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What we learned this week: Christian Allard’s new role and a close call for Harry and Meghan

It was the sort of week where Ann Widdecombe sparked a row over a cheese sandwich and a pizza advert brought a backlash

Prince Harry and Meghan were reportedly in a "near catastrophic" car chase. Picture by Danny Lawson/PA Wire
Prince Harry and Meghan were reportedly in a "near catastrophic" car chase. Picture by Danny Lawson/PA Wire

What we learned….

There were signs of entente cordiale among the SNP group on Aberdeen City Council, who elected Christian Allard as their new leader.

The former MSP and MEP is now expected to become co-leader of the authority, taking over from his party colleague, Alex Nicoll, who has relinquished both roles.

Mr Allard said he wanted to focus on tackling poverty, but opponents pointed out he had voted to scrap funding for the Sistema Big Noise initiative in Torry; a controversial decision which was later reversed by former First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Christian Allard has become the new co-leader of Aberdeen City Council. Picture by Darrell Benns

Sandwich remark hard to swallow

However, if he has links to a country where Marie Antoinette famously said “Let them eat cake”, the ex-Brexit Party MEP, Ann Widdecombe, wasn’t prepared to come away with anything so mealy-mouthed.

Asked how she would respond to consumers who could not afford to pay for basics such as the ingredients of a cheese sandwich, she replied: “Well then, you don’t do the cheese sandwich. We’ve been through this before. The problem is we’ve been decades without inflation, so we’ve come to regard it as some kind of given right.”

The right not to starve doesn’t seem too unreasonable.

Harry and Meghan were pursued by paparazzi in New York.

Prince Harry, Meghan and her mother were involved in a “near catastrophic car chase” involving paparazzi, according to a spokesperson for the couple.

The incident happened after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex attended an awards ceremony in New York and, it was alleged, resulted in “multiple near collisions”.

The New York Police Department confirmed an incident took place and said that numerous photographers “made their [Harry and Meghan’s] transport challenging”.

Action over ‘no beards’ policy

Meanwhile, Police Scotland’s “no beards” policy for officers and frontline staff is facing a number of legal challenges and will not start, as planned, on May 29.

The Scottish Police Federation revealed it had been inundated with complaints about the proposal and a consultation on the policy will now continue into June.

Inverness Caledonian Thistle fans at Hampden for the Scottish Cup semi-final win against Falkirk. Pic: Shutterstock.

Serious questions were asked by MSPs about the contentious decision-making process to delay the Scottish Cup final between Inverness Caley Thistle and Celtic.

The intervention followed concerns about travel arrangements for fans from the Highland capital, with calls made for compensation for those facing extra expenses.

The 5.30pm kick-off on Saturday, June 3 means Caley Thistle fans will be unable to use routine public transport back to the Highlands after the match. But there was no indication that the SFA, despite facing criticism, will change its stance.

This weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in Italy has been called off because of major flooding in the region.

Discussions on Wednesday between local authorities and organisers of the race at Imola concluded that the event could not proceed safely.

At least eight people were killed and 5,000 people had to be evacuated, following widespread flooding across Emilia Romagna in the north of the country.

New operators of Belmont Cinema should focus on food and drink, as well as less "high brow" programming to survive reopening, experts say. Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson.
The Belmont Filmhouse has received fresh hope. Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson.

Search for new operator

Aberdeen City Council has launched a search for a new operator to revive the Belmont Filmhouse, which shut its doors last October.

Experts concluded that any new owner would have to increase its food and drink offering to make a profit and claimed the cinema would have to scale back on screening “highbrow arthouse” films if it had aspirations to survive in the future.

Council officials agreed to look for potential purchasers to resuscitate the venue.

A poster for an Italian restaurant, featuring Michelangelo’s classic naked statue of David, was barred from the Glasgow subway.

The firm that manages the advertising space asked for it to be edited to hide the icon’s nudity. DRG Group, which owns the city’s Barolo eaterie, admitted to being “surprised” by the furore over the Renaissance sculpture eating a slice of pizza.

Maybe they should just have gone with the Mona Lisa.

Two key roles have been advertised on the Isle of Eigg

New jobs on Eigg

HOW do you fancy living on Eigg in the Inner Hebrides? Well, two vacancies have arisen on a place which is home to 110 people.

A head teacher is being sought by Highland Council for the primary school, and a warm homes manager is required by the Isle of Eigg Heritage Trust to orchestrate efforts to improve the energy efficiency of housing on the isle .

The trust said it was not often two “amazing jobs” came up on such a “wee island”.

The government has ditched the issuing of licences for animal testing of chemicals used as ingredients in cosmetics products.

The Tory administration had allowed testing of make-up ingredients to resume after a 25-year ban, prompting angry protests from campaigners.

But Home Secretary Suella Braverman stated that no new licences will be granted.