Revenue & Customs seeks sequestration of SNP ‘rising star’

The Daily Record reports that Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh, a high-profile Nationalist MP, faces legal action which may force her to resign her seat.

HM Revenue & Customs have apparently filed a case with Glasgow Sheriff Court in pursuit of sequestration, the Scots Law-equivalent of bankruptcy, in relation to the liquidation of the law firm Hamilton Burns, which she left after becoming an MP.

If an MP is declared bankrupt they can’t take their seats in the Commons, and if the issue is not resolved within six months the seat is vacated and a by-election is called.

The Record refers to this as “the fourth financial blow to SNP MPs in two years”. Chris Law faces a police probe into spending during the independence referendum, and Natalie McGarry resigned the whip before being charged with fraud offences (again connected to thereferendum).

Finally Michelle Thompson, formerly the party’s business spokesman, resigned the whip whilst being investigated over mortgage fraud allegations (although colleagues are now pressing for her reinstatement).

Brokenshire wants greater focus on victims of republicans during Troubles

The Northern Irish Secretary has pledged to do more to investigate attacks by republicans during the Troubles, according to the Irish News.

James Brokenshire, formerly security minister at the Home Office and ally to Theresa May, said in response to Parliamentary questions that there was too great a focus on the small minority of killings connected to the British state.

He is putting forward “balanced, proportionate measures” which will re-orient some of the so-called “legacy bodies” towards the victims of the IRA and other nationalist and loyalist paramilitary groups.

The Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, a Democratic Unionist MP, has also demanded that the Republic not evade scrutiny, pointing out that Dublin is as accountable to the proposed Historical Investigations Unit outlined in the Stormont House Agreement, the News Letter reports.

Elsewhere the Belfast Telegraph reports Brokenshire saying that there is “no point” publishing proposals on dealing with legacy issues before getting the DUP and Sinn Fein signed up, as the Executive parties can form a “road block”.

Welsh Conservatives attack Jones’ record after seven years in charge…

Andrew RT Davies, the leader of the Welsh Tories, led a “scathing” attack on Carwyn Jones and his administration’s record this week.

According to Wales Online the First Minister stands accused of “seven kinds of failure”, one for each year of his term to date.

Top of the list are poor records on healthcare and education, areas where the Conservatives have previously been on the offensive, with Michael Gove upsetting Welsh Labour by drawing cross-border comparisons when Education Secretary and David Cameron branding Offa’s Dyke “the line between life and death”.

Other areas were: failing to introduce a Cancer Drugs Fund, neglecting rural Wales, low take-home pay, presiding over a housing crisis, and wasting taxpayers’ money.

However, Welsh Labour hit back by claiming that Davies hasn’t yet named any new policies the Tories would introduce to tackle these problems.

…as Scottish Tories accuse the SNP of wasting £940m of public money

The Conservatives claim that almost a billion pounds worth of taxpayers money has been “lost to waste and projects going over-budget in Scotland’s public sector” since the Nationalists took power in 2007, according to the Scotsman.

Over-budget projects and departmental waste apparently account for £431.5 million, with “other public sector cost overruns” taking the total to £947.7 million since 2007.

Murdo Fraser, the Shadow Finance Secretary, says that the SNP could replicate a tax cut being introduced south of the border if they stemmed the steady flow of losses to mismanagement.

Elsewhere, the Herald reports that Ruth Davidson, the Scottish Conservative leader, was criticised for hosting an “immoral” arms trade event for MSPs at Holyrood.

Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister, also hinted that she might be prepared to reverse her previous opposition to the SNP standing candidates in England.

Foster rejects calls to resign over ‘botched green energy scheme’

The First Minister of Northern Ireland has rejected demands that she step down for allegedly mishandling the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), according to the Belfast Telegraph.

Taxpayers apparently faces a bill of over £400 million – which could rise yet further – because no cap was built into RHI, which pays a tariff for each kilowatt of heat burned using eco-friendly systems.

Unlike on the mainland featured no payment tiers or other system to factor in the size of a boiler or its hours of operation, apparently allowing businesses to earn money burning unnecessary heat.

Arlene Foster, leader of the Democratic Unionist Party, says she has “nothing to hide” and promised inspections to make sure claimants are operating within the spirit of the programme.

However Mike Nesbitt, leader of the opposition Ulster Unionists, claims to have discovered a ‘smoking gun’ which proves the First Minister’s culpability in the scandal.