Broadcast Media Sturgeon: I have support to remain first ministerNicola Sturgeon has said she “emphatically” wants to remain as first minister for at least a few years. Appearing on The Andrew Marr Show, the SNP leader said she believed she had the support of “party and of country” to hold her post. Scotland’s biggest councils raise taxes by nearly 5%Scotland’s two biggest councils have voted to increase domestic rates by nearly 5%. In Glasgow, the SNP-administration set the rise at 4.64% while Edinburgh’s SNP-Labour coalition agreed 4.79%. Councils across Scotland have the power to raise council tax by up to 4.8% this year. Cherry to challenge Robertson for SNP nominationJoanna Cherry is to go head-to-head with former Westminster leader Angus Robertson in a bid to be the SNP candidate for Ruth Davidson’s Holyrood seat. The Edinburgh South West MP confirmed she would contest for her party’s support for the Scottish Parliament’s Edinburgh Central constituency. SNP MP says PM must be ‘put on notice’ over Indyref2Reporting can be a dangerous job. You’re out on the road a lot, you may get sent into war zones to cover intense conflicts, you may be asked to walk up to a murderer’s house and knock on the door looking for an interview. Carlaw wins Scottish Conservative leadership raceJackson Carlaw has been confirmed as the new leader of the Scottish Conservatives after winning a vote of party members. Mr Carlaw had been the party’s interim leader since Ruth Davidson quit the role in August. He has now won the job full time after defeating fellow MSP Michelle Ballantyne by 4,917 votes to 1,581. How secure is Nicola Sturgeon’s future?Take a quick glance at Scottish politics and things could hardly look better for the SNP. The party won more than three-quarters of seats in Scotland at December’s election. The Conservatives and Labour languish far behind in the Scottish polls. Those polls also suggest support for Scottish independence is about 50%. Scottish minister Derek Mackay resigns over claims he befriended teenage boy onlinePolitical reporter @Alan_McGuinness A top SNP minister has resigned after being accused of sending hundreds of messages to a 16-year-old boy. According to The Scottish Sun, Finance Secretary Derek Mackay sent the teenager 270 messages after befriending him on Facebook and Instagram. Scots finance secretary quits over messages to boyScotland’s finance secretary has quit hours before delivering his budget amid reports that he messaged a 16-year-old boy on social media. The Scottish Sun said that Derek Mackay contacted the boy over a six-month period, and told him that he was “cute”. Mr Mackay said he had “behaved foolishly” and took full responsibility for his actions. Hospital and cancer care centre costs jump £59.9mThe estimated cost of a new maternity hospital and cancer centre in Aberdeen has risen by nearly £60m. The Baird Family Hospital and Anchor cancer centre was originally a £163.7m scheme. The estimated cost of the project now stands at £223.6m. Construction has been delayed while costs were assessed. Sorry, weary voter, it’s not over… not by a long wayFigures from April to December of last year show 20,423 bin collections were missed. In the city centre’s Garnethill, a residents group say the lack of collections has caused problems with rat infestation. William Beckett, from Garnethill Neighbourhood Watch, said: “We had a food waste bin that was not collected for five months – it’s gone beyond a joke. New independence poll finds 51% of Scots would vote YesFigures from April to December of last year show 20,423 bin collections were missed. In the city centre’s Garnethill, a residents group say the lack of collections has caused problems with rat infestation. William Beckett, from Garnethill Neighbourhood Watch, said: “We had a food waste bin that was not collected for five months – it’s gone beyond a joke. NHS boss criticised government in quit letterThe former head of NHS Lothian has accused parts of the Scottish government of failing to treat the board with “dignity and respect”. Brian Houston quit as chairman of Scotland’s second largest health board on Thursday. BBC Scotland has now obtained a copy of his resignation letter in which he warns of a “blame culture” in the NHS. Scottish budget to be announced on 6 FebruaryThe Scottish government is to announce its draft budget plans on 6 February. Finance Secretary Derek Mackay will set out his tax and spending proposals a month ahead of the UK budget, which will not be published until 11 March. Pro-independence march under way in GlasgowTens of thousands of Scottish independence supporters have started to march through Glasgow in the first of a series of protests planned the coming year. The All Under One Banner (AUOB) march left Kelvingrove Park at 11:30 and is heading to Glasgow Green. Scots judge takes over as Supreme Court presidentLord Reed has been sworn in as the new head of the UK’s highest court, succeeding Lady Hale. Rail fares to go up across ScotlandRail passengers across Scotland will have pay more for their journey after fares increased by an average of 2.4% Rail fares to go up across Scotland UK budget date ‘disrespectful to devolution’UK government plans for a March budget are “disrespectful to devolution” and could have “profound consequences” for Scotland, Derek Mackay has warned. Chancellor Sajid Javid has announced he will set out his tax and spending plans on 11 March. Scottish ministers want to see these plans before drawing up their own, but will now have little time to do so. Record numbers wait more than 12 hours in A&EThe number of patients waiting more than 12 hours to be treated at accident and emergency in Scottish hospitals has hit record levels. Latest figures show 987 people waited in excess of 12 hours to be admitted, transferred or discharged in November last year. It is a near five-fold increase on the same period in 2018. Jacob Rees-Mogg rebukes SNP’s independence dream, quotes Nicola Sturgeon, “they’re not fruit flies”After the Queen’s Speech, MP Pete Wishart repeated SNP’s stance and the demand for a new referendum. Jacob Rees-Mogg was not very much surprised about what he called “the Scottish independence or separatist question”. Jacob Rees-Mogg rebukes SNP’s independence dream, quotes Nicola Sturgeon, “they’re not fruit flies” Nicola Sturgeon, “Referendum is a once in a Generation decision” (2013-2014)The 2014 IndyRef was ‘a once in a lifetime event’. However, no-one told us it was based on the lifetime of a hamster. This is doing the rounds again on social media. Share! Clips pre-18th Sept 2014. Nicola Sturgeon, “Referendum is a once in a generation decision” (2013-2014) Scotland Matters Interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 21st November 2019.Allan Sutherland, David Bone and Donald Lewis met ABC to discuss Scotland Matters, and our view that the SNP’s hyped-up 2014 campaign, their 12 years of incompetent government, no answers on currency, EU, the deficit or cost and Brexit+ complexity of leaving and setting up a new country meand there is not sane csase for independence the General on Election. Scotland Matters Interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 21st November 2019. A&E target figures are worst since start of 2018Scotland’s Accident and Emergency departments have recorded their worst performance since January 2018, official figures have revealed. In the week to 3 December, 81.2% of patients in emergency departments were admitted, transferred or discharged within the government’s four-hour target. The government wants 95% of cases to be completed within four hours of arrival. Jo Swinson: ‘Breaking up is hard to do’The Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson has been campaigning in Scotland today, warning of the threat of a second referendum on Scottish independence. Key battlegrounds in Scotland ahead of General ElectionSome of the key marginals in this week’s General Election will be fought out in Scotland, with North East Fife held by the SNP on a majority of just two votes in the last ballot.Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson could have a battle on her hands in East Dunbartonshire, which This is how Boris Johnson could win Brexit, but lose the United KingdomUpdated December 06, 2019 20:14:33 Scottish Borders farmer Heather Anderson is trying to negotiate 150 turkeys out of her main shed. They gobble in unison and defiance as they refuse to go. They’ll be gone soon enough – all have been pre-sold and fattened for Christmas lunch. Independence Not on Ballot, but on Voters’ Minds in ScotlandST. ANDREWS, Scotland (AP) – Ask voters in this picturesque university town in eastern Scotland how they’re voting in next week’s election, and they’re likely to transition seamlessly from talking about which candidate they want to send to Parliament to discussing whether or not they want another bite at voting for Scottish independence, which voters rejected in 2014. Sturgeon: Legal indyref2 is a ‘hard truth’Nicola Sturgeon has said securing a legally-binding referendum is a “hard truth” to accept for some independence supporters. The first minister said she was working to get the powers to hold another vote transferred from Westminster. But she conceded there are some independence backers who want a Catalan-style unauthorised vote. Swinson: SNP victory means ‘fresh’ indyref2 threatThe SNP will announce an independence referendum “within days” if they win more seats in the general election, Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson has claimed. Ms Swinson said it was therefore crucial that her party held on to its seats in Scotland in next week’s vote. ‘Cuts and indifference’ to blame for homelessnessScottish Labour has said there is a “systematic failure” to address homelessness in Scotland. Party leader Richard Leonard said “Tory cuts and SNP indifference” have led to a rise in homeless applications. His party says it will fund the building of 120,000 social homes across Scotland in the next decade. Will people vote tactically in Scotland?One of the striking features of the electoral landscape in Scotland is that nearly every Westminster seat is marginal. At the last election, the winning party’s majority represented less than 10% of the vote in no less than 46 of the country’s 59 Westminster seats.