Scottish Political Insider – Friday 17 August 2018

Scottish Political Insider – Friday 17 August 2018

Scottish Political Insider – Friday 17 August 2018

A relatively quiet week politically, although Tuesday’s car crash attack at Westminster reminded us that the threat of terrorism is never far away.  Westminster was in recess at the time, resuming for two weeks on 4 September. Holyrood also resumes business on 4 September.

Gordon Brown took an Edinburgh Festival opportunity to say that Jeremy Corbyn should address concerns about anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, saying the issue was a “running sore” that had to be dealt with. During an appearance at the Edinburgh International Book Festival (which Devin Scobie attended and met with the former PM afterwards), Mr Brown was asked if he thought Mr Corbyn was a fit and proper person to be prime minister. He told the audience that there was a “problem within the Labour Party with anti-Semitism” and insisted that “Jeremy Corbyn has got to change”.

Still on business news, and the leading business body, SCDI, has confirmed that their Chief Executive, Mark Bevan, has resigned with immediate effect.  He joined the organisation last summer and his last day was last Friday, 10 August. Mark Bevan joined SCDI with a mandate to enhance SCDI’s relevance and importance to civic Scotland.  The organisation has said that, in the last 12 months, he has developed the SCDI team; made fundamental changes to our systems and processes; engaged members and stakeholders in SCDI’s core purpose; whilst supporting the Board to review and define our strategic direction.

FOCUS ON… the Department of Education and Skills: Headed by Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary JOHN SWINNEY, an SNP veteran since the first parliament in 1999 and former leader.  This department has three further Ministers, following the June reshuffle although the one covering Further Education (Gillian Martin) lasted just 24 hours following a controversial blog issue and her successor cannot be appointed until Parliament is back. The other two are much safer hands: MAREE TODD, a former pharmacist now responsible for Childcare and Early Years, and JAMIE HEPBURN, who was re-appointed to an expanded role covering Business, Fair Work and Skills.


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