Live: Coronavirus news updates from across Scotland

The country is on lockdown in an effort to stop the spread of the deadly virus.

Coronavirus: The battle to stop the spread of the deadly virus goes on. Pixabay
Coronavirus: The battle to stop the spread of the deadly virus goes on.

Impeccable applause for NHS staff

A national applause has taken place as people across Scotland showed their appreciation for NHS staff working hard during the coronavirus pandemic.

The gesture to those “working at the front line” kicked off at 8pm and saw grateful individuals and families gather at their front doors, gardens and windows to “clap for our carers”.

Death toll across the United Kingdom rises to 578


A total of 578 people who have tested positive for coronavirus in the United Kingdom have died as of 5pm on Wednesday, the Department of Health said.

The figure represents a jump of 113 in a day.

As of 9am on Thursday, there have been 11,658 confirmed positive cases across the UK.

Health board suspends home births to protect families and staff


NHS Lanarkshire has restricted neonatal visiting and suspended home births to protect families and staff from coronavirus.

The health board said it understands this is “an extremely difficult time” for pregnant woman but said it needs to make sure the maternity service is safe.

Cheryl Clark, chief midwife at NHS Lanarkshire said: “One birthing partner is very much welcome during labour.

“However, to help tackle the spread of COVID-19 and maintain a safe maternity service for all women and their families, NHS Lanarkshire has taken the difficult decision to further restrict neonatal visiting as well as suspend our homebirth service with immediate effect.

“We understand this is an extremely difficult time for all pregnant women and their families but we need ensure our maternity service is safe. Mums-to-be should discuss any concerns with their community midwife.

“We are asking pregnant women who are scheduled to attend for ultrasound scans, appointments in our maternity day bed unit, antenatal clinics and maternity triage to attend on their own.”

‘Clap for our carers’: Applause for NHS staff at 8pm


A national applause is set to take place to show appreciation for NHS staff working hard during the coronavirus pandemic.

The gesture to those “working at the front line” will be made across the country at 8pm, with people due to gather at their front doors, gardens and windows to “clap for our carers”.

“During these unprecedented times they need to know that we are grateful,” the organisers said.

Government to pay self-employed 80% of earnings

Self-employed people whose jobs are impacted by the coronavirus outbreak will be eligible for a grant to cover 80% of their monthly profits up to £2500 a month.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the support package for self-employed people would cover 80% of average earnings over the past three years.

However, he warned the scheme may not be open for applications until early June.

We don’t have lift-off: Scotland’s National Airshow cancelled

Scotland’s National Airshow, which was due to take place in the summer, has been cancelled.

The event had been scheduled for Saturday, July 25, at the National Museum of Flight in East Lothian.

However, a move has been taken to scrap the airshow due to the outbreak of coronavirus.

A statement said: “This is in light of the advice and measures currently being implemented by the UK and Scottish Governments in response to the outbreak of Covid-19.

“Currently all of our museums are closed until further notice. This includes the National Museum of Scotland, the National Museum of Flight, the National Museum of Rural Life and the National War Museum at Edinburgh Castle.”

Former factory in Inverclyde offered as potential field hospital

The owners of a former factory are offering up the facility to be used as an NHS field hospital in the fight against coronavirus.

Sandy and James Easdale, as well as Seamus Shields, have put forward the vacant IBM site near Greenock for free to help during the pandemic.

The vacant 65,000sq ft building at Spango Valley has a canteen, toilet and office facilities in place together with a network of utilities.

It comes after Dr Catherine Calderwood, Scotland’s chief medical officer, revealed sites are being considered for such a facility.

The Easdales, owners of McGill’s Buses, said: “The NHS and the Scottish Government are looking at potential options for field hospitals in Scotland, similar to what is being facilitated at the Excel in London.

“We know there will be specific criteria required by the NHS but this is a vacant, large capacity building which is easily accessed in the west of Scotland.

“Contact has already been made with local politicians and Scottish Government regarding its availability and should it be required then we can make progress rapidly on its handover.”

Call for careful consideration of unplanned pregnancies

Couples have been asked to consider using contraception and whether the coronavirus epidemic is the right time to have an unplanned pregnancy.

The advice came from Scotland’s chief medical officer, Dr Catherine Calderwood, after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was asked if the Scottish Government is expecting a rise in the number of pregnancies as a consequence of people being ordered not to leave their homes.

She passed the question to Dr Calderwood, who is a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist.

Dr Calderwood said: “As the obstetrician in the room, this has occurred to me that in fact we do need to be advising people about having time on their hands.

“The labour ward is always much busier nine months after Valentine’s day so we have that to consider.

“The serious point is that almost all maternity services are emergency services – they can’t be time limited, you can’t pause like elective surgery.”

She added: “It has been suggested to me that we talk to people about contraception.

“About 50% of pregnancies are unplanned so perhaps think about whether this is the right time to have an unplanned pregnancy.

“This (coronavirus outbreak) will last for some time, the emergency services – the maternity services – will continue to run, though, so we have planned for all of the babies that would have been born to have exactly the same care that they would have had outside of this pandemic.

“But people are making difficult choices and we would always encourage people to think: ‘Is this the right time for me, am I in the best of health, is this a good time for me to start thinking about having a baby?'”

Medical staff book hundreds of nights at hotel

Medical staff have booked hundreds of nights at a hotel offering them free rooms and meals during the coronavirus pandemic.

Ten Place Hill Hotel in Edinburgh said since it launched the initiative on Friday more than 232 room nights have been booked to accommodate guests over the coming weeks.

The hotel, owned by The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd) and operated by Surgeons Quarter, is less than a mile from the Royal Hospital for Sick Children and three miles from the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.

It is urging more workers to make use of its 129 bedrooms and is now including a free evening meal as well as a continental packed breakfast.

RCSEd president Professor Michael Griffin praised the initiative.

He said: “Covid-19 is unlike anything we’ve seen in our lifetimes – and I know the strain it is putting across all aspects of our wonderful health service.

“The team at Ten Hill Place are giving tired workers vital respite to allow them to focus on caring for the country.”

Harry Potter author pays tribute to ‘frontline heroes’

JK Rowling, Geri Horner and Ant and Dec are among the celebrities who have spoken out to celebrate health workers, supermarket staff and other key workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

As large numbers of people continue to tackle the fallout from the virus, Harry Potter author Rowling shared a poignant message on Twitter.

She wrote that she was thinking of “medical staff, supermarket workers, the military and all public service employees putting themselves on the line for our communities”.

She added: “We can only aspire to deserve you. Stay safe, everyone x.”

Wind farm cash used to help communities

Communities across Scotland are using cash from wind farms to help them cope through the coronavirus crisis.

Wind farm developers across the country pay out almost £21m a year in community benefit payments.

This money usually goes to fund local projects but as the Covid-19 pandemic spreads across Scotland some of the cash is now being used as part of the response to the virus.

Foundation Scotland, the organisation that administers around 60 community benefit funds, has already held talks with community representatives on about 20 of those to see how the money can help.

In Lewis, community wind farm charity Point and Sandwick Trust has announced it will use all of its cash for this year to set up a pandemic support fund for the local community.

Community Energy Scotland, which co-owns a 7.5 megawatt wind farm near Cockburnspath with Berwickshire Housing Association, is now working with a newly established volunteer action group to provide emergency grants to local families in hardship.

Its development manager, Jamie Adam, said: “We have been humbled by the reaction of local communities to the coronavirus emergency and are delighted to be able to help, if only in a small way.”

Airline further reduces flight schedules

Loganair has announced further reductions in its flight schedules over the coming weeks, consistent with the Government’s efforts to contain the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

A skeleton schedule of essential air services will operate within Scotland, to and from the Isle of Man and on two routes supporting critical workers in the offshore industry in Aberdeen.

The services provided will be to facilitate travel only for those with an essential need, such as workers in designated critical professions and others covered by the latest Government advice. 

Efforts are also in hand to protect essential carriage of pharmaceuticals, mail, newspapers and other consumer goods which are reliant on Loganair’s services in the Highlands and Islands as a matter of course.

Loganair expects to ground approximately half of its 44 aircraft in the coming days and has advised its staff of the probability of furlough under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Loganair’s chief executive Jonathan Hinkles said: “The challenges that we’re all facing in everyday life are evolving by the day, and we are having to work through a whole host of disparate issues to maintain services for those with a critical need to travel, or indeed the many island communities totally reliant on Loganair to deliver their daily essentials.

“I’m proud of the work that so many of our team are doing right now to keep vital air routes open, without which our communities would be in severe difficulty.

“The tremendous team spirit in evidence throughout Loganair is providing all of us with confidence to tackle the challenges that undoubtedly lay ahead.

“Throughout all of this, safety will remain our absolute priority – whether that of our staff or our customers, or indeed the daily focus to assure that each and every Loganair flight is conducted safely.”

Hotel resort closes its doors

Mar Hall Golf & Spa Resort in Renfrewshire has temporarily closed for the “wellbeing of all”.

A spokesperson said staff had “worked tirelessly” over the last few weeks to keep the resort open, however “there comes a time when you can do no more”.

Mar Hall Golf & Spa Resort: The five-star hotel has closed.

In a statement, the company said: “The current situation is unprecedented. 

“As purveyors of great Scottish hospitality it grieves us greatly to do so, but needs must. 

“The wellbeing of all should be our only collective concern. 

“When we open again, and open we shall, you can be sure we will rise greater than ever before. 

“We look forward to those times and to welcoming you back to Mar Hall.”

Scots ‘are following’ stay-at-home guidance

Police Scotland’s chief constable has said the vast majority of people are obeying coronavirus guidance to stay at home.

Iain Livingstone hopes new powers to arrest people flouting the rules will be used “very, very infrequently, if at all”.

He said Police Scotland officers have seen “overwhelming levels of compliance” from the public since lockdown measures were introduced.

Emergency legislation has been passed to give police the power to arrest those breaching coronavirus guidance, which states people should only leave home for essential food, health and work reasons.

Mr Livingstone said most people were heeding the advice, despite a few cases of “extreme” behaviour, such as a woman accused of deliberately coughing at police officers.

Asked by Nick Robinson on BBC Radio Four whether people are defying the guidance aimed at slowing the spread of Covid-19, Mr Livingstone said: “No they’re not.

“In the first couple of days since the announcement on Monday night, we have seen overwhelming levels of compliance.

“We have seen citizens of Scotland, indeed right across the UK, standing up, listening to that advice.”

Coronavirus field hospital lined up for Scotland

Detailed discussions have taken place about setting up a field hospital in Scotland to cope with the increasing number of coronavirus patients.

Dr Catherine Calderwood, Scotland’s chief medical officer, revealed sites are being considered for such a facility.

It comes as the NHS in London plans to use the ExCeL Centre to treat up to 4000 people.

Football chairman’s hotel rooms gesture

Peterhead Football Club chairman Rodger Morrison is offering free accommodation at his county inn to NHS staff travelling to and from Aberdeen’s main hospital.

The Cock and Bull in Balmedie has five bed and breakfast rooms which he’s opened up to those travelling to work at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary (ARI) during the coronavirus pandemic.

CalMac brings in ‘essential lifeline’ timetable

Ferry operator CalMac will introduce an ‘essential lifeline’ timetable from Friday.

Initially for three weeks, it aims to ensure Scotland’s islands get all the goods and services they need.

CalMac’s number of weekly sailings will drop from 2419 to 948 – a decrease of almost 61%.

Medical chief defends Charles getting a virus test

Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer has defended the decision to test the Princes of Wales for coronavirus, saying there were “very good reasons” behind the move.

Dr Catherine Calderwood spoke after news that the heir to the throne had been tested for Covid-19 sparked an angry backlash from some.

While some medical workers who are self-isolating have been unable to get tested to see if they could come back to work, both Charles, 71, and his wife Camilla, 72, were tested on Monday.

The royal couple are currently staying at the Birkhall estate in Aberdeenshire, with Camilla separating herself from her husband after she tested negative.

Speaking about Charles on BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme, Dr Calderwood said: “I have spoken to the team in Grampian who were looking after the individual.

“My understanding is there were very good reasons for that person and his wife to be tested, and obviously I wouldn’t be able to disclose anything else that I know because of patient confidentiality.”

Compston’s race back to the States

Scots star Martin Compston has revealed he raced back to the US shortly before travel was banned.

The Line of Duty actor lives in Las Vegas, where his wife and her family are from, but was filming in the UK before the lockdown.

“I was just in my flat on a Saturday night, learning my lines for the week ahead,” he said.

“The news came through that Trump had suspended all flights from the UK, so I think within 12 hours I was on a flight.

“So, I just made it back by the skin of my teeth. It was bit of a hairy journey over… but eventually they got us home.”

He told the STV show that Scotland would always be “home”, but added: “I’ve spent probably 14 of the last 16 months on the road and you realise how important it is to have a support network around you.

“It was important that my wife had a family around her – and the weather’s not bad either!”

NCP offers free parking

NCP is offering free parking to workers in city centres across the UK.

A full list of the 150 car parks taking part in the scheme can be found here.

‘Sunday service’ bus timetable for Glasgow

Bus company First Glasgow is bringing in a reduced timetable from Sunday.

The firm said would operate a “broadly Sunday timetable”, but with extra morning services for key workers.

Andrew Jarvis, managing director of First Glasgow, said: “I would like to personally thank everyone at First Glasgow who have been absolutely fantastic at keeping the wheels turning for the people of Glasgow.

“Regular customers can be assured we will endeavour to get more frequent services back up and running as soon as the government decides it is safe to do so.”

Travel firm donates £250,000 of compression socks to nurses

A travel firm is donating equipment worth £250,000 to help nurses dealing with the coronavirus outbreak.

Online company Trtl is handing over its stockpile of compression socks to help nurses fight fatigue on the wards.

A total of 5000 pairs have been given to acute nurses in hospitals across Scotland in the past two weeks and the firm plans to distribute 5000 more in London in the next week.

Trtl’s sales have fallen 95% in the past two weeks and chief executive officer Michael Corrigan said he wants to help those on the frontline by donating the surplus socks.

The Caledonian hotel closes its doors

The Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian has closed its doors for the first time since 1903.

The luxury hotel will remain closed until April 24.

Luxury: The hotel has closed its doors. Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian

In a statement posted on Facebook, the company said: “It is with heaviness of heart that we announce in response the UK Government’s guidelines, that we have temporarily suspended operation of our hotel until April 24th.

“This is certainly not a goodbye, our team will continue to plan for the rest of the year and are committed to fully restoring operation of our iconic hotel as soon as possible.”

Flights from 11 airports to be grounded

Flights from 11 airports across Scotland will be grounded this weekend amid the coronavirus pandemic.

On Thursday morning, Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (Hial) confirmed it would remain open for lifeline and essential services, however bosses were forced to make the “difficult, but necessary, decision” to close its airports to scheduled flights and routine aviation traffic with effect from Sunday.

Hial – which is owned by the Scottish Government – operates and manages Barra, Benbecula, Campbeltown, Dundee, Inverness, Islay, Kirkwall, Stornoway, Sumburgh, Tiree and Wick John O’ Groats airports.

The company said it was doing “all it can to limit the spread of infection, protect the health and wellbeing of its staff and have the necessary resilience in place to maintain its ability to service essential and emergency flights”.

Hial is now working with Transport Scotland and Loganair to agree a skeleton schedule that will ensure the airports continue to provide lifeline and essential services, including NHS passenger transfer, the Royal Mail and the oil and gas industry.

Government orders 10,000 ventilators from Dyson

The Government has ordered 10,000 ventilators to help tackle the coronavirus pandemic, billionaire entrepreneur Sir James Dyson has said.

In an email to staff, the inventor said his eponymous company designed the “CoVent” at the request of Boris Johnson, and promised to donate 5000 to the international relief effort.

Sir James said teams of engineers had been working solidly on the design since receiving the call from the Prime Minister ten days ago, and the UK Government had placed an initial order of 10,000 units.

The company is now waiting for the design to receive regulatory approval so manufacturing can commence.

Dyson: The battery-powered machine has been designed for use un different settings.

Created in partnership with Cambridge-based science engineering firm TTP, the new ventilator had to be safe, effective, efficient in conserving oxygen and portable, Mr Dyson said.

It also had to be bed-mounted, easy to use and not require a fixed air supply.

The battery-powered machine has been designed for use in different settings, including field hospitals and when patients are being transported.

Sir James said the device draws on technology used in the company’s air purifier ranges, and is powered by a digital motor.

Rental prices ‘show housing market is deeply broken’

Signs of change in Scotland’s housing market and rental prices amid the Covid-19 outbreak show “how deeply broken” the system is, according to a tenants’ union.

Living Rent has reported holiday lets increasingly being put up as long-term rentals as tourism dries up during the pandemic – often at rates “significantly below” the market average.

And it has called for emergency measures to be introduced to protect tenants from rogue landlords who may seek to rent out properties without correct licensing.

‘I’ve never experienced anything like this

Edinburgh care home manager Eileen Gray explains what it’s like caring for people during the coronavirus pandemic.

She said: “I can safely say that I have never experienced anything like the Covid-19 crisis – both in terms of the challenges it presents and in the fantastic response it has produced.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen such an amazing rallying round; everyone here is totally committed to getting through this together and to make sure that our residents’ lives are disrupted in as small a way as possible.”

The fight against coronavirus continues

People are expected to remain at home in an effort to stop the spread of coronavirus.

On Monday night, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Britons should only go out for exercise once a day.

Gatherings of two of more people are banned, except for members of the same household. 

People should only go to the shops for essentials like food or medicine as infrequently as possible, and should not go out to see friends or family members who do not live in the same house.

Travellers to Scotland face pre-departure tests amid Omicron fears

International travellers will have to provide a negative pre-departure test taken two days before travelling.

Jeff J Mitchell via Getty Images
New travel rules come into effect at 4am on Tuesday morning.

People arriving in Scotland from abroad will need to take a pre-departure Covid test to help stem the spread of the Omicron variant, the Scottish Government announced on Saturday.

International travellers will have to provide provide proof of a negative PCR or lateral flow test taken two days before travelling, in addition to a negative PCR test on or before day two after arrival, under measures agreed on a four nations basis.

The requirement comes into effect at 4am on Tuesday morning.

Meanwhile, Nigeria has been added to the red list for international travel from 4am on Monday morning, meaning all travellers returning to Scotland from Nigeria will be required to quarantine on their arrival in managed accommodation for 10 days.


The changes were informed by a UK Health Security Agency risk assessment.

Transport secretary Michael Matheson said: “It is essential we take steps now to keep people safe, protect the roll out of the booster programme and reduce the chances of unsustainable pressure being placed on the NHS over the winter.

“We have always said it may be necessary to quickly implement fresh measures to protect public health in Scotland, particularly with regards to international travel, and these restrictions are proportionate and necessary to that aim.

“We fully understand the impact the changes will have on staff and businesses in the travel and aviation sectors, particularly as the new variant came at a time when we were beginning to see some signs of recovery.  We will not keep the restrictions in place any longer than is necessary.”


The announcement will be seen as evidence of the mounting concern within Whitehall of the threat posed by the Omicron variant.

However, the requirement for pre-departure tests was greeted with anger and dismay across the travel sector – just as bookings were picking up with the approach of the Christmas break.

Joanne Dooey, president of The Scottish Passenger Agents’ Association (SPAA) – the professional body for travel agents and the travel sector in Scotland, said: “Tonight’s news is the early Christmas present none of us in the travel sector wanted or needed. It’s a crushing blow for the travel sector in Scotland and travel agents are truly battle weary.

“The confidence which was returning to international travel will be stamped out following this announcement. The reintroduction of pre departure tests from Tuesday means that anyone travelling back into Scotland must take a test before they leave their destination, within 48 hours of travel back into the UK, or risk being unable to travel back and quarantining on foreign soil at their own expense.

“It leaves everyone currently overseas, who has a scheduled return to the UK from 4am this Tuesday, scrambling to find testing which meets the Scottish government regulations.

“We expect that travel agents’ phones will be ringing off the hook with customers who wish to cancel or postpone their holidays, business trips and Christmas visits to families overseas.”

The Airport Operators Association chief executive Karen Dee said it was a “devastating blow” for aviation and tourism.


“Pre-departure tests acts as a major deterrent to travel and most of the limited remaining demand following the reintroduction of self-isolation will now fall away, just as airports were hoping for a small uplift over the Christmas holiday,” she said.

“Travel and aviation are the only sectors hit with any operating restrictions in response to the Omicron variant.

“The UK and devolved governments should have done the right thing and, alongside the restrictions, announced support for our businesses and our staff to get through another period of shutdown.

“Hundreds of thousands of jobs rely on air travel – government must recognise this and provide the support needed to safeguard this critical infrastructure upon which our economic recovery from the pandemic depends.”

Sturgeon urges people to get Covid vaccine as she receives booster

The First Minister attended the vaccine centre in Easterhouse on Saturday.

STV News

Nicola Sturgeon has urged people to get their Covid vaccination as soon as they can after she received her booster jag.

The First Minister was given her Covid booster, as well as a flu shot, at the Glasgow Club Easterhouse vaccine centre on Saturday.

It comes amidst concern over the Omicron variant across the UK, with scientists working to learn more about the latest strain.

Speaking after receiving her jag, the First Minister outlined the importance of getting vaccinated to increase protection against coronavirus.


She said: “It is critically important for everybody who is eligible to come forward and get a booster as soon as possible.

“We know that booster jags significantly increase the amount of protection that you get, so it’s not marginal, it is really significant.

“And that would always have been important as we head into winter, but with the new Omicron variant, it’s even more important.

“There’s lots of talk about whether vaccines will be less effective against Omicron, we don’t know that yet, but it’s really important to stress that even if that was the case, less effective does not mean ineffective.


“You’re still going to have so much more protection if you have a vaccination, including your booster vaccination, than you will have without that.

“So please, if you haven’t already had your vaccine, whether that’s your first dose, second, third dose, or your booster and you’re eligible, please get it.”

Official figures published on Saturday indicate there were 14 coronavirus-related deaths and 1257 new cases recorded in Scotland over the last 24 hours.

One case of the new Omicron variant has been confirmed in that time, in NHS Grampian, taking the total people infected with the variant to 30.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has the most of the new variant cases at 11, followed by NHS Lanarkshire with nine, five in NHS Forth Valley, three in NHS Highland and two in NHS Grampian.

The Scottish Government said Public Health Scotland is “aware of a processing issue with UK Government lab tests contributing to lower than expected cases and tests” in the daily figures and investigations are ongoing to resolve the problem.

There were 605 people in hospital with recently confirmed Covid-19 as of Friday night and, of these, 50 were in intensive care.


So far, 4,351,214 people have received their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccination, 3,956,719 have had a second, and 1,823,515 have been given a third dose or booster.

Family pay tribute to crash victim with the ‘biggest of hearts’

Robert McGhee, 24, was pronounced dead at the scene after his car left the road and struck a tree.

Police Scotland
In a statement released through Police Scotland, his family said he will be 'in our hearts forever more'.

Tributes have been paid to a 24-year-old man who died in a crash, with his family describing him as having the “biggest of hearts”.

Robert McGhee was pronounced dead at the scene after his car, a black Audi S3, left the road and struck a tree in Aberdeenshire.

The incident took place on the Torphins to Kincardine O’Neil road at around 9pm on Monday, November 29.

In a statement released through Police Scotland, his family said he will be “in our hearts forever more”.


“It’s with great sadness that at only 24, Robert (Bert) was taken from us,” the family said.

“A loving son, fiancé, grandson & nephew, his big blue eyes & long eyelashes melted everyone. 

“He was the most helpful, hardworking, caring, polite young man with the biggest of hearts you could ever meet. 

“The world has lost a treasure that can never be replaced. You will be in our hearts forever more.”


Police are appealing for anyone who may have witnessed the collision or saw the vehicle before the incident to contact them.

North East-based Road Policing Sergeant Chris Smith, said: “Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Robert at this time.

“Enquiries are ongoing to establish the full circumstances of the collision and I would urge anyone who witnessed the collision or saw the vehicle prior to the incident that has not already spoken to the Police to come forward.

“In particular, we are keen to trace the driver of a green coloured 4×4 described as a jeep who is believed to have stopped at the scene and their information may be of assistance to our investigation.”

Details can be passed to Police Scotland on 101 quoting reference 3433 of November 29, 2021.

Senior police officer suspended following ‘criminal allegation’

The force's oversight body, the Scottish Police Authority (SPA), confirmed the suspension of an officer in a statement.

Armagan_A via IStock
A senior officer can be suspended if an allegation, if proven, would be sufficiently serious to amount to misconduct or if the nature of the allegation means suspension is in the public interest.

A senior officer in Police Scotland has been suspended following a “criminal allegation”.

The officer is understood to be Police Scotland Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Pat Campbell.

He is executive lead for organised crime, counter-terrorism and intelligence, which also covers border policing, cyber crime and digital forensic, having taken up the role a year ago.

Campbell is senior responsible officer for cyber capabilities, cyber strategy and technical surveillance.


The force’s oversight body, the Scottish Police Authority (SPA), confirmed the suspension of an officer in a statement.

Prosecution service the Crown Office has instructed police watchdog the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (Pirc) to investigate the allegation.

A senior officer can be suspended if an allegation, if proven, would be sufficiently serious to amount to misconduct or if the nature of the allegation means suspension is in the public interest.

In its statement, the SPA said: “The Scottish Police Authority has suspended a senior officer from Police Scotland duties.


“The decision was taken after a criminal allegation was brought to the authority’s attention.

“The Police Investigations and Review Commissioner is investigating this allegation under direction from the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.

“The suspension is effective from Wednesday 1 December and will be reviewed regularly, or if there is a change in circumstances relevant to the suspension.”

Police Scotland Deputy Chief Constable Fiona Taylor said: “I can confirm that a senior officer from Police Scotland has been suspended by the Scottish Police Authority.

“This is in connection with a criminal investigation being carried out by the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner.

“The chief constable has reviewed Police Scotland’s command structure to ensure the organisation continues to meet operational demand.”

Bird flu case confirmed in flock of free range hens

Birds at premises near Gretna will be humanely culled to limit the risk of the disease spreading.

Lynne Cameron/PA via PA Media
Bird flu has been detected in flock of hens in Dumfries and Galloway.

Bird flu has been detected in a free range flock of hens in Dumfries and Galloway, according to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

The remaining birds at the premises, near Gretna, will be humanely culled and a 3km Protection Zone and 10km Surveillance Zone have been declared around the infected premises to limit the risk of spread of the disease.

Within the zones, a range of different controls are now in place. These include restrictions on the movement of poultry, carcasses, eggs, used poultry litter and manure – and restrictions on bird gatherings.

Producers and bird keepers are being reminded to comply with the order to house birds, which came in to effect on November 29, or to ensure their birds are kept separate from wild birds.


The additional housing measures build on the strengthened biosecurity regulations that were brought in across Great Britain as part of the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) on November 3 and in and Northern Ireland on November 17.

Meanwhile, the chief veterinary officer for Wales, Christianne Glossop, confirmed the presence of avian flu on a mixed poultry premises near Crickhowell, Brecon and Radnorshire, Powys.

And a second suspected case has been identified in Northern Ireland, in a flock in County Antrim.

Scotland’s chief veterinary officer Sheila Voas said: “We have already made clear that all bird keepers – whether major businesses or small keepers, with just a few birds – must ensure that their biosecurity is up to scratch to protect their birds from disease and prevent any contact between their birds and wild birds.


“Keepers who are concerned about the health or welfare of their flock should seek veterinary advice immediately.

“Your private vet, or your local Animal and Plant Health Agency office, will also be able to provide practical advice on keeping your birds safe from infection.

“Any dead wild swans, geese, ducks or birds of prey, or five or more dead wild birds of other species (including gulls) in the same location at the same time, should be reported to Defra’s national telephone helpline.

“Public health advice is that the risk to human health from the virus is very low and food standards bodies advise that avian influenzas pose a very low food safety risk for UK consumers, and it does not affect the consumption of poultry products including eggs.”

Rural affairs secretary Mairi Gougeon said: “With the recent disease confirmations in wild and captive birds across the UK, it is not unexpected for avian influenza to be found in birds here in Scotland.

“We ask that the public remain vigilant and report any findings of dead wild birds to Defra’s national telephone helpline.

“Do not touch or pick up any dead or sick birds that you find.”

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Van Bronckhorst’s winning start continues as Rangers see off Dundee

Ibrox side move seven points ahead of Celtic at top of the Scottish Premiership.

Alan Harvey via SNS Group
Giovanni van Bronckhorst continued his winning start as Rangers manager.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst made it four wins out of four as Rangers boss in a dominant 3-0 cinch Premiership win over Dundee at Ibrox.

Midfielder Joe Aribo’s deflected strike in the 36th minute gave the incessant home side a deserved interval lead and only sterling work by Dens Park keeper Adam Legzdins kept the Taysiders in the game.

However, visiting defender Ryan Sweeney put a cross from Aribo into his own goal in the 55th minute before striker Alfredo Morelos scored a third in the 70th minute of arguably Rangers’ best league performance of the season.

The league leaders moved seven points ahead of Celtic who get the chance to reduce the lead at Dundee United on Sunday.


Rangers, with Scott Arfield and Fashion Sakala in for rested Ryan Kent and Steven Davis, took control from the start and did not relent.

Aribo’s nifty footwork at the edge of the Dundee box ended with Sakala snatching at a shot with the ball flying high and wide and then the striker screwed a shot wide of the far post.

The pressure was constant.

In the 24th minute Sakala’s powerful and more accurate drive was brilliantly pushed behind by Legzdins – the corner came to nothing – before the busy keeper made a decent save from left-back Borna Barisic and a better one from Connor Goldson.


However, the creaking Dundee rearguard was breached when Aribo let fly from the edge of the box with a low drive which ended up behind Legzdins after taking a touch off defender Liam Fontaine.

The champions kept pushing forward and three minutes from the break Legzdins denied Morelos from close range.

The Govan side began the second half with Arfield’s deflected shot rebounding off the post and Legzdins making more saves, from strikes by defender Calvin Bassey and Sakala.

On-loan Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths was roundly booed when he took over from ex-Gers midfielder and Dundee skipper Charlie Adam before Sweeney, in trying to cut out a cross from Aribo, slid in to put the ball into his own net.

To the jeers of the home fans Griffiths was then booked by referee Alan Muir for a foul on Aribo with Morelos also taking a yellow for his part in the ensuing melee.

A mix-up in the Gers defence saw Paul McMullan get a shot away but it was pushed behind for a corner by keeper Allan McGregor which was defended before Dundee boss James McPake was shown a yellow card by referee Muir, presumably for dissent.

Before that Griffiths might have been lucky to avoid another yellow for his challenge on Glen Kamara.


Morelos barged his way through the centre of Dundee’s defence to knock in number three, and the scoreline could have been even more emphatic had Christie Elliott not cleared away another goal-bound header from the Ibrox striker, albeit Griffiths cracked the post in added time with a shot.

Humza Yousaf urges people to ‘use their judgement’ over Christmas

He urged people to use their judgement and be sensible when making plans.

STV News

Humza Yousaf has said he will be asking his family to take lateral flow tests before attending for Christmas dinner.

The health secretary made the comment as he indicated that people “have to use their judgement” in making plans during the festive season.

Speaking to STV News, Yousaf remarked that he would not, however, be checking his mother in law’s Covid certification before she comes the door.

“As health secretary, I’m not here to tell you what you can and cannot do in terms of Christmas parties, or how you behave at Christmas parties,” he said.


“That is entirely up to you within the rules, within the guidance, what we’re suggesting… you know, as long as you are obeying those rules, then of course, we’ll be saying to people exercise some caution.

“I’m planning to have Christmas dinner with extended family and of course I will be asking all of my family to do a lateral flow test before.

“I don’t think that’s too onerous. But I won’t be checking my mother in law’s Covid certification before she comes to the door.

“So, I think people just… have to use their judgement, have to be sensible and I trust most people to do just that.”


Yousaf acknowledged concern over the Omicron variant, but reiterated the steps people can take in order to help reduce transmission of the virus.

He said: “Of course we’re concerned. As we have said previously, we don’t doubt that there is community transmission.

“That community transmission is clearly as we are testing more people, as we are looking for that s-gene dropout, which is the proxy measure for omicron cases, we’re identifying more and more cases right across the country.

“So, what can people do to help us out here? They can make sure they get vaccinated, whichever vaccine you’re eligible for – first, second, third booster doses – get yourself vaccinated.

“Test yourself regularly, particularly if you’re going to be socialising, whether that’s indoors or outdoors.

“Make sure you’re wearing your mask in settings that are applicable and appropriate.

“And of course, practice good hygiene. These are the things that you can do to help us to keep transmission under control.”

Pensioner found fatally injured on street named by police

Douglas Forbes was discovered on Academy Park in the Leith area of the city on Thursday night.

Police Scotland
Police are investigating the death of Douglas Forbes in Edinburgh.

A man who was found fatally injured in Edinburgh has been named by police as Douglas Forbes.

The 78-year-old was found hurt at Academy Park in the Leith area of the city at around 8.50pm on Thursday night.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Detective inspector Jonny Wright from Gayfield CID said: “We are still working to establish how Douglas came to sustain his injuries.


“We are trying to piece together his last movements and believe he was in the city centre with friends, prior to being dropped off at Academy Park by a taxi.

“We would like anyone who was out with Douglas on Thursday 2 December, and for the taxi driver who dropped him off, to get in touch with us as soon as possible.

“This can be done by contacting 101, quoting incident number 3329 of 2 December 2021.”

Does this street have the best Christmas display in Scotland?

Street transformed into winter wonderland after neighbour diagnosed with terminal cancer.

STV News

Lavender Drive in Newton Mearns must surely be Scotland’s most festive street.

After more than two months of planning, neighbours have switched on their street-long Christmas display.

The idea to transform Lavender Drive into a winter wonderland came during the depths of lockdown last year when one resident, father-of-two Fred Banning, was diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer.

By asking for donations from those who come to see the 16 spectacular homes, the neighbours raised more than £5500 for the Beatson Cancer Charity last Christmas and hope to collect even more this time around.


“I was going to and from chemotherapy and the first time I turned the corner and saw the whole street lit-up was just fantastic,” Fred, 38, told STV News. 

“It was really quite moving, it is like nowhere else I’ve ever lived.”

STV News
The street Christmas lights were switched on after two months of planning.
STV News
Lavender Drive has been transformed into a winter wonderland.
STV News
The decorations are lighting up the night in the Newton Mearns street.
STV News
Money is being raised for cancer research.
STV News
Neighbours came out to single Jingle Bells during the big switch-on.
STV News
The display aims to raise money after father-of-two Fred Banning was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

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