John Leslie goes on trial accused of nightclub sex assault

Former TV presenter John Leslie has gone on trial accused of putting his hand down a woman’s trousers as they danced at her hen night. The woman, who can not be identified, was on the hen party at Atik nightclub in Edinburgh last June when the alleged sexual assault took place. She said she saw…

Gordon Brown warns independent Scotland would face ‘austerity until doomsday’ after IFS report

Gordon Brown has said an independent Scotland would face «austerity until doomsday» after an impartial analysis of the SNP’s new economic blueprint warned of 18 years of spending restrictions. The former Prime Minister said a new report by the respected Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) showed that spending on public services like the NHS would rise…

SNP operated secret FOI regime making it harder for journalists and MSPs to get information

SNP ministers have been operating a secret two-tier regime that makes it harder for journalists and opposition MSPs to obtain embarrassing documents under the Freedom of Information Act, a damning official inquiry has concluded. Daren Fitzhenry, the Scottish Information Commissioner, discovered evidence in previous years that journalists were «significantly less likely to receive information» than…

Scottish island which is home to six people gets its first ever road

A Scottish island inhabited by only six people has got its first ever road. The 10ft-wide, mile and a half long route has been constructed on Sanday, in the Inner Hebrides, which is connected by a bridge to the neighbouring Isle of Canna. Only islanders’ and contractors’ vehicles are allowed on the islands. The road — which…

Quality Street, Pitlochry Festival Theatre — review: hilarious, ironic and knowingly modern take on the JM Barrie classic

JM Barrie’s 1901 comedy Quality Street has been somewhat neglected in his homeland of Scotland. The Scottish Theatre Archive shows no professional production of the drama since 1953. This is a strange state of affairs, as this four-act play is neatly constructed, often very funny and entirely open to modern observations on gender politics. That is certainly true of…

Nicola Sturgeon cannot remember basic details of new independence blueprint in car-crash TV interview

Nicola Sturgeon has been accused of undermining the SNP’s new economic blueprint for independence after failing to answer «the simplest of questions» about its contents during a car-crash TV interview. The First Minister repeatedly avoided answering how much the growth commission report said it would cost to set up a Scottish state, before finally admitting she…

Noisy bagpiper arrested on the Royal Mile for playing too loudly

A noisy bagpiper was arrested in front of shocked tourists after playing “too loudly” in the centre of Edinburgh. John McDonald was busking on the Royal Mile on Sunday, one of the city’s busiest tourist thoroughfares, leading from the castle to the Queen’s official residence at the Palace of Holyroodhouse. He was approached by officers…

There’s a weapon that police could deploy against violent crime — but they’re not using it

Police are struggling to tackle the epidemic in violent moped robberies because they are equipped with outdated technology, the Telegraph has discovered. Knife-wielding thugs, riding high-powered scooters, have been carrying out scores of raids every day, often attacking victims before making off with valuable watches and mobile phones. But out-of-date smartphones, and a failure to…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe encourages a ‘leap into the unknown’

If it involves a Nicola Sturgeon drag act, Trump the Musical and the Russian art collective Pussy Riot, it can only be the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. This year’s event features 3,500 shows, covering theatre, dances, circus, comedy, music and, as usual, the absurd and outrageous. The performers include the actress Su Pollard, once of Hi-de-Hi!…

Theresa May says SNP ‘out of touch’ on independence as Nicola Sturgeon claims party conference is ‘start of a new chapter’

Theresa May has accused the SNP of being «completely out of touch» with Scots over its renewed push for independence after Nicola Sturgeon claimed this week’s party conference «marks the start of a new chapter» in her battle to break up Britain. The Prime Minister told MPs that the Nationalists should be focused on «pulling…

Microsoft sinks deep sea data centre off Orkney

Microsoft has sunk an underwater data centre in the sea off Orkney to investigate the benefits of deploying sub-sea data centres around the world. Data centres are power intensive and create a lot of heat, often needing a lot of energy to cool equipment. By running the data centre underwater, Microsoft hopes to save energy on cooling…

IFS: SNP’s new independence blueprint is ‘continuation of austerity’

Austerity would continue in Scotland under the SNP’s new independence blueprint, the country’s most eminent economic think tank has warned despite Nicola Sturgeon’s claims otherwise. The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) said the plans set out by the Sustainable Growth Commission would mean public spending growing less than GDP by three per cent over a…

Baby was decapitated by doctor’s actions, tribunal rules

A gynaecologist who caused an unborn baby to be accidentally decapitated in her mother’s womb has been found guilty of medical misconduct. Dr Vaishnavy Laxman, 43, should have given the 30-year old patient an emergency caesarean section as the premature infant was in a breech position, but instead tried to carry out a natural delivery….

MSPs call for child ‘welfare assessment’ of all armed forces visits to Scottish schools

British Armed Forces’ visits to all Scottish schools must be subject to a child “wellbeing assessment” to ensure they are “appropriate”, a Holyrood inquiry has recommended despite finding no evidence that vulnerable youngsters are being targeted for recruitment. The Scottish Parliament’s petitions committee said the SNP government should examine the content of the visits, including…

Richard Leonard urges Left-wing Scots to oppose ‘austerity economics of nationalism’

Richard Leonard is to appeal to Left-wing Scots to abandon “the austerity economics of nationalism” and back Labour after the SNP’s new blueprint for independence proposed a decade of severe public spending restrictions. The Scottish Labour leader will seek to exploit the backlash against the Nationalists’ Sustainable Growth Commission report by arguing there is a “new…

SNP under fire over £1.7 billion downgrade in Scottish taxes

Scotland is facing a £1.7 billion black hole in its spending money for public services thanks to a dramatic decline in wages and tax revenues, according to official forecasts that prompted accusations of SNP incompetence. The Scottish Fiscal Commission (SFC) said it had downgraded its projections for devolved tax revenues in the current financial year…

Nicola Sturgeon told to ‘stop putting nationalism before the NHS’ as indy blueprint backlash grows

Nicola Sturgeon has been told to “stop putting nationalism before the NHS” as two of her former Scottish Government colleagues added to the fierce internal backlash against the SNP’s new economic blueprint for independence. Alex Bell, a key author of the government’s independence White Paper for the 2014 referendum, described the latest document as a…

Nicola Sturgeon launches ‘desperate’ defence of new independence plan as nationalists split

Nicola Sturgeon has attempted to paper over a major split among nationalists about the SNP’s new blueprint for independence after a fierce backlash from Left-wingers warning it will mean years of austerity. The First Minister took to Twitter to post seven messages in a “desperate” defence of her party’s Sustainable Growth Commission report, published last…

RBS told to scrap branch closures to help vulnerable customers

MPs have urged RBS to abandon plans to axe up to 62 branches in Scotland, warning over the “devastating” impact it would have on communities.  The Scottish affairs committee said the swingeing cuts to the Royal Bank of Scotland’s branch network would particularly hit vulnerable customers.  If RBS presses ahead, it will trigger 158 job…

SNP commission proposes income tax breaks to get immigrants to move to independent Scotland

Skilled immigrants could be offered income tax breaks to move to an independent Scotland, an SNP review published today will recommend despite ministers last month hitting middle-class Scots with an increase in the levy. The SNP’s Sustainable Growth Commission report will suggest introducing a “Come to Scotland” golden hello including “transition relief” for some immigrants so…

Nicola Sturgeon warned new Scottish currency would cost up to £300 billion

An independent Scotland would have to find up to £300 billion to prop up its own currency, the country’s most eminent macroeconomist has warned as Nicola Sturgeon prepares to unveil her new economic blueprint for separation. Professor Ronald MacDonald, research professor of macroeconomics and international finance at Glasgow University’s Adam Smith Business School, said tens of…

Scottish court told Brexit could be unilaterally halted

A judge has been told there is an alternative to Theresa May’s “deal or no deal” approach to leaving the EU which could see Brexit unilaterally halted. Aidan O’Neill QC, representing a group of pro-Remain politicians, raised the prospect at Scotland’s highest civil court of MPs instructing the UK Government to withdraw its Article 50…

Scottish school teachers quitting as pupils’ bad behaviour ‘swept under carpet’

Scottish teachers are leaving their profession thanks to pupils’ bad behaviour being “swept under the carpet” amid “constant pressure” to cut the number of exclusions, a conference has heard. Seamus Searson, general secretary of the Scottish Secondary Teachers’ Association (SSTA), told its annual congress that a “high number” of teachers believe schools and councils are…

Nicola Sturgeon under pressure to specify which prisoners will get the vote in Holyrood elections

Nicola Sturgeon is under pressure to specify which prisoners can vote in Scottish Parliament and council elections after rejecting calls for murderers and rapists to be given the privilege. The First Minister rejected a call from SNP, Labour, Liberal Democrat and Green MSPs on an influential Holyrood committee to extend the right to all inmates….

Scottish Tory MSP Peter Chapman quits front bench over ‘foolish’ lobbying error

A Scottish Tory MSP has resigned from the party’s front bench after admitting a “foolish oversight” when he lobbied local councillors about a planning application in which he had a financial interest. Peter Chapman stood down as the Conservatives’ Shadow Rural Affairs Minister after failing to disclose his 50,000 shares in Aberdeen and Northern Marts…

SNP ministers contacted M&S over website listing Scotch whisky as British

SNP ministers have been accused of leaning on Marks and Spencer after it emerged they contacted the retailer over Scotch whisky being listed as from the United Kingdom on its website. Documents published under the Freedom of Information Act (FoI) Act showed Scottish Government officials telephoned the high-street giant “to seek clarity on the situation”,…

Scotland should be a hotbed for policy innovation, not England’s poorer, statist cousin

Welcome to Refresh – a new initiative by young people, for young people,  to provide a free-market response to Britain’s biggest issues  With so many powers devolved to the Scottish Parliament since its creation in 1999, Britain’s northernmost nation should be a hotbed for policy innovation that encourages free choice. Even since the 2014 independence referendum, Holyrood…

Scott Hutchison’s ‘devastated’ family praise his battle with depression as police confirm singer’s death

The body found in the search for the missing Frightened Rabbit singer Scott Hutchison has now been confirmed by police to be the frontman.  Officers at Police Scotland made the discovery at Port Edgar near South Queensferry at 8.30pm on Thursday. His family have talked of their «utter devastation» describing how he «battled bravely with his own…

Body found in search for missing Frightened Rabbit singer Scott Hutchison

Police searching for missing Frightened Rabbit singer Scott Hutchison have found a body. Police Scotland made the discovery at Port Edgar near South Queensferry at 8.30pm on Thursday. Formal identification has yet to take place, but the family of Mr Hutchison have been informed. The frontman’s brother talked Wednesday of his «incredible worry» as police continued to search…

More bright Scottish 17-year-olds to be fast-tracked to university

More bright 17-year-old pupils are to be fast-tracked to university rather than staying in school for another year, under a Scottish Government blueprint that prompted expert warnings drop-out rates will increase. John Swinney, the SNP’s Education Minister, published a blueprint recommending the “highest achievers” in S5 start their university degrees rather than get more Highers…

Scottish Government accused of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ approach to fracking

The petrochemical giant that runs Scotland’s biggest industrial complex has accused the Scottish Government of taking an “Alice in Wonderland” approach to fracking that is harming jobs and investment. Nicola Sturgeon and Paul Wheelhouse, her Energy Minister, last year described the decision to extend indefinitely a moratorium on the controversial practice as a “ban”. But the…

Missing Frightened Rabbit lead singer did not take phone with him from hotel where he was last seen, brother reveals

The brother of missing the Frightened Rabbit frontman has talked of his «incredible worry» as police continue to search for him.  Scott Hutchison, 36, has not been seen since leaving the Dakota Hotel in South Queensferry in Scotland at 1am on Wednesday in a «very fragile state».  It has emerged the lead singer left the hotel without his phone…

Nicola Sturgeon asked if she misled Scottish Parliament on fracking ‘ban’

The Scottish Government’s claim in court that it had not banned fracking has been described as «beyond humiliating» as two petrochemical companies argued that ministers did establish an “unlawful” ban. A lawyer for Ineos, which runs the giant Grangemouth refinery complex, said that ministers had created a policy through public statements that would prevent a fracking…

Scottish Government tells court there is no ban on fracking

The Scottish Government has been urged to explain its position on fracking after telling a judge that there is no ban in place, and ministers still have to make up their minds. James Mure QC, for the government, told the Court of Session that a legal bid by the petrochemical giant Ineos to overturn the “ban”…

RBS chief Ross McEwan vows to press ahead with Scottish branch closures

RBS’s chief executive has been accused of displaying a “complete lack of understanding” about the impact on rural Scotland after vowing to press ahead with plans to close more than 50 branches. Ross McEwan told Westminster’s Scottish Affairs select committee that the decision had not been taken “lightly” but a “stark” change in how customers…

Warning over Scottish pupils’ future as survey shows most schools teaching S4 only six subjects

A majority of Scotland’s secondary schools are now only teaching their S4 pupils six subjects instead of the traditional gold standard of eight, according to a detailed survey that prompted warnings children’s prospects are being damaged. The Telegraph can disclose that the most comprehensive report yet produced examining how the controversial Curriculum for Excellence (CfE)…

Jeremy Corbyn backed Scottish independence, SNP’s Mhairi Black claims

Jeremy Corbyn supported calls to break up the United Kingdom and backed Scottish independence, a Scottish Nationalist MP has claimed. Mhairi Black, an outspoken backbench MP, has claimed that the Labour leader has “sold his soul over independence” after allegedly telling her in private that he backed her party’s cause. In a scathing interview, Ms…

Harvey Proctor sues his accuser Nick and Scotland Yard 

Harvey Proctor, the former Tory MP, who was falsely accused of child rape and murder by a fantasist called Nick, is suing him and Scotland Yard for £1 million. The 71-year-old, who lost his home and his job, as a result of the malicious allegations, has launched a claim for damages in the High Court….

Chris Packham calls for end to abuse of Scottish Natural Heritage chief over raven cull after death threat

Chris Packham, the TV naturalist, has called for abuse directed at the head of Scotland’s natural heritage agency over a raven cull to stop after it emerged police are investigating a death threat. The BBC Springwatch presenter said “such threats are abhorrent and unacceptable and should cease immediately” after Mike Cantlay received a barrage of…

Scottish sporting estates market undented by concerns over Brexit

Brexit has had no negative effect on wealthy individuals wanting to buy Scottish estates, and may even have increased interest from abroad because of favourable exchange rates, according to a leading property consultant. A desire for private deals is said to have triumphed over any uncertainty caused by politics and the economy in 2017. The latest…

Former SNP member claims Scottish ministers treated family like ‘absolute dirt’ over call for suicide inquiry

A former SNP member has joined calls for Scotland’s embattled Health Minister to quit after claiming her family was “treated like absolute dirt” over its demand for an inquiry into her uncle’s suicide. Gillian Murray launched an outspoken attack on Shona Robison over the death of David Ramsay, who hanged himself after twice being turned…

BSI warns  no safety standard drawn up for SNP’s baby boxes

Nicola Sturgeon’s government has repeatedly assured parents that her flagship baby boxes are safe for their offspring to sleep in despite there being no official safety standards specifically drawn up for the item, it has emerged. BSI Group, also known as the British Standards Institution, confirmed that there was “no standard” assessing the boxes and…

Creditors at Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh, review — a disturbing portrait of the price of love

In the midst of life we are in debt, or so it seems in August Strinderg’s 1889 classic Creditors. Like the transactional title, director/designer Stewart Laing’s fine, new staging of the play for Edinburgh’s Royal Lyceum places a disturbing emphasis on the essential solitariness of the human condition. In the drama, embittered divorcee Gustav (a Victorian…

Brexit geography feeding into SME confidence

There is a split in economic outlook between areas which voted to remain in or to leave the EU, a survey of small firms has revealed. Companies in areas which primarily backed Brexit have been consistently more optimistic than those which favoured remaining within the economic bloc following the referendum, according to the SME Growth…

Nicola Sturgeon accused of scaremongering over Brexit powers deal

Nicola Sturgeon has been accused of “scaremongering” after she claimed UK Government proposals to resolve the dispute over post-Brexit powers would “completely demolish” the principle of the devolution settlement. The Scottish Conservatives said it was “sad” to see the First Minister reduced to such tactics and accused her of “taking the reins” from Michael Russell, her…

RBS urged to reverse branch closures after profits treble

Small businesses and political leaders have heaped pressure on the Royal Bank of Scotland to reverse plans to close dozens of branch after its profits more than trebled in the first three months of this year. Labour, the Liberal Demorats and the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) all called for a re-think after the bank…

Ruth Davidson announces she is pregnant after IVF success

Ruth Davidson has announced she is pregnant after successful IVF treatment and expecting her first child. The Scottish Tory leader and her partner Jen Wilson will welcome the new arrival in late Autumn. Ms Davidson said she and her partner since 2014 are «exited and daunted» about the months to come and are «over-joyed» at…

Pilots accused of being over legal alcohol limit cleared after prison staff destroy blood samples

Two pilots accused of preparing to fly a plane while under the influence of alcohol have been cleared after blood samples were destroyed by prison staff. The prosecution against Jean-Francois Perreault and Imran Syed, who were arrested minutes before a flight from Scotland to Canada was due to take off, collapsed when it emerged the key evidence had been…

Modern language slump in Scottish schools amid teacher shortages

The number of school pupils in Scotland studying modern languages like French and German has slumped dramatically over the past year amid a teacher recruitment crisis, according to official figures. Statistics published by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) showed a 6.2 per cent fall in the number of youngsters taking the subjects at Higher level,…

Co-leader of Scottish Greens attacks ‘fawning’ over new Royal baby and claims it is ‘fetishing privilege’

The co-leader of the hard-Left Scottish Greens has been accused of having a “bitter” and nasty attitude towards the birth of the new Royal baby after attacking the “fawning” reception the young prince has received. Patrick Harvie tabled an amendment to a motion at the Scottish Parliament congratulating the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on…

SNP’s former digital guru confirms he met Cambridge Analytica

The SNP’s former digital guru has announced that he held the party’s secret meeting with Cambridge Analytica shortly before the 2016 Holyrood election and Brexit referendum. Kirk Torrance said that he was the “external consultant” the party employed to meet the firm at the centre of the data harvesting scandal, but he advised “not to…

Killer whales ‘put on a show’ in River Clyde

Sightseers at the River Clyde in Scotland were awestruck by the sight of orcas frolicking in the water. A pod of killer whales was seen from one of the ferries which takes tourists around the estuary of the Scottish river on Saturday. It was an unusual sight as the mammals usually prefer colder water, and…

Doctors’ leader warns Scottish NHS ‘deteriorating’ as Health Minister faces more calls to resign

The chorus of demands for the SNP’s embattled Health Minister to resign has intensified as the head of Scotland’s doctors warned the country’s NHS is “deteriorating” thanks to a lack of staff and funding. Dr Peter Bennie, the chairman of BMA Scotland, said that doctors are “under pressure like never before” and are struggling to keep…

Grieving mother warns of soft toy danger in cots

A mother whose baby daughter suffocated in her sleep under a large teddy bear has launched a campaign to prevent the same thing happening to another child. Dexy Leigh Walsh’s 18-month-old daughter Connie Rose died in her sleep in the room she shared with her five-year-old sister at the family home in Dundee. Ms Walsh…

Nicola Sturgeon refuses to sack Health Minister over ‘failure to take NHS Tayside warnings seriously’

Nicola Sturgeon has refused to sack her embattled Health Minister after Scotland’s public spending watchdog said warnings about a scandal-hit health board’s financial crisis were not taken “seriously.” The First Minister said she would continue to support Shona Robison despite Caroline Gardner, the Auditor General for Scotland, stating there was a «significant question» why the warnings…

Scotland’s record-breaking Commonwealth Games stars return home

Scotland’s record breaking Commonwealth Games team has flown in from Australia to a hero’s welcome. Friends, relatives and members of the public gathered to greet the athletes as they were piped into the arrival area at Glasgow Airport. Scotland’s haul of 44 medals was by far their best result at an overseas Games, and not far behind…

Diageo lends Scottish tourism a boost with cash for visitor centres

Johnnie Walker maker Diageo is set to plough £150m into the Scottish tourism industry over three years via a major new centre in Edinburgh and refurbishing its other distillery visitor attractions. Chief executive Ivan Menezes said the move was designed to take advantage of both the growing popularity of whisky and Scotland as a destination…

Diageo lends Scottish tourism a boost with cash for visitor centres

Johnnie Walker maker Diageo is set to plough £150m into the Scottish tourism industry over three years via a major new centre in Edinburgh and refurbishing its other distillery visitor attractions. Chief executive Ivan Menezes said the move was designed to take advantage of both the growing popularity of whisky and Scotland as a destination…

Nicola Sturgeon in row over Beijing meeting day after ministers call in Chinese power station plan

Nicola Sturgeon is facing questions over her efforts to woo Chinese investment after her government seized control of a controversial planning application the day before she met the developer’s parent company in Beijing. On Monday the Scottish Government called in the application by Inch Cape Offshore to build a wind farm substation on the site…

Lawyers for former Catalan minister Carla Ponsati accuse Spain of ‘abusing’ extradition laws

The former Catalan minister Carla Ponsati will fight her extradition to Spain on the basis that the Spanish authorities are abusing international law to pursue a “politically motivated prosecution”. Her lawyer Aamer Anwar said following a court hearing in Edinburgh that the European arrest warrant issued for his client was a “grotesque distortion of the…

Scotland’s high streets lose shops at highest rate in Britain

Scotland’s high streets are losing shops at the fastest rate of anywhere in Britain, according to a major report that prompted further criticism of SNP income and business tax hikes. The PwC research compiled by the Local Data Company found 290 stores in Scottish high streets closed their doors last year at a rate of more…

Prince Albert of Monaco warns of ‘irreversible tragedies’ facing world’s oceans with up to 500 ‘dead zones’

Urgent action is needed to avoid “irreversible tragedies” in the world’s oceans caused by plastic pollution and climate change, Prince Albert II of Monaco has said at a major conference that heard there are already up to 500 “dead zones”. The Prince told the gathering of academics, senior officials and ministers in Edinburgh that the threats…

Ben Wallace attacks ‘shameful’ British values warning to Scottish teachers

The UK’s Security Minister has described as “shameful” Scottish Government guidance warning teachers against using the phrase “British values” when discussing terrorism with pupils because it could be offensive. Ben Wallace accused the SNP administration and its Education Scotland agency of “putting PC politics before children’s safety” over the guidance, which highlighted “problematic language” that…

Outer Hebrides to have first mosque by summer — despite Free church praying it is never built 

The first mosque in the Outer Hebrides is set to open this summer despite the Presbyterian Free Church praying that it is never built.  A fundraising drive for the mosque, which has already been granted planning permission, has raised £56,000 within days of launch, outstripping its £50,000 target. But the mosque faces fierce opposition from the local arm of the…

Michael Gove adviser in plan to bring back wildcats to England and cull grey squirrel population

Wildcats could be reintroduced to England to help cull grey squirrels after a millionaire Whitehall adviser to Michael Gove offered to fund a scheme. Ben Goldsmith, who has already spent £200,000 on supporting the ­reintroduction of beavers to southern England, said he was willing to bankroll the reintroduction of wildcats. Government sources said Mr Gove, the…

Scotland’s health minister urged to consider her position over handling of crisis-hit NHS board

Scotland’s Health Minister is under mounting pressure over her handling of the scandal engulfing a cash-strapped health board which used public donations to fund services. Shona Robison intervened to take control of NHS Tayside on Thursday, placing the board in “special measures” and telling the chairman to step down. Prof John Connell announced on Friday…

Scottish economy performed half as well as UK last year

New figures have revealed that Scotland’s economy performed only half as well as the rest of the UK last year, amid warnings that tax hikes taking effect from Friday risk damaging to economic growth. The latest Scottish Government statistics show that GDP grew by 0.3 per cent in the last three months of 2017. Annual growth for Scotland was…

World’s largest dinosaur found in Scotland

Rare dinosaur footprints belonging to the largest animal to ever roam the planet have been found in Scotland. Dozens of the 170 million-year-old fossils, belonging to early sauropods, have been unearthed in a muddy lagoon on the isle of Skye. Sauropods grew to be at least 49ft (15 metres) long and weighed more than 10 tonnes. Footprints from…

Two of Scotland’s most valuable industries warned SNP income tax hike would damage them

Two of Scotland’s most valuable industries warned Nicola Sturgeon that hiking income tax would damage their ability to attract the highly skilled workers they need to flourish, it has emerged ahead of a rise being implemented next week. The Scottish Lifesciences Association (SLA), which represents 140 firms that export medical technologies, diagnostics, medicines, vaccines and pharmaceutical…

Oil price boom and weaker euro propel Ineos profits

Britain’s biggest privately owned firm has announced surging profits on the back of the oil price boom. Profits at Ineos, the chemicals giant owned by billionaire industrialist Jim Ratcliffe, grew almost 50pc last year as the global oil price recovery swept into the refining sector. The company, which owns Scotland’s enormous Grangemouth refinery, was also…

Nicola Sturgeon condemns ‘unacceptable’ mountain hare culls

Nicola Sturgeon has condemned the large scale culling of mountain hares and warned that legislation is being considered to protect the “iconic” species. The First Minister said major culls were “unacceptable” following the release of footage filmed in secret on Scottish grouse moors. Animal rights groups claim the recordings show “military style” mass slaughter on…

Scottish wildcat nicknamed the ‘beast’ may be largest ever seen

An «enormous» wildcat that could be the largest specimen recorded anywhere in the world has been caught on camera in Aberdeenshire. It was recorded by a camera trap in Clashindarroch Forest and is estimated to measure 4ft from nose to tail, making it around one foot larger than an average Scottish wildcat. The footage was caught as part…

Former Catalan minister Clara Ponsati hands herself in to police in Scotland

A former Catalan minister facing extradition to Spain has handed herself in for arrest at a Scottish police station. Professor Clara Ponsati, the ex-Catalan education minister, is being sought by the authorities in Madrid on charges of «violent rebellion and misappropriation of public funds» over her role in Catalonia’s controversial independence referendum last year. She…

SNP ministers yet to work out cost of new Scottish social security system

SNP ministers have failed to work out the cost of setting up Scotland’s new social security system despite being responsible for funding any excess, an official review of the huge project has warned. Audit Scotland found that ministers and their officials need a “better understanding” about the costs of implementing the “hugely complex” system, which…

Catalan leader’s detention in German prison leads to fresh calls for independence from Spain

The detention of Carles Puigdemont in Germany opened a fresh chapter of confrontation over the Catalan independence drive on Monday, as galvanised secessionists renewed their bid to return the ousted leader to the presidency. Even as Mr Puigdemont was remanded to a German prison, independence parties called for an urgent parliamentary session to push through…

Firefighters tackling ‘massive’ blaze in one of Glasgow’s busiest shopping streets

Firefighters are tackling a «massive blaze» in the centre of Glasgow which is believed to have started in a nightclub in the city’s busy Sauchiehall Street. More than 120 firefighters were attempting to bring the fire under control with local residents being urged to say indoors due to the suspected presence of asbestos. Several buildings have been evacuated and…

Former SNP MP Natalie McGarry in court over embezzlement claims

The former SNP MP Natalie McGarry has appeared in court on embezzlement charges which include an allegation that she failed to transfer charitable donations to a food bank. She is accused of embezzling a total of more than £41,500 while acting as treasurer of the Women for Independence group, and as treasurer, secretary and convenor…

YouTube user convicted of hate crime over pet dog’s ‘Nazi salutes’

A man who filmed his girlfriend’s dog performing “Nazi salutes” and posted the footage on YouTube has been convicted of a hate crime. Mark Meechan, 30, recorded the pug, Buddha, responding to statements including “gas the Jews” and “Sieg Heil» by raising its paw. He was arrested following complaints about the video, which was viewed more…

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