Leonard calls for more Holyrood scrutiny of Covid-19 response

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said First Minister Nicola Sturgeon should make daily updates on Covid-19 to MSPs, rather than at media briefings. Leonard said the Scottish Government’s response to Covid-19 was not coming under enough scrutiny. Leonard did say that he thought the Scottish Government had “on the whole” handled the crisis “well”. (Daily Record)

LoganAir re-starts routes

LoganAir is set to re-start flights today, the first since the lockdown began in Scotland. The rural flight company will start routes from Aberdeen to Birmingham and Newcastle, with a plan to recover other routes in coming weeks. The company is the largest operator at Aberdeen Airport. (BBC)

Questions over testing shortfall in Scotland

The Scottish Government’s testing capacity should have allowed for 359,900 tests since the end of April, but just 40 per cent of that figure have been carried out, a shortfall of 212,088. The new test and trace strategy will be launched on Thursday, but the the shortfall in testing, nearly 10,000 below capacity in recent days, has raised questions about how effective it will be. (The Scotsman)

Palestinian ambassador calls for SNP “urgent clarification” on MSP’s Nakba stance

Husam Zomlot, head of the Palestinian Mission to the UK, has urged the SNP to provide “urgent clarification” over the stance of one of the party’s MSP’s, who claimed that the Nakba, the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in 1948, was a “self-inflicted tragedy”. Zomlot said the claim made by Richard Lyle, deputy convener of the Scottish Parliament’s Building Bridges With Israel group, had “insulted an entire nation”. (The National)

Common Weal opposes call for Scottish tuition fees

Common Weal Director Robin McAlpine has opposed calls for Scottish students to pay tuition fees, after the think-tank Reform Scotland urged the return of the graduate endowment, which would mean students have to pay back part of their fees once they are earning the average Scottish salary. McAlpine, formerly of Universities Scotland, backed criticism of the graduate endowment policy from UCU Scotland and the Scottish Greens, saying the crisis was being used as an opportunity to further “commercialise our universities”. (The National)

SNP call for Cabinet Office inquiry into Cummings

The SNP has called for a UK Government inquiry into the row over Boris Johnson’s special advisor Dominic Cummings. In a letter to the Cabinet Office, SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford order Cabinet Secretary Mark Sedwill to reconsider his “initial reluctance to get involved in the matter”. Blackford said that Durham police’s confirmation that Cummings broke lockdown regulations means he has fallen foul of the government’s code of conduct for special advisers. (The National)

Easyjet announces massive job cuts despite state bailout

Easyjet, Scotland’s largest airline, has announced that it will slash 4500 jobs, despite being in receipt of a £600 million bailout from the UK treasury in April. Earlier in May the budget airline announced that it was increasing services on some of Scotland’s most popular routes in order to absorb capacity lost by competitor Flybe when it collapsed. (The National)

Fears over economic impact on shielders

Fears are mounting of a two-tier emergence from lockdown, with those more vulnerable to the virus and who are shielding suffering the worst losses of income. Citizens Advice research has found that 70 per cent of shielders who contacted them for help had not been furloughed under UK Government measures. (Guardian)

Scottish parliament to hear evidence on coronavirus homelessness

The Scottish Parliament Local Government Committee will today (28 May) hear evidence on how hundreds of rough sleepers have been re-homed during the pandemic in Glasgow. Campaigners are expected to urge parliamentarians to extend and maintain pandemic era measures to provide accommodation to Scotland’s thousands of homeless people. (Evening Times)

Calls for green recovery from Covid-19

The UK Government have been called on to create a ‘green recovery’ from Covid-19 ahead of the 2021 UN climate conference in Scotland. Speaking as talks commenced to re-organised the event, initially slated for this November in Glasgow, Mary Robinson, former UN climate envoy, said: “Very definitely we need to tie together a green recovery and Cop26 – that is imperative. UK leadership can and should urge forward a net-zero carbon transition from the Covid-19 crisis.” (Guardian)