Scottish Enterprise spent £100,000 on hiring celebrities

SCOTTISH Enterprise has splashed out more than £100,000 to hire celebrities such as Fred MacAulay, Jackie Bird and Sally Magnusson to attend business events.

The extravagant spending included £23,500 for former Ryder Cup golfer Sam Torrance to give golf tips to potential investors and £12,000 to comedian Fred MacAulay to act as master of ceremonies at two dinners.

The move has been branded “desperate” by David Whitton MSP, Labour’s shadow finance spokesman.

The quango receives a £276 million budget to help boost economic growth in Scotland.

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Edinburgh jobs tribunal orders former Labour Livingston MP Jim Devine to pay his ex office manager £35k

Marion Kinley said she was "delighted" with the tribunal's decision

By Cara Sulieman

DISGRACED former Labour MP Jim Devine has been ordered to pay his former office manager more than £35,000 in damages after she won an employment tribunal against him.

Devine failed to show for the hearing in Edinburgh today (thurs) where Marion Kinley won her claims for constructive unfair dismissal and breach of contract.

Judge Jane Porter awarded Miss Kinley, 47, a total of £35,308.45 in compensation, including £10,516 in expenses which the ex-MP pocketed instead of passing on to his employee.

Delivering the decision, Ms Porter branded ex Livingston MP Devine’s actions as both “bullying and harassment”.

Afterwards 47-year-old Marion, from Glasgow, said: “It’s been two and a half years of just unbelievable lies being told about me by Mr Devine.

“He just seemed to think he could treat people anyway he wanted to and tell lies about them and he was going to get away with it.

“Fortunately he didn’t this time.” Continue reading

Russell shrugs off “Minister of Fun” tag over American trips

CULTURAL: Mr Russell (right) is a keen supporter of Scottish tourism

By Michael MacLeod

EDUCATION secretary Mike Russell has been accused of losing focus of the Scottish education system and having “far too much fun” in his job.

The SNP minister was criticised for making transatlantic visits to the likes of whisky events, a golf tour firm and a visit to Apple’s HQ in California.

His travel and engagement diaries were released after a Freedom of Information request by the Scottish Labour party, who said the implementation of the new Curriculum for Excellence should be his priority.

But Mr Russell – who openly blogs online about his globetrotting adventures – defended the visits, most of which came during the USA’s Scotland Week , saying they were to “further Scotland’s interests.”
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Thousands of operations cancelled every year

By Cara Sulieman

MORE THAN 600 operations are cancelled in Scotland a week, with a quarter of them being scrapped by the hospital.

NHS Fife chalked up the most, with 146 operations a week being called off.

Just over half of Fife’s cancellations were made by the hospital, and the other half by patients or “other miscellaneous reasons”.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde were next with 99 a week.

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John Prescott Heads All-Star Line Up At Borders Book Festival

by Shaun Milne

FORMER deputy Prime Minister John Prescott has been unveiled as the surprise main speaker taking part in this month’s Brewin Dolphin Borders Book Festival.

Labour stalwart Prescott, who is to be made a Lord, will talk about his autobiography Prezza: Pulling No Punches when interviewed by festival director Alistair Moffat.

His appearance on Saturday, June 19, was only confirmed today (wed).

Other notable politicians taking part in the Melrose event include former Tory Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd and SDP co-founder Shirley Williams.


War correspondents John Simpson, Kate Adie and Fergal Keane will also be speaking at the event between June 17 and 20, along with the likes of best selling author Robert Harris and comedians Victoria Wood and Rory Bremner. Continue reading

Ex-PM Brown still the boss, as he sends wife to Tesco

By Cara Sulieman

AFTER his very public departure from high office, it was perhaps of little surprise that Gordon Brown would chose to keep a low profile on what was his first day back as a jobbing MP.

Back in his beloved Fife, at the North Queensferry home where his children no doubt were enthused as to how daddy suddenly had so much free time, the former Prime Minister stayed behind closed doors.

It was his wife Sarah, a rock to him these past few tumultuous days, who was to run the gauntlet of photographers, TV crews and reporters camped at the end of their driveway.

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After-hours booze plan for bar staff is ditched by MSPs

By Michael MacLeod

PLANS to let Scots pub staff drink alcohol after closing time have been thrown out amid fears they could open a loophole in the law leading to illegal “lock-ins”.

The idea was raised in the Scottish Parliament today (Tuesday) by Bill Aitken MSP, who hit out at government “killjoys” for shunning his plan.

Justice secretary Kenny MacAskill said police were already busy enough when pubs close without having to monitor bar staff having a tipple.
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