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Here is what we have for you this week...

Radiation leaks not 'serious'

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) revealed there have been 58 radiation leaks at Trident facilities in Scotland this year so far.

There had been 15 recorded leaks at Coulport and a further 43 at Faslane in 2023 as of April. None of them were regarded as serious. On average, that’s 14 leaks a month and anti-Trident campaigners are saying it raises serious questions about the safety of Britain’s nuclear arsenal.

Alba MP Neale Hanvey is putting pressure on the UK Government to come clean about the safety of the weapons of mass destruction.

He has received a number of answers to questions he put to the Government, after saying he had been contacted by a whistleblower at the Coulport armaments depot who claimed there was an emergency evacuation at the site because of a radiation leak.

The MoD has denied this saying the evacuation had actually been planned to allow the Defence Infrastructure Organisation - part of the ministry - to move in. 

READ MORE: Ash Regan: SNP independence convention should include Yes movement

Hanvey criticised the UK Government’s approach to answering questions on its nuclear arms as telling the public “as much as they have to and as little as they want to”.

The MoD said in response to the figures: “The safety significance of all reported events at these sites remains at the lowest level of the seven-point internationally-recognised scale.”

“Utter disregard” for Deposit Return Scheme (DRS)

There has been plenty of back and forth over the controversial DRS in recent weeks and the row appeared to deepen on Friday as the BBC reported the UK Government is likely to issue a “conditional agreement” that would permit Scotland to run a pilot of a UK-wide scheme.

The Spitting Image clip of Margaret Thatcher branding Scotland “The Testing Ground” comes to mind here, does it not?

The apparent move comes after weeks of a bitter dispute between the two governments over whether or not the DRS will be given an exemption to the UK Internal Market Act to allow it to go ahead.

The National: Lorna Slater said she saw 'no justification' for the UK Government’s actionsLorna Slater said she saw 'no justification' for the UK Government’s actions (Image: NQ)

Ministers are now expected to require glass bottles to be excluded from the scheme, which was a key strand of the Scottish Government’s policy.

Circular economy minister Lorna Slater, who is spearheading the policy, said she saw “no justification” for the UK Government’s actions, that Scottish ministers had not been told of any decision and said the Scottish Parliament was being treated “with contempt”.

The scheme – which was due to launch in August but has been pushed back to next March - will see shoppers pay an extra 20p when purchasing drinks in a can or a bottle, with this deposit then returned when the empty container is brought back for recycling.

Cleverly ‘right’ to get tough on Scottish ministers

Talk about Westminster tightening up Scotland’s straitjacket, Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said Foreign Secretary James Cleverly was ‘right’ to take a firmer line with the Scottish Government over international discussions.

Cleverly last month wrote to UK officials instructing them to take a “strengthened approach” to visits involving Scottish ministers and overseas governments, urging them to ensure Westminster representatives were also present for any talks.

During a committee session this week, Jack claimed in meetings with foreign administrations that Scottish Government representatives had been “straying into territories of the constitution and foreign affairs” by talking about matters such as Brexit and Scottish independence – noting these areas are under the control of Westminster.

READ MORE: Toni Giugliano: SNP 'need space' to decide route at Independence Convention

He told MPs: “We believe the United Kingdom infrastructure should be used for the Scottish Government to promote trade and culture and other things we have agreed, the devolved areas we have no problem. But once you go into the reserved areas and start talking to those, we take exception to it.”

I dare say the Scottish Government might just take exception to that exception. We move.


  • The National revealed MP and MSP Douglas Ross – also known as three-jobs Ross - has been paid more than £11,000 for his third job as an assistant referee over the current football season. The Scottish Tory leader returned to running the line in July last year, after more than 18 months out injured, and has raked in cash from 31 different matches during the 2022-23 season so far.
  • Foreign Secretary Cleverly – yes, him again – was also berated for choosing to get around in the same luxurious private jet as the Roy family in Succession. The Guardian reported he had been utilising a £10,000 per hour Embraer Lineage 1000E jet - described as the “creme de la creme of private business jets” - during an eight-day tour of the Caribbean and Latin America.
  • All six of Scotland’s Tory MPs voted to ensure that the UK Government’s controversial “anti-strike” bill also affects workers north of the Border. The Scottish Conservatives – along with 276 of their colleagues – all voted down an amendment to the Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill which would have made it apply “only to England”.