for the Scottish Government to exercise an early “break clause” in the deal with Dutch national operator Abellio which currently runs services.

Labour transport spokesperson Colin Smyth said: “ScotRail’s cancellations are now the worst on record, with more and more passengers being left stranded.

“The number of services being cancelled is now more than triple the same period of previous years – meaning ScotRail’s failings are getting worse.

“That is a failing franchise, in a failing franchising system and passengers have had enough.”

The spike in cancellations has been put down to the impact of Storm Ali on 19 September which battered the country with torrential winds and brought widespread disruption to the entire transport network. Most high level trains between Glasgow and Edinburgh were suspended due to unsafe conditions and ScotRail issued a warning to commuters not to travel with an amber weather warning in place.

It accounted for 2.3 per cent of the 3.66 per cent of cancellations during this period. This is the worst under the current performance and cancellation performance figures going back to 2015. It compares with a previous high of 3.13 per cent between mid December and January.

ScotRail Alliance managing director Alex Hynes said: “We faced significant challenges during Storm Ali which had an understandable impact on our performance.

He added: “We are investing billions in improved infrastructure and hundreds of millions of pounds on new and upgraded trains as we continue to do everything we can to improve performance. It’s part of our plan to build the best railway Scotland has ever had.”

But ScotRail has come under fire in recent years amid growing anger among travellers about overcrowding, delays and cancellations, as well as the controversial practice of skip-stopping.

It was criticised in August when it emerged that its performance for punctuality and reliability of trains had fallen to a three-year low, against official PPM targets.

Transport secretary Michael Matheson revealed recently that he has allowed “temporary waiver” on targets until next June.

The issue will come under the spotlight at the Scottish Parliament tomorrow when Labour will bring a vote on the prospect bringing trains back into public hands.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “We know performance is not where it should be - that is why Ministers can and do hold Abellio ScotRail to account within the terms of the franchise agreement. This includes the ability to end the contract if its terms are not met and it is in the public interest to do so - nothing has changed in this regard.

“As has been stated before, the significant increase in Network Rail infrastructure issues, many caused by severe weather and Storm Ali, have clearly had an impact on performance. The removal of the practice of skip-stopping - which was used for service recovery – has also been a factor as services which previously skip-stopped to get back on timetable may now require to be cancelled.

“ScotRail performance has remained consistently ahead of the GB average, but that GB average has got steadily worse since Network Rail moved timetable planning for Scotland to its Milton Keynes HQ in 2012. It is clear that these essential railway functions must be devolved back to Scotland to allow any franchise operator to perform at its best.

“We have already secured the right for a public sector operator to bid for a rail franchise in Scotland – after being denied by previous UK Governments (including Labour) - which will enable a level playing field between the private and public sector in bidding for rail franchises for the benefit of passengers and best value for the public purse.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4828692.1542101175!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4828692.1542101175!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The number of train services being cancelled on Scotland's railways has reached a new high amid growing calls for services to be take into public hands.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The number of train services being cancelled on Scotland's railways has reached a new high amid growing calls for services to be take into public hands.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4828692.1542101175!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5771265702001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/woman-offered-a-peerage-for-sex-urges-others-to-speak-out-1-4828728","id":"1.4828728","articleHeadline": "Woman ‘offered a peerage for sex’ urges others to speak out","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1542099664000 ,"articleLead": "

A woman’s rights campaigner who says she was promised a peerage in return for sleeping with a senior member of the House of Lords has urged other victims of harassment to speak out.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4828727.1542099661!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Women's right campaigner Jasvinder Sanghera who has told the Times she was promised a peerage if she had sex with senior member of the Lords Lord Lester of Herne Hill. Picture; PA"} ,"articleBody": "

Jasvinder Sanghera has disclosed that she was the woman who lodged a complaint against the former Liberal Democrat frontbencher Lord Lester of Herne Hill.

The 82-year-old peer is facing the longest suspension in modern parliamentary history after the Lords’ Privileges and Conduct Committee found he groped her and offered her “corrupt inducements” to become his mistress.

Lord Lester, a prominent QC, has strongly denied the allegations, saying they are “completely untrue”.

Ms Sanghera, who was not named in the report, waived her anonymity in an interview with The Times to say that she had made the complaint to establish that “what he did to me wasn’t acceptable and wasn’t honourable”.

She said: “There needs to be a system in place that will give other victims the confidence to complain and to feel supported in doing so.”

Ms Sanghera, a campaigner against forced marriage, had been working with Lord Lester on the passage of a parliamentary bill when the alleged incident occurred in 2006.

She said his conduct “made me feel physically sick”, but at the time she felt there was little she could do.

“I was acutely aware of the power imbalance. If I’d said anything, who would believe me?” she said.

She finally lodged a complaint in November 2017 and said the rise of the #MeToo movement led her to hope that “by speaking out, victims were creating a climate in which people were more willing to listen”.

Peers are expected to vote on Thursday whether to accept the committee’s recommendation that he should be suspended to June 2022.

In its report, the committee upheld a finding that Lord Lester had breached the Lords’ code of conduct “in failing to act on his personal honour by sexually harassing the complainant and offering her corrupt inducements to sleep with him”.

According to her statement to the commissioner, Ms Sanghera said the peer had told her that if she slept with him he would make her a baroness “within a year”, but if she refused he would ensure she never gained a seat in the Lords.

The committee said: “Lord Lester made a dishonourable promise backed by a dishonourable threat.”

Ms Sanghera, 53, founded the charity Karma Nirvana and was made a CBE in 2013.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4828727.1542099661!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4828727.1542099661!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Women's right campaigner Jasvinder Sanghera who has told the Times she was promised a peerage if she had sex with senior member of the Lords Lord Lester of Herne Hill. Picture; PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Women's right campaigner Jasvinder Sanghera who has told the Times she was promised a peerage if she had sex with senior member of the Lords Lord Lester of Herne Hill. Picture; PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4828727.1542099661!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/world/california-wildfires-at-least-42-killed-in-deadly-blaze-1-4828723","id":"1.4828723","articleHeadline": "California wildfires: At least 42 killed in deadly blaze","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1542098660000 ,"articleLead": "

Authorities have reported 13 more fatalities from a blaze in Northern California that destroyed a town, bringing the total death toll so far to 42 and making it the deadliest wildfire in recorded state history.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4828722.1542098656!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A firefighter battles a fire along the Ronald Reagan Freeway. Picture; AP"} ,"articleBody": "

The dead have been found in burned-out cars, in the smoldering ruins of their homes, or next to their vehicles, apparently overcome by smoke and flames before they could jump in behind the wheel and escape.

In some cases, there were only charred fragments of bone, so small that coroner’s investigators used a wire basket to sift and sort them. The search for bodies was continuing.

Hundreds of people were unaccounted for by the sheriff’s reckoning, four days after the fire swept over the town of 27,000 with flames so fierce that authorities brought in a mobile DNA lab and forensic anthropologists to help identify the dead.

The statewide death toll from wildfires over the past week has reached 44.

A 1933 blaze in Griffith Park in Los Angeles killed 29 people, and a series of wildfires in Northern California’s wine country last fall killed 44 people.

Authorities picking their way through burned-out neighborhoods say a Southern California wildfire has now destroyed at least 435 buildings, most of them homes.

The new figures released Monday evening come as a wildfire continues to burn its way through scenic but drought-stricken canyonlands in and around Malibu, where celebrity homes have burned along with modest mobile homes.

Fire officials say the immense fire, which stretches from north of Los Angeles to the Pacific Ocean, is only 30 percent contained - although that is significant progress from only a few days earlier.

Fire crews also had to stamp out two new smaller fires.

Thousands of homes are still at risk, and forecasters expect gusty Santa Ana winds that drove the flames to continue into Wednesday.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4828722.1542098656!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4828722.1542098656!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "A firefighter battles a fire along the Ronald Reagan Freeway. Picture; AP","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A firefighter battles a fire along the Ronald Reagan Freeway. Picture; AP","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4828722.1542098656!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} ]}}} ]}