The Queen was in Scotland this week to mark the point she became the longest reigning monarch. Alongside First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, the Queen opened the new Borders Railway. Elsewhere, a second poll found that the majority of Scots would now vote for Scottish independence.The highly charged Labour leadership race also concludes this weekend and will set the tone of political debate in the UK for the foreseeable future.
Queen marks historic date in the Borders
Her Majesty the Queen stole much of the limelight this week, opening the Borders Railway and becoming the UK’s longest reigning monarch. The opening of the Borders Railway was a significant milestone in a political sense too. Many MPs and MSPs from across the political spectrum had called for the line’s reinstatement and they had their chance to join the Queen in a special ride on the Union of South Africa steam train.
However, no sooner had the new line become operational than there were calls for the line’s almost immediate extension to Hawick and ultimately down to Carlisle. Keith Brown MSP promised to work in partnership with local government and agencies on the line’s extension, but cautioned that the immediate job was to make the current line to Tweedbank a success.
Frank McAveety, the former MSP and Minister, has returned to frontline politics, following his successful election to lead Glasgow City Council.
McAveety has been in the Glasgow leadership roll before from 1997 to 99, and in the Scottish Parliament served as Deputy Minister for Local Government, Deputy Minister for Health and Community Care and Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport.
Carmichael in the dock
Former Secretary of State for Scotland, Alistair Carmichael MP, found himself in the dock this week, facing legal proceedings brought to bear by SNP activists. The constituents complain that he knowingly leaked a document during the referendum campaign – a charge he denies. The first two days of the court session were heard this week, with Carmichael’s defence in a robust mood. The session has been adjourned to a later date.
Robertson takes up key inquiry into drone strike
The SNP’s Angus Robertson MP has been appointed by the Prime Minister to Westminster’s intelligence and security committee. The committee will investigate the killing of two UK citizens killed in a drone attack. The SNP leader at Westminster has also been appointed to the Privy Council.
A Corbyn victory?
Finally, this weekend we will learn who will lead the UK Labour Party. The current odds favour a Corbyn victory. Both Kezia Dugdale MSP and Ian Murray MP have stated that they will happily work for him, but there can be little doubt that their more centralist politics will be at odds with Corbyn’s more left-wing stance.
Majority of Scots would back independence
A new TNS poll has found that if another independence referendum took place tomorrow, 53% of Scots would support a Yes vote against 47% who would back a No vote (with DKs removed). This supports an Ipsos Mori poll last week which also predicted that the majority of Scots would back Scottish independence.