18/04/2017 Reporting Scotland


The latest news and weather from around Scotland presented by Jackie Bird.

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general election to be held on June eight. And


Theresa May calls a snap general election saying divisions


at Westminster over Brexit gave her no option.


Our opponents believe because the Government's majority is so small


that our resolve will weaken and that they can force us to change


course. They are wrong. This is big U-turn in recent political history.


It's very clear that the Prime Minister's announcement today is one


all about the narrow interests of her own party not the interests of


the country overall. We'll be assessing the political


implications for Scotland and we'll be finding out what voters


here think as they go to the polls I didn't think I can be bothered


with another election. She hasn't the full support of the whole


country. That is what she needs. She's done a bit of time. It's time


we got to choose again. Members of the Church of Scotland


are to be asked to allow ministers Theresa May's plans for a general


election in June will mean the Scottish electorate will have


gone to the polls seven The Prime Minister says the snap


election will give the country certainty and stability,


the First Minister described it as Our political editor, Brian Taylor,


assesses the announcement Downing Street, she said she


wouldn't, now she will. I have just chaired a meeting of the Cabinet


where we agreed that the Government should call a general election to be


where we agreed that the Government held on the 8th June. Straight out


of a meeting of Scotland's Cabinet, she says - bring it on. This is a


big U-turn in recent political history. But it's very clear that


the Prime Minister's announcement today is one all about the narrow


interests of her own party, not the interests of the country overall.


You know, clearly she sees the opportunity given the disarray in


the ranks of the Labour Party to crush all opposition to her, to get


rid of people that disagree with her and to give herself a free hand to


take the country in the increasingly right-wing direction direction she


wants to take it in. What about independence? SNP Cabinet ministers


insist they already have a mandate for a referendum from Holyrood


votes. At the last UK general election two years ago, the SNP won


56 out of 59 seats? Scotland. Can they repeat that or slip back? I


don't take any voters force granted nor should any other party. We are


fit for this fight we are ready to go. We think we can put on seats


across the country. There will be fewer SNP MPs after 8th June. That


is what I will be working towards. Polls suggest Labour is struggling.


They insist they are ready for the fight. Whilst it's obviously a


surprise, it's a great opportunity. It's a chance to get Theresa May and


the Tories out of office. The Labour Party has been on a election footing


since last autumn. I will prepare to select candidates from this


afternoon. We a huge gamble with the future of our country. It's an


tuplet for us to put Britain at the heart of Europe, but also Scotland


at the heart of the United Kingdom. This snap election looks like an


opportunistic attempt by the Tory party to seize on the weakness of


the Labour Party at UK level and simply secure themselves a stronger


mandate for the hard right deregulation hard Brexit agenda that


they've now allied themselves to. Politics in Scotland is seldom calm


it has gathered added bite. Brian Taylor, reporting Scotland.


Today's events will have taken all but one of Scotland's 59 MPs by


surprise. We report on a day of drama at Westminster. A political


period that has been a roller-coaster takes its most


dramatic turns yet. The Prime Minister had pledged this wouldn't


happen. Theresa May said she had changed her mind on a snap election


reluctantly. Her case is ready. The PM argues only her party will make


reluctantly. Her case is ready. The Brexit a success that her opponents


will undermine it. In recent weeks, Labour have threatened to vote


against the final agreement we reach Labour have threatened to vote


with the European Union. The Liberal Democrats have said they want to


grind the business of government to a standstill. The Scottish National


Party say they will vote against the legislation that formally repeals


Britain's membership of the European Union. On the face of it, this


election will be all about Brexit. Theresa May will portray her vision


as one of stability versuses chaos with opposition parties. It will


have massive implications for Scotland, not least on the


independence question. While this announcement may have been a


surprise, the political messages are well-prepared. The SNP can win right


across Scotland. We did in the last election people didn't want an


extreme Tory party governing our country. That will be a choice again


with the SNP standing up for mainstream opinion in Scotland


against a hard Brexit Tory party. Labour retained just one seat last


time. Polls suggest this time could be even harder. We are always ready


for an election when it comes to fighting the Conservative Party by


trying to get a Labour government to put some of the issues in place that


everybody in the country cares about. We said in 2015 this could be


a dreadful Conservative government that would have a a divisive and


unnecessary EU referendum. They brought that upon themselves. His


party suffered in 2015 too, paying the price for coalition with the


Conservatives. The Liberal Democrats are going into this election


optimistic and confident. We are the only party that will stand up for


Scotland's place in the United Kingdom and the United Kingdom's


place in Europe. A political surprise of box office proportion.


Theresa May I thinks she has an opportunity to increase her support


in the Commons. It's a decision that will involve risks too. Another huge


political choice for the country. David Porter is at


Westminster for us tonight. David, the SNP group there meeting


tonight to decide their stance on the vote in the Commons tomorrow,


is there any suggestion Well, like all of us here at


Westminster the SNP were caught on the hop this morning. Just after


11.00am Theresa May came out of that famous black toor door at Ten


Downing Street an announced she was going to have a snap election. Now


the SNP are saying tonight that they are not going to stand in the way of


an early election. That doesn't mean either that they will go out of


their way to make it easy for Theresa May. The Westminster


Assembly Group is meeting this evening and there is some


speculation that they will decide to abstain in the Commons vote tomorrow


to call that early general election. Now, that won't affect it, it won't


mean that Theresa May will have a problem getting it through she has


the support of the Labour Party as well as thes Conservatives on that


one. There will be a general election on the 8th June. It means


as well as all the other issues we are going to get in that general


as well as all the other issues we election, the SNP will be very, very


keen to concentrate on the constitutional question in Scotland


and their wishes for a second Scottish independence referendum. At


the end of the day, whoever is in charge in this it place behind me


and the clout they have on a range of issues, very soon that choice


will come down to the voters. Thank you very much, David.


Political debate here in recent weeks has focussed on a second


So how will today's announcement of a snap UK election affect that?


Our political correspondent, Glenn Campbell, reports.


It's five weeks since the First Minister called for another


referendum on independence between autumn next year and spring 2019. A


choice of whether to follow the UK to a hard Brexit or to become an


independent country. The Prime Minister was quick to reject that


idea. I say to the SNP, now is not the time. Since then, Nicola


Sturgeon has written to Theresa May formally requesting the power to


hold indy ref2. While she has been waiting for her official knockback


from Number Ten she has been thinking about what else to do to


make the Prime Minister change her mind. She was due to set out her


thinking here soon. All of that has been overtaken by the announcement


of an early general election and in that campaign, the question of


independence is likely to be a big feature. The Conservatives will try


to make it about independence in part because it seems to help them


to try to shore up the vote for those who are opposed to


independence, who want to save the United Kingdom. The SNP will want to


ensure that the election assuming they do very well again, will give


them the strength, the mandate, to push for another independence


referendum on their time scale. But I don't think they will want to put


the independence issue front and centre of their campaign. In 2015,


the SNP had their best ever general election result, almost wiping out


the opposition. The SNP's political opponents can hardly do worse, can


they? Well, they only have really one seat a piece from the 2015


result. They will be hoping that they can really gain momentum and


knock a few seats off of the SNP. The Tories particularly pushing


Labour back into third place in the Holyrood elections last year will


fancy their chances. When you look at the SNP, they are still polling


extremely well in Scotland. Still very popular. They will be hoping


for another resounding majority. There are 50 days of campaigning to


go, and as spring turns to summer, a new con text for the debate over


Scotland's future. So opposition leaders have welcomed


the Prime Minister's decision to go to the country,


but what about the voters? Is there an appetite amongst


the electorate for another election? Catriona Renton has


been finding out. Since the spring of 2 it 014Scots


have gone to the polls in the European elections, the Scottish


independence referendum a UK general election and the Scottish Parliament


elections as well as the referendum on the European Union. Next month


there is the council elections and after that the next general


election. So what do people around the country think about all this


voting? I don't think I can be bothered with another election. I


don't want an independence election. I don't want any more elections. I


just want to live my life in peace. We didn't vote for her. I think it's


maybe she's done a it about of time, and maybe it's time we got to choose


again. I think it's awful. Because look at the cost to the country.


She's in turmoil. I suppose she has no option. What's been going on with


Brexit and what's been happening up here in Scotland, I think it was


about high time she called for an election. I don't think she has the


support she wanted. I think it's been a bit there, but she hasn't got


the full support of the whole country. That's what she needs. Too


many things on the go. There is all this independence, Brexit, we are so


uncertain. I don't know why she is having one in June. I guess it's a


bit weird that she would have a general election, but indy ref2. It


seems odd. Let's take a more detailed


look at the general It was a remarkable success


for the Scottish National Party which took 56 of the 59 available


seats in Scotland. Labour took only one seat,


in the constituency So too the Conservatives,


holding onto Dumfriesshire, for the Lib Dems, who held


Orkney and Shetland. A quick look at the votes won


by the major parties The SNP won almost 50% of the vote,


Labour took almost 25%. Then came the Conservatives


with nearly 15% and Joining me in the studio


is political commentator, Theresa May wants this election to


be about Brexit. In Scotland, can it be? The truth is, in Scotland as


soon as you mention Brexit you mention the word indy ref2. It will


be difficult to disentangle the two in the debate north of the border.


The SNP argue that the kind of Brexit that Theresa May is seeking


and for which is now in a sense seeking a mandate is not in


Scotland's interests and they will want to say - therefore, Scotland


should have a referendum. If you vote in this election for the SNP


that will be a signal to the Prime Minister that Scotland doesn't want


her Brexit. We will get arguments about Brexit and indy ref2 and they


will become intertwined. How risky is this? The Prime Minister is way


ahead in the opinion polls. Winning a majority is more difficult


nowadays. Not least because neither the Conservatives or Labour can win


a seat in Scotland. For the SNP there is only one way which is done.


The polls suggest they should hold on to much of what they have. There


could be a contest between the Tories and Lib Dems that caused them


trouble. The Labour Party cannot look forward to this because of how


they stand in the polls. The Liberal look forward to this because of how


Democrats are defending so little. You canvas people's views? If this


is an election about Brexit and indy ref2 and both the referendums on


that subject drew voters to the polls in high numbers we will be


surprised that voters think this is an election worth coming out for.


Thank you. Members of the Church of Scotland


are to be asked to permit ministers A report to be debated


at the Kirk's General Assembly next month also says the Church should


apologise to gay people for failing to recognise


their Christian vocation. Our social affairs correspondent,


Reevel Alderson, reports. Attitudes towards gay relationships


have been changing in the Church of Scotland. Last year it's general


assembly voted to allow ministers in a same-sex marriage to continue


serving. Gay marriages are still outlawed in Church. That could


change following publication of the report by the church's theological


forum it says: And a senior leaders say they are


proposing an apology to gay members of the church. What the General


Assembly is being asked to do this here is acknowledge and apologise


for some of the harsh things that have been on both sides of this


debate over the last 20 or 30 years. I think the General Assembly are


more ready to do that. In Aberdeen, Scott Rennie was the Kirk's first


openly gay minister and he welcomes the apology to those hurt by the


church's attitudes. I think it is really important that the church


recognises that and recognises that the fair treatment of LGBT people is


not just a society issue, it is actually about how the church treats


its own members. But the remains opposition from traditionalists in


the church opposed to same-sex relationships which they see as


contrary to but the core teachings. We do not bless that which is wrong.


And that has got to be key in terms of the gospel if we are providing


hope for people, hope for transformation and forgiveness for


their wrong is, of being different from what the world has done, then


we have to be able to stand up for that right in Christ Jesus. The Kirk


will seek protection from equality laws and prosecution for any


minister refusing to carry out same-sex services.


As news of the general election filtered through, Scottish Labour


was launching its local election campaign in Edinburgh.


Their leader, Kezia Dugdale, admitted the polls were very


"challenging" for her party, but said she hoped voters


would elect Labour councillors as "local champions."


Our political correspondent, Andrew Kerr, was there.


The room was buzzing with anticipation. Unfortunately for


Labour, it wasn't because of the local election launch. Everyone was


waiting to hear the news from Westminster. The Labour leader


referred to it as the event got underway. I think we have made a


fine adjustment to today's order. Kezia Dugdale warns people away from


voting SNP saying that Scots were sick to the back teeth at the


prospect of a second independence referendum. She said that the


Conservatives were itching to make cuts, a point her deputy picked up


on. Public services across Scotland under pressure. It is Labour


councils that will defend those public services, fighting for


investment in public services and education in health and social. The


party faces a challenge at this election with polls suggesting


another electoral setback. But they have been spelling out the action


that the councillors would take, promising social care packages would


be in place within a week. There is a pledge to build 45,000 new homes


for rent. And they want to abolish council tax and replace it with what


they call a fairer property tax. But with the news from Westminster today


and the possibility of labour are being squeezed as perhaps prounion


supporters opt for the Conservatives, is the party worried?


It is important we remember that these are local council elections so


it is fundamentally about local public services, who is in charge of


your schools and the local community's fabric, and I'm asking


your schools and the local people to consider voting for a


local champion, Labour councillor to stand up for the local community and


against the SNP and Tory cuts. So at the launch of Labour's campaign,


they admit that the polls are challenging but they do admit that


they are fighting for every vote. Another very hectic time in Scottish


politics. The death of a severely disabled


woman in a bath at her home was a "preventable" accident,


a sheriff has concluded. Fifty year old Margaret Gilchrist


died at her home in Glasgow in 2013 after being scolded on up to 90%


of her body. A fatal accident inquiry found


that her death could have been avoided if a carer had not left


the hot tap running and had checked Sheriff Lindsay Wood said carer


Mary Cameron had made Let's get a look at the weather


forecast. Christopher is here. Good evening. There was some sunshine


around today, a lovely picture from one of our weather watchers taken


late morning. A few hours later, down the road in Dundee, the cloud


had rolled in and that cloud across the country tonight, bringing with


it some light rain. This is a weak weather front edging south and east


across the country. A few spots here and there but predominantly dry. And


milder than last night. Temperatures in towns and cities between five and


seven Celsius, with perhaps the odd spot of generally cloudy conditions.


Starting cloudy for most of us with health fog towards Argyll and also


some sunshine. In the sun, extending south and east across the country


through the course of the day. Brightening up for all of us.


Mid-afternoon, it will be dry and bright across the mainland with


temperatures up a notch. Perhaps higher in the north-east. You will


notice around the West Coast, from Argyll up to the north-west,


outbreaks of rain at this point. But further east, it is dry and bright


and the wind will be generally light further east, it is dry and bright


from the south. A pleasant afternoon for most of us. Heading through the


rest of the afternoon and into the evening and overnight, again largely


cloudy and dry with spots of rain edging eastwards. And as we look


ahead towards Wednesday night and into Thursday, you will see that


while we have high pressure nearby, around the north of that high, some


outbreaks of brain and heavier rain across the far north later on. But


again, for most of us on Thursday, fairly cloudy and reasonably dry


with a few spots of rain. There is the heavy rain in the far north. And


warming up, with temperatures in the mid teens. It will not last because


as we head into Friday and the weekend, high pressure nearby, and


we are dragging in cold northerly winds. Temperatures will --


temperatures will take a tumble as we head towards Friday. The


conditions lasting into the weekend. Thank you, Christopher.


Lets go back to tonight's top story and that looming general election.


Our political editor Brian Taylor joins us for a final word.


Brian, in UK terms Theresa May has been accused of opportunism. How


opportunistic is it as far as Scotland is concerned? In UK terms


it is the most convincing argument produced for this election, that's


Theresa May is seeing an opportunity to exploit the weakness of the


Labour Party, and build prospects for the Tories, also securing a


larger majority, enabling her to get Brexit plans more easily through the


Commons and inviting the Lords to follow suit. In terms of Scotland,


it is intriguing that Nicola Sturgeon is stressing that she sees


this as standing against the hard right position of the Tory Party,


not directly on the independence question. That means that this is


not a referendum on independence, or primarily a referendum upon a


referendum, which in Scottish politics, is rarely pure and never


simple. It is certainly going to be busy. Thank you for that update.


There is more coverage on the news channel and online.


Our next main bulletin will be just after the Ten O'Clock News.


Until then, from everyone on the team, have a good evening.


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