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First Minister-in-waiting Nicola Sturgeon MSP has started to set out her vision of a future Scotland and the task she faces when she takes over from Alex Salmond next month.

Sturgeon made the first of six planned keynote speeches at Edinburgh's Corn Exchange tonight. Newsnet Scotland is reproducing key extracts to accompany our earlier report of her EU referendum initiative.

The new SNP leader was forthright in accepting the referendum result and pledging her commitment to working with everyone, Yes and No alike.

By Martin Kelly

Pressure has increased on the Labour Party after a national newspaper revealed that its UK leadership actively prevented the Scottish party from criticising the Bedroom Tax for a full year.

According to the Guardian newspaper, Ed Miliband barred Johann Lamont from speaking out against the Bedroom Tax while he pondered what Labour's policy on it should be.

She kept the best to the last, did Johann. It is the only statement she’s made in three years that reads like a leader’s, writes Derek Bateman.

It is direct, blisteringly honest, nails the problem and lumps it into the perpetrators’ lap as she heads off.

Where was all this forthright opinion and robust analysis while in office?

  News analysis by Derek Bateman

Wasn’t it graphic proof of Britain’s Ruritanian political system that when an interlocutor was required to orchestrate inter-party talks on greater democracy, they chose an unelected Lord with a velvet robe edged with ermine – that is, the pelt of a dead stoat.
 
Welcome to Britain…Robert Smith is one of those who clearly prostrates himself at the feet of privilege and patronage. Why else would a sane and successful man make such a public fool of himself? What self-respecting, democratic Scot would call himself Lord?

By Newsnet Scotland reporter

The credibility of the Better Together parties on Scottish constitutional change faces severe questioning, as the deadline for change draws ever-closer.

After a week of let-downs in Westminster, including calls for the work of the Smith Commission to be kicked into touch until after the UK general election, there are signs of a deepening divide between the three No parties, and even within Labour itself.

By a Newsnet Reporter
 
UK broadcasting laws on election coverage are in chaos following a decision to include UKIP leader Nigel Farage within a series of planned "leadership debates" involving BBC, ITV, Sky and Channel 4 before next year's UK General Election.
 
The broadcasters' apparent decision to include the leader of a party with just one MP has already attracted widespread criticism outside Westminster, as larger parties in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland protest the move.

  By a Newsnet reporter
 
First Minister Alex Salmond has demanded a formal investigation into the RBS affair involving BBC News at the height of the Scottish referendum campaign last month.
 
Mr Salmond wants a probe into allegations that the Treasury disclosed market-sensitive information about the bank's position on independence.

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