Latest Scotland news

  • Tory English Votes Plan To Include Income Tax
    Tory English Votes Plan To Include Income Tax Fri, Apr 24, 2015

    David Cameron has pledged changes to ensure English MPs have the final say on income tax rates in England. The Prime Minister set out a timetable for introducing Tory plans for English votes for English laws within a year of the election. He promised the measure would be extended to financial matters, with the handover of tax-raising powers to Scotland. Mr Cameron has argued it is "simply unfair" English MPs would be unable to vote on the income tax paid by people in Aberdeen and Edinburgh, while Scottish MPs would be able to vote on the tax paid by residents in Birmingham, Canterbury or Leeds. More »

  • Red legacy of Victorian novelist still defines British streets
    Red legacy of Victorian novelist still defines British streets Fri, Apr 24, 2015

    By Robert Cole LONDON (Reuters) - Anthony Trollope is best known as a British novelist whose chronicles of the minor dramas, snubs and triumphs of Victorian country life still win readers worldwide. Trollope, courtesy of his day job in the 19th century Post Office, was responsible for giving Britain its bright red post boxes. Royal Mail, the stock exchange-listed postal operator, is legally obliged to operate at least one post box within half a mile (just under a kilometre) of 98 percent of all homes in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. There are three main varieties: the largest, typically, are pillar boxes. More »

  • Cameron shifts tack as election campaign fails to shift dial
    Cameron shifts tack as election campaign fails to shift dial Fri, Apr 24, 2015

    By Andrew Osborn LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister David Cameron's advisers thought his economic record would have delivered a solid poll lead by now. The absence of a breakthrough coupled with a stronger than expected performance from Ed Miliband, the leader of the opposition Labour Party, is dampening the mood in Cameron's centre-right Conservative Party. The campaign has been almost genteel." The election, which could determine Britain's place in the European Union and Scotland's future in the United Kingdom, is the closest since the 1970s with the two main parties unable to open up a clear lead. The SNP is threatening to all but wipe out Labour in Scotland, while UKIP is likely to steal large numbers of Conservative voters in England, making it harder for Cameron to beat Labour in areas where Miliband's party is narrowly behind. More »

  • Cameron courts English voters with tax plans
    Cameron courts English voters with tax plans Fri, Apr 24, 2015

    British Prime Minister David Cameron courted English voters on Friday ahead of a tight UK-wide election, promising to create a separate rate of income tax for England and to give English lawmakers greater powers. Attempting to tap into a sense of English resentment about the growing degree of devolution Scotland enjoys, Cameron pledged to enact reforms within a year of the May 7 election. England is by far the most populous part of the four-nation United Kingdom and southern England in particular has long been a stronghold for Cameron's centre-right party. Cameron, whose party had only one of 59 seats in Scotland before parliament was dissolved, is championing reforms to the way the British parliament makes laws to counterbalance extra lawmaking powers promised to Scotland last year to persuade voters there to reject independence. More »

  • David Cameron to set out Conservative proposals for 'English Votes for English …
    David Cameron to set out Conservative proposals for 'English Votes for English … Fri, Apr 24, 2015

    He will also pledge an "English rate of income tax" - once more powers are devolved to Scotland. Following the Scottish independence referendum last year and the decision to grant the Scots more tax raising powers, the Conservatives said they would give MPs for English seats a veto on issues which affect only England. In a speech, he will set out a timetable for the Conservative plans, saying the Scottish income tax proposals have "clear implications". He will say that unless the current rules are changed: "English MPs will be unable to vote on the income tax paid by people in Aberdeen and Edinburgh while Scottish MPs are able to vote on the tax you pay in Birmingham or Canterbury or Leeds. More »

  • European Games not under threat from new championships - Clegg Thu, Apr 23, 2015

    The future of the European Games will not be threatened by a recently-announced European sports championships, with the 2015 Baku Games having done "phenomenal" preparation for the event to be established, Games chief Simon Clegg said on Thursday. The Azeri capital will host Europe's first continental multi-sport event from June 12-28 and Clegg said the recently-announced 2018 European sports championships would prove no threat to the next edition of the Games in 2019. "I do not feel any additional pressure because of that decision," Clegg told a small group of reporters when asked whether the European Games were set to battle it out with the new event over the same market. "I take the view that when you consider what has been delivered at the event from a blank piece of paper, (we) are comfortable with the job we have done and the position of the European Games in the future." The European sports championships, unveiled last month, will combine the continental competitions for rowing, triathlon, swimming, athletics and cycling into a 12-day event split between Scotland and Berlin. More »

  • Why Does Scotland Matter So Much On 7 May?
    Why Does Scotland Matter So Much On 7 May? Thu, Apr 23, 2015

    How is it that Nicola Sturgeon seems to be calling the shots ahead of the election? This and other key questions on Scotland are answered in our Q&A. :: Why is Scotland so important in the General Election? It won just six seats in 2010 – Labour won 41, the Conservatives 1 seat and the Lib Dems 11 - but it is tipped to take 52 of the 59 seats in Scotland.  It's a massive gain and will make it the third largest party in the House of Commons. More »

  • Majority Of Scots Think Union Will Divide, Poll
    Majority Of Scots Think Union Will Divide, Poll Thu, Apr 23, 2015

    Almost half of Scots believe the election campaign has made a divide in the union more likely - and a majority now think Scotland could become independent in their lifetimes, according to a survey for Sky News. And 55% think Scotland will become independent in their lifetime. The SNP's Nicola Sturgeon came out on top, followed by David Cameron and Ed Miliband. Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg came further behind. More »

  • More Britons move banks as switching service speeds up process Thu, Apr 23, 2015

    Rules making it easier for Britons to switch banks resulted in a 7 percent increase in the number of customers moving accounts in the last 12 months, the Payments Council said on Thursday. They are part of measures designed to break the dominance of Britain's four biggest banks -- Lloyds Banking Group , Royal Bank of Scotland , Barclays and HSBC -- which between them provide more than three-quarters of all UK personal current accounts. The Payments Council, which oversees the service, said 1.14 million switches were made in the year to March 31, up from 1.06 million the year before. More than seven out of ten Britons are aware of the service compared with fewer than six out of ten when, it launched the Payments Council said. More »

  • Salmond Says PM Has Humour Failure Over Video
    Salmond Says PM Has Humour Failure Over Video Wed, Apr 22, 2015

    Alex Salmond has accused David Cameron of suffering a "sense of humour bypass" after the Prime Minister tweeted his "shock" over a video featuring the Scottish politician. Mr Cameron posted a clip of the former SNP leader, who is running to become a Westminster MP, joking in front of activists that it would not be Labour's leader in Scotland, Jim Murphy, writing the party's first budget but him. The Conservative leader and PM wrote: "This footage will shock you: Alex Salmond laughs & boasts he'll write Labour's budget. More »

  • Ex-soccer star Hendry gets road ban
    Ex-soccer star Hendry gets road ban Wed, Apr 22, 2015

    Former Scotland football captain Colin Hendry has been banned from the road for 17 months after he dropped his fight against a drink-driving charge. More »

  • Factbox - Britain's biggest corporate losses Wed, Apr 22, 2015

    (Reuters) - Tesco plunged to an annual loss of 6.4 billion pounds ($9.5 billion) on Wednesday, the worst in its 96-year history, after shoppers deserted Britain's biggest retailer and forced it to write down the value of its stores. Following are details of some of the other big corporate losses in Britain: ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND , Feb. 2009 -- At the height of the financial crisis, RBS said a record loss of 24.1 billion pounds reflected a 16.2 billion pound writedown against acquisitions, including its takeover of parts of Dutch rival ABN Amro in 2007, plus a further 7. ... More »

  • Google to help search for Scotland's Loch Ness monster
    Google to help search for Scotland's Loch Ness monster Tue, Apr 21, 2015

    Those keen to search for Scotland's mythical Loch Ness monster can do so from anywhere in the world after Google launched a cache of underwater and surface images of the lake. More »

  • Fiscal freedom for Scotland would mean spending cuts, tax rises - think-tan …
    Fiscal freedom for Scotland would mean spending cuts, tax rises - think-tan … Tue, Apr 21, 2015

    Scotland would have to make "substantial" spending cuts or increase taxes if the Scottish National Party (SNP) gained full control of the country's finances after next month's general election, the Institute for Fiscal Studies said on Tuesday. On Monday, the SNP launched their manifesto ahead of a knife-edge vote in which neither Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron nor Labour's Ed Miliband are expected to win a majority - an outcome which could see the nationalist party team up with Labour to form the next government. Alongside plans for higher public spending and an end to austerity, the SNP manifesto set a medium-term ambition for Scotland to be granted full fiscal autonomy - control over all its tax and spending. The SNP's longer-term aim is for Scotland to gain full independence. More »

  • UK's future on the line in election, says former PM Major
    UK's future on the line in election, says former PM Major Tue, Apr 21, 2015

    By Kylie MacLellan and Andrew Osborn SOLIHULL/LONDON (Reuters) - The future of the United Kingdom would be imperilled if Scottish nationalists prop up a Labour government after May 7's election because they would use the role to prepare another independence vote, former prime minister John Major said on Tuesday. Speaking in Solihull, central England, former Conservative leader Major described such an arrangement as "a recipe for mayhem" that threatened the integrity of the United Kingdom. They will pit Scotland against England. More »

  • Election 2015: Who's afraid of Nicola Sturgeon?
    Election 2015: Who's afraid of Nicola Sturgeon? Tue, Apr 21, 2015

    It didn't quite have the historical resonance of a teenage Bill Clinton shaking hands with John F Kennedy, but it was about as close as you'll ever get to that within the political village of Scotland. Donald Dewar, not long away from attaining his 'Father of the Nation' status by delivering devolution and becoming the original First Minister, was a member of the panel. He found himself being challenged by an indignant young woman in the audience, who demanded to know why Labour had abandoned its decades-long acceptance that the SNP could claim a mandate for independence if it ever won a majority of seats in the House of Commons. Dewar patiently explained that it was possible to win a majority of seats without having a majority of votes, and that independence would require a much more unambiguous mandate than that, perhaps via a referendum. More »

  • Trump's Turnberry to undergo major changes for future Opens Tue, Apr 21, 2015

    By Andrew Both TURNBERRY, Scotland (Reuters) - The Ailsa course at Turnberry, which has hosted four British Opens, will undergo major changes when it closes at the end of September. The magnificent views over the Firth of Clyde will look the same, but the course will be radically different, with all but a handful of holes altered when it reopens next summer. The changes were revealed on Tuesday at a news conference at Trump Turnberry hosted by course owner Donald Trump’s son, Eric. Turnberry has a small but storied history as an Open venue, fist hosting the famous “Duel in the Sun” in which Tom Watson beat fellow American Jack Nicklaus in 1977. More »

  • U.S. government wants five banks to settle forex case by mid-May - FT
    U.S. government wants five banks to settle forex case by mid-May - FT Tue, Apr 21, 2015

    (Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Justice wants five banks, including JPMorgan Chase & Co and Barclays Plc , to reach a joint "mega settlement" to allegations they manipulated foreign exchange markets, the Financial Times reported, citing unidentified people familiar with the case. The settlement would see some institutions pay about $1 billion (671 million pound) each and is scheduled for mid-May, it said. The settlement talks also include Citigroup Inc , Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc and UBS Group AG . The probe is being led by the fraud division of the Department of Justice. More »

  • Britain hands Russian fund deadline to exit North Sea
    Britain hands Russian fund deadline to exit North Sea Mon, Apr 20, 2015

    General view of ships on the North Sea in Aberdeen, Scotland on January 21, 2015 More »

  • Sturgeon Vows To Act In Interest Of All UK
    Sturgeon Vows To Act In Interest Of All UK Mon, Apr 20, 2015

    Nicola Sturgeon has launched the SNP's election manifesto pledging an end to austerity and offering "a hand of friendship" to people across the UK. Reaching out beyond its traditional heartland for the first time, Ms Sturgeon outlined plans to create a  "progressive" alliance at Westminster, with the promise to increase public spending not just in Scotland but the whole of Britain. Opinion polls indicate the SNP could win as many as 56 of Scotland's 59 seats at the election, which could see the nationalists hold the balance of power in the event of another hung parliament. Speaking to an enthusiastic crowd, Ms Sturgeon pledged to stand up for Scotland's interests, but also said the views of people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland mattered to her. More »

  • Eyeing power, SNP launches British election manifesto
    Eyeing power, SNP launches British election manifesto Mon, Apr 20, 2015

    Scotland's separatists tried to reassure voters across Britain on Monday over the key role they could play in deciding the next government following May's knife-edge election. More »

  • Scottish nationalists call time on austerity and look to UK deal
    Scottish nationalists call time on austerity and look to UK deal Mon, Apr 20, 2015

    By Russell Cheyne and Kylie MacLellan EDINBURGH/LONDON (Reuters) - The Scottish National Party set out plans for higher public spending on Monday, aiming to reverse five years of austerity measures as it goes into a close-run UK election with hopes of winning the power to broker the next British government. Polls show neither Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservatives nor the opposition Labour Party are likely to win an outright majority at the May 7 election, the outcome of which could influence whether Britain leaves the European Union or Scotland launches a fresh bid for independence. The Scottish National Party (SNP), which has rebounded after leading a failed bid for independence last year, is on track to virtually wipe out Labour in Scotland. More »

  • Faldo to make final appearance at British Open this year Mon, Apr 20, 2015

    ST. ANDREWS, Scotland (AP) — Three-time British Open champion Nick Faldo will make his final appearance at the tournament at St. Andrews this year. More »

  • New areas named for fibre broadband
    New areas named for fibre broadband Mon, Apr 20, 2015

    Rural areas will be the focus of the latest expansion of superfast broadband across Scotland. More »

  • Celtic's treble dreams over as Inverness wins cup semi Sun, Apr 19, 2015

    GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) — Celtic's treble dreams ended Sunday when Inverness won 3-2 in extra time to reach its first Scottish Cup final. More »

  • Cameron says Labour-SNP power deal would be frightening
    Cameron says Labour-SNP power deal would be frightening Sun, Apr 19, 2015

    By Paul Sandle LONDON (Reuters) - The prospect of Scottish Nationalists holding sway over a minority Labour government is "frightening", Prime Minister David Cameron said on Sunday, as polls suggested deadlock 18 days before an election. The Scottish National Party could win 53 out of 59 seats north of the border, according to recent forecasts, giving a party whose aim is an independent Scotland huge influence over a British parliament where no single party commands a majority. SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon said the SNP and Labour, which are both left of centre, could "work together" to prevent Cameron from regaining power. Labour has ruled out a coalition with the SNP, but it could seek a vote-by-vote arrangement that enables it to govern. More »

  • Insight - In Labour's Scottish bastion, nationalists prepare an upset
    Insight - In Labour's Scottish bastion, nationalists prepare an upset Sat, Apr 18, 2015

    By Andy Bruce, Kate Holton and Guy Faulconbridge GLASGOW/LONDON (Reuters) - In Scotland's biggest city, nationalists have triggered a once-in-a-century shift in political loyalties that could dash Labour leader Ed Miliband's dreams of winning the May 7 election and thrust secessionist 'kingmakers' to the heart of British power. The shifting currents in Glasgow, the citadel of Scottish socialism for more than a century, show the seriousness of the nationalists' bid to end Labour's dominance of Scotland, a significant change in recent British political history. Scots voted to preserve the United Kingdom in a Sept. 18 referendum but the once marginal Scottish National Party (SNP) has spent two decades persuading Scots that it is a worthy alternative to Labour, which many voters say has abandoned its Scottish heritage. "We've got less than three weeks to turn it round but I'm confident that we can," said Murphy, a 47-year-old teetotal vegetarian who opinion polls show has so far failed to stem a flood of support from Labour to the SNP. More »

  • Nine Journalists Told Elveden Cases Dropped
    Nine Journalists Told Elveden Cases Dropped Fri, Apr 17, 2015

    Most of the outstanding charges against journalists involved in Operation Elveden have been dropped following the latest failed prosecution. Nine of the 12 journalists awaiting trial or retrial as part of the inquiry into payments to public officials have been informed by the Crown Prosecution Service that no further action would be taken. The group includes Andy Coulson, the former News of the World editor and director of communications to David Cameron, who still faces a perjury charge in Scotland. There were angry calls to "stop persecuting innocent journalists" after The Sun's Tom Wells, Neil Millard and Brandon Malinsky and former Daily Mirror reporter Graham Brough were found not guilty of conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office. More »

  • Crawford moves up with shot at WBO junior welterweight title
    Crawford moves up with shot at WBO junior welterweight title Fri, Apr 17, 2015

    ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Terence Crawford went to Scotland to win the WBO lightweight title, then defended it twice in his Nebraska hometown. More »

  • Bjorn welcomes Pelley's appointment as European Tour chief Fri, Apr 17, 2015

    By Tony Jimenez LONDON (Reuters) - Keith Pelley's appointment as European Tour chief executive in succession to George O'Grady Has been welcomed by Tournament Players Committee chairman Thomas Bjorn. Bjorn, a member of Europe's victorious Ryder Cup team in Scotland in September, has already spoken to the 51-year-old Pelley at length and is impressed by the president of Canadian conglomerate Rogers Media. "I would also like to place on record how impressed I have been with the process put in place by the board of the European Tour to select our new chief executive," added Bjorn. More »

  • UK election: All eyes on Scotland, as Labour scrambles for votes Fri, Apr 17, 2015

    Keith Aitchison was a staunch Labour Party supporter as a young man in Glasgow. He even campaigned for the party ahead of elections. Now retired to the small Highland city of Inverness, Mr. Aitchison is still politically active, but he has switched allegiance to the pro-independence Scottish National Party. “I came to the conclusion that within the Westminster political system you can’t change things because everything is pointed towards the need for votes in the south of England,” Aitchison says while volunteering at the local “Yes” shop, a souvenir store that opened in the run-up to Scotland’s failed independence referendum last September. Aitchison is one of thousands of former Labour supporters expected to back the SNP in Britain’s general election on May 7. More »

  • Scottish Labour leader could lose own seat, poll finds
    Scottish Labour leader could lose own seat, poll finds Fri, Apr 17, 2015

    The leader of the opposition Labour Party's Scottish arm could lose his own parliamentary seat to the Scottish National Party (SNP) in a general election on May 7, according to a poll published on Friday. Jim Murphy is leading Labour's effort to fight back against a surge in support for the SNP that could cost the party its chance to lead the next British government. For him to lose his seat to a nationalist rival would be a humiliating symbol of Labour's collapse in Scotland, previously a reliable reservoir of Labour support. Lord Ashcroft Polls found that in Murphy's constituency of East Renfrewshire, 40 percent of those surveyed said they would vote for the SNP candidate, 31 percent for Murphy and 25 percent for the Conservative candidate. More »

  • RSA Faces Investor Backlash Over Hester Pay
    RSA Faces Investor Backlash Over Hester Pay Thu, Apr 16, 2015

    The FTSE-100 insurer RSA Group is facing a backlash from leading investors over part of the pay deal awarded to Stephen Hester, its chief executive. Sky News understands that a number of large shareholders in the company are close to deciding to oppose RSA's remuneration report at next month's annual general meeting. The institutions' unhappiness stems from a decision by RSA's remuneration committee to grant Mr Hester, the former boss of Royal Bank of Scotland, a long-term share award worth three times his £950,000 basic salary. More »

  • RBS prevails in U.S. fraud lawsuit over pre-crisis disclosures
    RBS prevails in U.S. fraud lawsuit over pre-crisis disclosures Wed, Apr 15, 2015

    By Jonathan Stempel NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. appeals court on Wednesday declined to hold Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc liable for allegedly defrauding investors in its American depositary shares by downplaying its subprime asset exposure prior to the global financial crisis. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York rejected claims by ADS investors seeking to recoup losses on their shares. It said these investors did not show that the bank, former Chief Executive Fred Goodwin and other officials intended to mislead them in 2007 and early 2008 about RBS' exposure to leveraged loans, collateralised debt obligations and other risky assets, or its ability to manage that exposure. Writing for a 2-1 majority, Circuit Judge Denny Chin said various of RBS' alleged misstatements, including over its 2007 purchase of much of ABN Amro, were immaterial, amounted to "puffery," or would not have misled reasonable investors. More »

  • Dolphin sighting rise investigated
    Dolphin sighting rise investigated Wed, Apr 15, 2015

    A series of research expeditions aims to find out more about why sightings of common dolphins off western Scotland have more than doubled in recent years. More »