The week outside Westminster

There were scenes of violence and riots as Northern Ireland faced its contentious 12th July parades, injuring a police officer. Northern Ireland’s political leaders were united in their condemnation.

Northern Ireland

• There were scenes of violence and riots as Northern Ireland faced its contentious 12th July parades, with rioters injuring a police officer. Northern Ireland’s political leaders were united in their condemnation.

• Five men were arrested in the Irish Republic on suspicion of attempting to move explosives over the border.

• Just days after it witnessed petrol bomb attacks, Derry was named the UK’s first capital of culture for 2013, as reported by Left Foot Forward earlier today.

• There were doubts over the future of Police Service Ombudsman Al Hutchinson.

• A bomb explosion on a country road in South Armagh was blamed on dissident republicans seeking to target police officers as petrol bombs were thrown during trouble on the outskirts of east Belfast.

• East Londonderry MLA, John Dallat, questioned the price tag for the cost of ministerial cars.

• DUP MP, William McCrea, warned the Government not to water down security and terrorism legislation if there is any chance of it risking the lives of innocent civilians.

• The number of people claiming unemployment benefit increased.

• Complaints against the Police Service of Northern Ireland reached their highest levels for eight years.


• Scotland’s only Tory MP faced an inquiry over alleged criminal errors in his elections expenses.

• Alex Salmond attacked the decision to hold a referendum on electoral reform on the same day as the Scottish elections.

• John Swinney pledged to hear “all voices” in the debate over public spending as it was reported that he was considering an end to some universal benefits.

• Shadow Scottish secretary, Jim Murphy, wrote to every Lib Dem MP in Scotland asking them to oppose the planned rise in VAT.

• One third of Scottish small businesses were relying on credit cards to fund their work it was reported as John Swinney warned that low bank lending was putting Scotland’s recovery at risk.

• The Bank of Scotland reported that private sector recovery slowed last month.

• Accountants listed Scotland’s four main cities as among worst hit by the cuts to come.

• Strathclyde police was forced to introduce a recruitment freeze amidst ongoing uncertainty over its budget.

• Figures showed another rise in unemployment.

• Policy Exchange concluded that constitutional argument has got in the way of radical reform to Scottish public services and the economy.

• There were warnings that the impending cuts mean Scotland’s unemployment will continue to lag behind the rest of the UK.


• Former Welsh secretary, Ron Davies, confirmed that he would be standing for Plaid Cymru in next year’s Assembly elections.

• It was announced that a cap could be placed on student numbers.

Black people in Gwent were reported to be six time more likely than white people to be arrested – the highest rates across England and Wales.

• Consumer Focus Wales debt expert, Lindsey Kearton, said: “Following the recent Budget announcements pressures on household finances are likely to get worse”.

• It was confirmed that former first minister Rhodri Morgan would take a leading role in the “yes” campaign on further powers for Cardiff Bay.

• Plaid Cymru leader Ieuan Wyn Jones attempted to woo Labour voters, saying: “Democratic socialism should not be confused with the Labour Party or even Labour movement.”

• Business and budget minister, Jane Hutt, pledged that capital investment for 2010/11 would be protected.

• First minister Carwyn Jones announced the final legislative programme before the Assembly elections.

• It was reported that the chief executive of the Welsh Lib Dems had admitted defeat in next year’s Assembly elections.

• There was a warning over the effect that cuts will have on the police’s ability to combat anti-social behaviour.

• Welsh employment figures remained stagnant.

• First minister Carwyn Jones pledged a “summer conversation” with the people of Wales to get their ideas ahead of next year’s elections.

• David Cameron accepted in principle an invitation to address the Senedd.

Quote of the Week

“Absolute madness and mayhem.”

SDLP Councillor Nicola Mallon’s description of this week’s violence across Northern Ireland

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