Welcome to The Press and Journal’s morning politics briefing, it’s everything you need to know about politics in your region, and across the country, before you start your day.
What are Boris Johnson’s Covid rule changes and how do they affect Scotland?
Boris Johnson has confirmed plans to suspend all coronavirus restrictions in England from July 19, despite rising cases across the UK. The prime minister told the nation on Monday evening that rules on social distancing, face coverings and working from home will all be lifted south of the border in a fortnight’s time. But those new rules for England will not be applied in Scotland, with the Scottish Government so far ruling out moving any quicker. Read more in our story here.
Grampian among top 10 Covid hotspots in Europe
New figures from the World Health Organisation show Scotland is now home to seven of the highest Covid ‘hotspots’ in Europe. NHS Grampian is the tenth worst-hit region in Europe with 553 cases per 100,000 people, according to World Health Organisation (WHO) figures. Six other Scottish health boards are also in the top 10: Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Lothian, Tayside, Fife, Lanarkshire and Ayrshire and Arran. Read the full story here.
Dominic Cummings: Boris Johnson would like to scrap Scottish Parliament
Boris Johnson “would like” to scrap the Scottish Parliament and “reverse” devolution, Dominic Cummings has claimed. The former Downing Street aide said the prime minister regarded Holyrood as a “disaster” and much preferred power centralised in Westminster. The comments, on Mr Cummings blog, have drawn widespread condemnation – with the SNP claiming it shows “we cannot trust the Tories to protect the future of the Scottish Parliament”. Read more here.
New this morning:
- Home Office urged to allow Glasgow teenager’s gran to remain in Scotland permanently.
- Scottish Police Federation: Tougher sentences needed for those who spit and cough on officers.
- Employment minister Richard Lochhead: Westminster will not talk to us about new fund to replace EU cash.
In case you missed it:
EXCLUSIVE: Scottish Labour calls for troops on the streets of to fight Covid surge. Scottish Labour is urging the government to put military personnel on the streets to help fight the latest surge in coronavirus cases and make sure everyone who wants to be vaccinated can get a jab – even going door to door if need be.
‘Ticking time bomb’: Scottish Government urged to take action over six-month smear test delay. The Scottish Government has been urged to take action to catch up on delayed cervical cancer screenings, with waits of up to six months. Pressure is mounting on ministers to deal with the screening backlog, after it also emerged women are facing longer waits to access treatment following a smear.
A special episode of our weekly politics podcast The Stooshie takes you inside the investigation that unmasked two senior Conservative councillors behind anti-SNP troll accounts on social media.
Trans rights: How gender recognition reform became one of Scotland’s most heated debates. The contentious debate over trans rights and gender identity looks likely to become one of the most defining of the new parliament. Our explainer tells you everything you need to know.