Toughest virus restrictions ‘possible’ in west of Scotland

Councils told they could be moved into level four of the Covid alert system next week.

Non-essential shops in Glasgow and Lanarkshire could be forced to close. Emma Farrer via Getty Images
Non-essential shops in Glasgow and Lanarkshire could be forced to close.

Greater Glasgow and Lanarkshire could be put under the highest level of coronavirus restrictions next week.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said councils in the two health board areas had been contacted about the possibility of being moved to level four of the Covid alert system.

The eight councils in those areas are: City of Glasgow, East Dunbartonshire, West Dunbartonshire, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, Inverclyde, North Lanarkshire and South Lanarkshire.

Level four is the closest stage to a full lockdown, and would see non-essential shops, pubs and restaurants forced to close.


Full details of the rules under each tier of the five-level system can be found here.

A decision will be made during a cabinet meeting on Tuesday morning and announced to parliament in the afternoon.

Speaking at the daily coronavirus briefing, Swinney said: “I can confirm that officials from the Scottish Government have been in touch with a number of local authorities in the west of Scotland about the possibility of the area having to be increased from level three to level four.

“Those are in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde and Lanarkshire health board areas.”


Contact has also been made with Stirling Council – currently in level three – and Aberdeenshire, in level two, over concerns about the number of cases.

Scotland records highest daily rate of new Covid-19 cases

Almost 3000 people have tested positive for coronavirus in the past 24 hours, figures have shown.

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Coronavirus: Almost 3000 new cases reported.

Scotland has recorded the highest number of daily cases since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, figures released by the Scottish Government have shown.

On Wednesday, it was revealed five people have died and 2989 new cases have been reported overnight.

The previous record was 2649 new cases on January 7, 2021.

It brings the death toll under this daily measure – of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days – to 7701.


The daily test positivity rate was 7.3%, down from 9.1% the previous day, according to figures published by the Scottish Government on Wednesday.

There were 171 people in hospital on Tuesday with recently confirmed Covid-19 – down one in 24 hours – and 18 people in intensive care.

So far 3,681,620 people have received the first dose of a Covid-19 vaccination and 2,617,450 have received their second dose.

Hillwalker missing after taking selfie on Ben Nevis

Sarah Buick, 25, was last pictured at the summit of Scotland's highest mountain on Tuesday morning.

Police Scotland
Missing: Sarah Buick was last pictured at the summit of Ben Nevis on Tuesday morning.

Police have launched a search for a missing woman last seen at the top of Scotland’s highest mountain.

Sarah Buick, 25, took a selfie at the summit of Ben Nevis at around 5am on Tuesday, but has not been seen or heard from since.

Ms Buick, an experienced walker from Dundee, hiked from the Lower Falls area of Glen Nevis.

Following her summit of Ben Nevis she may have walked to other locations or intended to return using a similar route to descend to Glen Nevis.


Ms Buick is around 5ft 3in, slim, with long brown hair. At the time of going missing, she was wearing a light green jacket and was carrying an orange rucksack. 

Inspector Nick Hough said: “As time goes on we are becoming increasingly concerned for Sarah.

“She is an experienced walker and often makes trips alone, but it is very unlike her to be out of contact with friends and family for this length of time. 

“We are appealing to anyone who may have been in the Ben Nevis or Glen Nevis area over the last 36 hours and has seen anything which may help our searches to please get in touch.” 


If you have any information, call 101.

Driver on the run as car used to mow down police officer found

The attempted murder happened in Eglinton Place, Kilwinning, at around 1.30am on Tuesday.

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Police: The driver is still on the run following the attempted murder.

A car used to mow down a police officer in North Ayrshire has been recovered by detectives.

The driver is still on the run following the attempted murder, which happened in Eglinton Place, Kilwinning, at around 1.30am on Tuesday.

Two uniformed officers were on their way to assist colleagues with an inquiry when a blue Ford Focus was deliberately driven at one of them.

The 28-year-old female officer was struck by the car. She sustained serious leg injuries and was taken to University Hospital Crosshouse for surgery, where she remains.


The driver fled the scene, but the Focus – with the registration EJ62 YFL – was later found at around 3.15pm on Tuesday at the rear of Baidland Avenue in Dalry.

Extensive enquiries are ongoing to trace the suspect, who is believed to have escaped in a dark saloon vehicle.

Detective inspector Stephen McCulloch said: “This was a very serious incident, which has left the victim requiring surgery, and we are continuing to provide support to the officer, her family and colleagues.

“We have managed to trace the vehicle involved, however it remains absolutely critical that anyone with information which could help us identify and find the suspect comes forward.


“We are appealing to any road users who were in the surrounding area in the early hours of Tuesday morning, and may have seen the Ford Focus or a dark saloon vehicle driving at speed, to please get in touch.

“In particular we would urge any motorists with dashcams, who were travelling through at the time, to check their footage in case they have managed to capture either of these vehicles or anything else which could be of significance.”

If you have any information, call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Woman’s shock at MND diagnosis following years of dancing

Natalie Rushton from East Kilbride initially thought her symptoms were dancing injuries.

MND Scotland via Email / STV News

By Victoria Pease & Louise Scott

A young woman who had danced from the age of two has spoken of her shock after being diagnosed with MND at just 21. 

Natalie Rushton from East Kilbride was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease five months ago, and initially thought her symptoms were injuries caused by years of dancing. 

“I just thought of people dying and that it was only for older people. I never thought younger people would have it. I was in shock to be honest,” Natalie explained.


MND is a rapidly progressing terminal illness, which stops signals from the brain reaching the muscles. 

This can cause sufferers to lose the ability to walk, talk, eat, drink or breathe unaided and there is no cure or effective treatment.

“What they said was it wasn’t a strain I was going to die of yet, it’s progressive muscular atrophy. My muscles are basically wasting away and at the moment it’s just confined to my legs,” Natalie said.

“They now say obviously it can reclassify if it starts spreading through the body.”

MND Scotland via Email
Natalie with mum Gillian, who has been a huge support since her diagnosis.

Natalie found her diagnosis extremely difficult, and decided to keep the news strictly to close friends and family. 

She was forced to call her father who lives in Aberdeen to tell him the news, unable to see him in person due to lockdown restrictions. 

“For about two or three weeks I was very disengaged, not really talking. It wasn’t until about three weeks before it properly sank in with me when I did all the research.

“I didn’t stop crying for about two days.”

Natalie walks with crutches but now needs a wheelchair for any longer trips. 

Despite her diagnosis, she has gone on to raise more than £2000 for MND Scotland to help fund vital research. 

MND Scotland via Email
Natalie took part in a fun run to help raise more than £2000 for MND Scotland.

“There are days when I think I hope there is a cure one day, because even if it stops it just from progressing, it would make my life easier as well,” she said.


“I think, will I have leg use in six months time or is it just going to be five years time, because I just don’t know.”

Iain McWhirter, MND Scotland’s interim chief executive, has thanked Natalie for sharing her story ahead of the charity’s 40th anniversary on June 23. 

“It’s important to remember that MND isn’t rare, with a lifetime risk being one in 300,” he said.

“That’s why during our 40th anniversary we’re appealing to the public to help us to fund even more research, so that we can find a cure much, much quicker.”

Natalie said that while she is scared of what the future will bring, she is determined to stay positive. 

“It’s scary to think that eventually my legs are going to go but at the same time, I know my legs are going to go eventually one day, so at the moment I’m just taking every day as it comes,” she said.

“I’ve been given this card so I’m just trying to make the most of life basically.”

To donate to MND Scotland, click here.

Public urged not to approach teen who breached curfew

Jamie Bain, 19, breached the terms of his home detention curfew and may have connections in the Edinburgh area.

Police Scotland
Curfew: Public warned not to approach Jamie Bain.

An appeal has been launched to find a teenager who has breached the terms of his home detention curfew.

The public have been warned not to approach Jamie Bain, who is believed to have connections in Edinburgh and the Borders.

The 19-year-old was recently released from Her Majesty’s Young Offenders Institute in Polmont.

He is white, with light brown/blonde hair, 5ft 9in and of slim build.


Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to contact Police Scotland on 101, quoting incident number 2584 of June 4.

Those wishing to provide information anonymously can do so through the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

FM thought ‘One Britain One Nation’ campaign was a spoof

Nicola Sturgeon said that the campaign is 'ludicrous'.

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The campaign received backing from the Department for Education.

Nicola Sturgeon has said she thought a new campaign which aims to encourage school children to sing a patriotic song about Britain was a “spoof”.

The campaign, which has received backing from the UK Government, was founded by a retired police inspector and seeks to “promote, rejoice and celebrate the successes of our people under the common and collective identity of being British”.

It would see school children participate in ‘One Britain One Nation (OBON) Day’ on Friday from 10am.

The song includes lyrics such as: “We are Britain and we have one dream. To unite all people in one great team. Strong Britain. Great Nation. Strong Britain. Great Nation.”


The Department for Education (DfE) said it is encouraging schools across the UK to celebrate OBON Day on Friday, so “children can learn about our shared values of kindness, pride and respect”.

But, No 10 said the DfE had not asked anyone to sing songs or to promote any specific materials for One Britain One Nation day

The campaign has faced criticism online including from Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson, with Sturgeon calling the campaign “ludicrous”.

“I have to say when I saw it on social media yesterday I assumed it was a spoof, I didn’t think it was real,” said the First Minister.


“I’m trying to imagine the outrage there would be if the Scottish Government was insisting or even encouraging Scottish school kids to sing some song about how great Scotland is.

“People would be – and rightly so – up in arms about it. It’s ludicrous and it perhaps says everything about the disinterest the UK Government has in Scotland that they’re asking this to happen on the day Scottish schools go off on their holiday.

“Every aspect of it is ludicrous and I think it says sadly so much that we know about the misguided priorities, the hypocrisy and just the ridiculous nature of a lot of what this UK Government is doing.

“Meanwhile, EU citizens that have been here for most of the lives and are working so hard to help make the country what it is are having to jump through hoops to stay here.”   

Speaking to ITV Border, Scottish secretary Alister Jack said: “Well, it’s a matter for school children and their teachers.

“I’ve heard the song, I mean, it’s about British values of tolerance, of pride, of fairness.

“But as I say, it’s entirely a matter for teachers in schools as to how they want to do it.


“I wouldn’t be telling them what they should or shouldn’t do.”

Yousaf says his ‘door is open’ amidst nurses’ pay dispute

Concerns were raised in a letter sent to the health secretary by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN).

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The RCN said that pay for nurses has not kept pace with the cost of living.

Humza Yousaf has said that his “door is open” after members of a nursing union formally lodged a trade dispute with the Scottish Government over pay.

Concerns were raised in a letter sent to the health secretary by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) on Wednesday.

In the letter, RCN Scotland board chair Julie Lamberth wrote that members have “serious concerns regarding the recruitment and retention of the nursing workforce in Scotland and the impact this has on patient care”.

She also said that nursing pay has “not kept pace” with the cost of living and that the Scottish Government’s NHS pay offer “falls far short” of the RCN’s call for a “significant pay rise that applies equally across all bands”.


In May, the Scottish Government announced a pay deal that will see most health care workers receive a 4% rise.  

Lamberth said: “The Scottish Government has relied on the good will of nursing staff for too long. For years, we have been responding to the challenge of delivering safe and effective patient care, in the face of increasing demands, staff shortages and low pay.

“These issues have been exacerbated by the pandemic. Nursing staff are exhausted, with worrying numbers considering leaving the profession.  

“Every patient needs and deserves the best quality of care, this can only be safely achieved with the right number of nursing staff with the right skills and expertise.”


She added: “Today’s action – writing to the cabinet secretary to lodge our trade dispute – is a formal expression of our members’ frustration and concern for patient safety. We are sending a clear message that the time to value nursing as a safety critical profession is now.”

Speaking to STV News, Yousaf said that the pay deal outlined by the Scottish Government is the “best single-year deal in devolution”.

“I’ll always listen to the RCN and I’ve met with the trade unions collectively in terms of those that we negotiate with,” he said.

“And when it comes to pay negotiations, we tend to go, and we have done this in the past, we tend to go with the majority and the majority, and those that represent the majority of health care workers and NHS staff, agreed to the 4% deal, which of course is the best single-year deal in devolution.

“And remember, it’s back-dated to December last year, so it’s an incredible 16-month deal, as I say, the best single-year deal in devolution.

“So, in one sense, I’m disappointed that the RCN has taken this step, but again, my door is very open to them, I’ll continue to engage with them.

“I’ve already engaged, as I say, with the trade unions, I’ll engage directly with the RCN and I would hope that they don’t feel the need to take any further action.”


Asked if the Scottish Government can afford to risk nurses going on strike, he said: “I would hope that it wouldn’t get to that and I think it’s important that the RCN and others do challenge governments to say, ‘look, it’s not just warm words or claps at the doorstep, but you’ve got to put your money where your mouth is’.

“And I think in that respect, we’ve stepped up to the plate. We’ve got, of course, the £500 thank-you payment which has gone into the bank accounts of nurses.

“Add to that, what will be a 4% pay deal which will go into the bank accounts we hope by August of this year, we’re already implementing it, it’s back-dated to December, it’s the best single-year deal in the history of devolution.

“It’s far more significant a pay deal than other parts of the UK. So, you know, I think we’re doing everything we possibly can, but if the RCN want a further discussion with me, I look forward to engaging with them one-to-one.”

‘Police warned gym boss over his safety weeks before death’

Gary More, 32, was fatally shot yards from his doorstep in Airdrie, South Lanarkshire, on September 6, 2018.

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Murdered: Gary More, 32, was fatally shot in September 2018.

A gym owner murdered yards from his doorstep was given a police personal safety warning six weeks before his death, a court heard on Tuesday.

Detective sergeant Nick Eaton, 45, visited Gary More, 32, at his home in Airdrie, North Lanarkshire, on July 23, 2018.

The evidence was heard at the trial of Neil Anderson, 45, who is on trial at the High Court in Glasgow accused of acting with others in murdering Mr More by repeatedly discharging a firearm at him on September 6, 2018.

DS Eaton told jurors that he was tasked with giving Mr More a category B “personal safety advice notice”.


The court was shown the notice, which read: “I’m here to inform you that your personal safety may be at risk.”

The officer said: “I explained my reasons for being there and read over the notice.

“I asked if he had any questions and he provided ‘no comment’ in relation to that.

“I asked him to sign the document and he agreed he would, he signed it and I left the property.”


Neil Anderson’s QC Donald Findlay later asked DS Eaton if Mr More was “interested” in the document, which the officer replied: “No.”

The court then heard from Mr More’s friend and neighbour David Hughes, 41, who stated he had delivered money to an unknown man in Bothwell, South Lanarkshire, for him.

Hughes later told jurors that he went to the murder scene after hearing a “noise I hadn’t heard before”.

The joiner said the man from Bothwell was beside Mr More when he arrived.

Prosecutor Liam Ewing QC asked: “What did you ask him?”

Mr Hughes replied: “Who it was that done it.”

Mr Ewing then said: “What did he say?”

Mr Hughes responded: “He could smell it. I didn’t know [what he meant], I was confused.”


The witness claimed he tried to speak to Mr More, who “made a noise as if he was trying”.

Mr Hughes stated he went to look for the emergency services, who were stopped at the bottom of the hill leading into the street.

Mr Ewing put to Mr Hughes that the court will hear that the ambulance would not attend without armed police.

Mr Hughes replied: “Yes, and a helicopter as well.”

Mr Ewing put a police statement Mr Hughes gave on February 2019 to him.

It said: “I don’t know how much [money] he owed exactly but I know it was a lot.

“I don’t know who he owed it to but he said it was the big boys, I took that to mean gangsters, crooks.”

Mr Hughes then stated in court: “He said once the big boys were out the road he would be happy.”

Mr Ewing asked: “Did he tell you he was moving and he had a big bill to clear before he could do that?”

Mr Hughes replied: “Yes.”

Jurors were then told Mr Hughes and a neighbour dropped off a vacuum bag “three inches” in width which contained money to a man in a gated Bothwell estate on July 10, 2018.

Mr Hughes claimed he next saw the man walking into Mr More’s front garden on the same day and said it was “strange”.

He then stated the next time he saw the individual again was beside Mr More at the murder scene.

Neil and David Anderson, 37, are also accused of behaving in a threatening or abusive manner towards Mr More by attending at his home, threatening him and demanding money.

The Andersons also face a separate allegation of being concerned in the supply of drugs between March and September 2018.

The offences are said to be aggravated by a connection to organised crime.

Both deny the allegations.

The trial continues before judge Lord Mulholland.

Number of weekly Covid deaths back in double figures

There have now been 10,150 fatalities in Scotland linked to the pandemic.

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Covid: Figures show 13 deaths were recorded in the week of June 14-20.

Weekly Covid-19 deaths in Scotland have hit the highest number in almost two months, the latest data shows.

Figures from the National Records of Scotland (NRS) show 13 fatalities were recorded in the week of June 14-20.

This is up six on the previous week and is the first time the total has hit double figures since the seven days from April 26, when 19 deaths were recorded.

The coronavirus death toll since the start of the pandemic now stands at 10,150.


Of the deaths in the most recent week, three were people aged under 65, two were 65-74, and eight were over 75.

Four of the deaths occurred in Glasgow, two in Perth and Kinross and one each in Dundee, Falkirk, Highland, Midlothian, South Ayrshire, West Dunbartonshire and West Lothian.

Ten of the deaths took place in hospitals, one was in a care home and two were at home or in a non-institutional setting.

By comparison, the number of deaths from all causes registered in Scotland in the same week was 1046 – 46, or 5%, more than the five-year average.


There were nine more deaths from circulatory causes, three more deaths from cancer and 56 more fatalities from other causes compared to the five-year average.

Deaths from respiratory diseases (-25) and dementia/Alzheimer’s (-7) were below average.

The Covid statistics are published weekly and cover all deaths registered in Scotland where coronavirus was mentioned on the death certificate.

They differ from the lab-confirmed coronavirus deaths announced daily by the Scottish Government because the NRS figures include suspected or probable cases of Covid-19.

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