Continuing our new weekday morning service, in which we take a look at the stories that are likely to surface in Scotland later today, there is no question about the day’s major political event, namely Alex Salmond’s confirmation in Parliament as First Minister.

With the Green Party having seen the sense of not nominating Patrick Harvie, Salmond will be unopposed and the formalities should be over shortly after 10.30am allowing him to make a no doubt apposite speech. hopes to have a full report on proceedings in Parliament later this morning.


Given the media’s predilection for a juicy murder, the story which will make all the Scottish headlines later today or tomorrow is the conclusion of the most sensational trial in recent Scottish history, in which Malcolm Webster is accused of murdering his first wife, trying to murder his second wife, and attempting to bigamously marry a third woman.

This major case has set a new record as the longest trial of a single person accused of murder. It began on February 1. It is also being seen as a test of the robustness of Scots Law as the attempted murder charge relates to incidents that took place in New Zealand 12 years ago.

Yesterday, Webster’s defence counsel Edgar Prais QC told the jury at the High Court in Glasgow that his client was  “a liar, a thief and a philanderer” but not a murderer.

The jury will decide that issue after trial judge Lord Bannatyne completes his closing remarks this morning.


The town of Brechin’s residents call it a city because it has a cathedral, but it is the local Episcopal church, St Ninian’s, which will be the focus of a great many observers of religious affairs tonight.

The Rev. Canon  Dr. Alison Peden is on the shortlist of five clergy trying to be elected as the new Bishop of Brechin in the Episcopal Church. If appointed, she will be the first woman bishop of a major church in Britain, and her election would undoubtedly make considerable waves

The reaction of the Roman Catholic Church, which opposes the ordination of women priests never mind bishops, should be interesting, while the Church of England’s response will be awaited keenly as the Episcopalians are part of the Anglican communion which is presently deeply riven over the issue of women bishops.

The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland begins later this week in Edinburgh and will no doubt give its reaction then.


STV is reporting that the Olympic torch will be travelling through Scotland next year from June 8 to June 14. People classed as ‘inspirational’ will carry it – Iain Gray and Tavish Scott need not apply.

The Herald says that Alex Salmond has ‘thrown down the gauntlet’ to Glasgow over the 2014 Commonwealth Games. The First Minister has criticised the plan to demolish a day care centre in Dalmarnock to make way for Games’ facilities, and it is seen as the first shot in the battle for control of the city at next year’s local government elections.

The Press and Journal claims a ‘whirlwind of outrage’ over Chancellor George Osborne’s plans to tax oil and gas companies for their workers’ flights to offshore rigs.

The Scotsman goes with the Scottish Enterprise report that carbon capture and storage projects could net 5,000 jobs for Scotland in years to come.