Jack warns Clegg and Cameron: Trust will be tough

By Michael MacLeod

SCOTLAND’s former First Minister Jack McConnell says trust, rather than the economy, will be the biggest challenge to the new UK Government.

Mr McConnell says the Tory and Lib Dem coalition will have “life and death” decisions to make – but the key will be their relationship.

He praised David Cameron and Nick Clegg for “a great start,” but warned that head-to-head battles are inevitable and potentially damaging.
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Director of New Pyjamas suspended ahead of finance investigation

Elaine McGonigle (left) with Jack McConnell and George Foulkes at a New Pyjama event at the Parliament last November

By Cara Sulieman

THE director of a fundraising campaign has been suspended while the chairman has resigned amid concerns about how much money the initiative has raised.

Elaine McGonigle has been suspended from the New Pyjamas Campaign for the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh ahead of crisis talks with NHS Lothian due to take place tomorrow (Wednesday).

Chairman Graeme Millar has also stepped down from his position.

NHS Lothian Chairman, Dr Charles Winstanley, said the health board called an emergency summit after expressing their “deep concern” when brought up to date on how much had been raised.

The Sick Kids Friends Foundation said they were beginning an “urgent review” of the fundraising campaign.

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Scottish midwife behind bestselling cookbook launches new volume

Linda McDonald with her book

Linda McDonald with her book

By Cara Sulieman

A SCOTTISH midwife who became a surprise best-selling author with her first cookbook is about to publish the THIRD edition – with a little help from her celebrity friends.

Linda McDonald, 49, has already raised £270,000 for a hospital in Malawi through the sale of two cookbooks, and two calendars.

And for her third and final book she has drafted in the help of Big Brother host Davina McCall, Prime Minister’s wife Sarah Brown and former First Minister Jack McConnell.

What started as a conversation on the night shift at Simpson’s Maternity Unit in Edinburgh four years ago has turned into a charity that has attracted the attention of politicians and celebrities across the country.

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Sir Sean: I can’t speak to my wife

Sir Sean Connery

By Alexander Lawrie

SIR SEAN Connery has admitted not being able to speak to his wife is the secret behind his happy marriage.

The former Bond star has been married to French wife Micheline for over 30 years, but still cannot speak a word in her native tongue.

And the 78 year-old screen legend insists the language barrier does not stop the pair from having heated arguments – instead claiming their tiffs keep their relationship strong.

He said: “I don’t speak a word of French but often think that what should be a handicap is actually a godsend.

“She may only be half my size but she’s got a few snappy comebacks. We’re total opposites – that’s what has kept us together all these years.”

Connery’s latest screen role sees him appearing alongside Olympic hero Chris Hoy and musicians Sandi Thom and Eddi Reader in the recently released Homecoming Scotland 2009 advert.

The ad sees various Scottish celebs singing a line each from Dougie McLean’s anthem Caledonia – although Sir Sean decided in the end to speak his line.

Filmed to entice those with Scottish ancestry to visit their homeland during 2009, the £200,000 advertising campaign has been branded “a waste of money”.

Former First Minister Jack McConnell recently slammed Alex Salmond for “hijacking the campaign for his own personal crusade”.

He said: “The First Minister and the SNP are more interested in publicising themselves and Scottish identity in Scotland than in promoting Scotland as a destination to those who live elsewhere.

“The whole Homecoming idea – which we began five years ago – was to increase tourism and promote Scotland, leading to more jobs. We wanted those with Scottish ancestors to consider returning.

“This advertising campaign is a waste of money. The first minister has been hijacking the campaign for his own personal crusade. Scotland should be outraged. I am.”

Connery is not the first celebrity to reveal the secrets to his happy marriage.

American pop star Christina Aguilera has been married to marketing executive Jordan Bratman for three years and credits the couple’s “naked Sundays” for keeping her relationship fresh.

She said: “We have something called naked Sundays. You have to keep marriage alive, spice it up. We don’t need to go anywhere, we’re just with each other. We do everything naked. We even cook naked.”