By a Newsnet reporter

The SNP have called upon Scottish Conservative leader to explain and clarify the role to be played by London-based arch-Thatcherite lobbyist Andrew Dunlop in the anti-independence campaign.  Last month, Mr Dunlop, who is also a Conservative councillor in West Sussex, was employed by David Cameron as his special adviser in the Conservative campaign to defeat Scottish independence.

By a Newsnet reporter

Last month David Cameron appointed Andrew Dunlop as his new adviser on Scotland.  Mr Dunlop was hurriedly given the job in order to bolster the Conservatives’ ailing campaign against Scottish independence.  Andrew Dunlop is well-known in Conservative circles for his lobbying work for right wing pressure groups and think tanks.

By a Newsnet reporter

New figures from GERS (Government Expenditure & Revenue in Scotland) for 2010-11 show that an independent Scotland is financially better placed to fund pensions and welfare than the UK as a whole.  Benefits payments in Scotland represent a smaller proportion of total government revenues than they do elsewhere in the UK.

By a Newsnet reporter

The SNP have criticised the Tory party for their inability to offer anything new to the people of Scotland in their latest anti-independence campaign.  Led by Ruth Davidson – whose popularity amongst the Tories has plummeted over 75 points to an approval score of just 4.8% – a new campaign called ‘Conservative Friends of the Union’ will be launched on Friday at the Conservative conference in Troon.

By a Newsnet reporter

The ToryHoose website, with a readership of Scottish Conservatives, carries out regular surveys of Conservative MSPs’ popularity amongst grass roots Tories.  In the website’s most recent survey of 300 Scottish Conservatives, support for new party leader Ruth Davidson has dramatically collapsed.  In the last survey, Ms Davidson enjoyed an approval rating of 82.1%, however in the latest poll of Conservative opinion, her support has fallen to just 4.8%, a drop of 77.3%.

By a Newsnet reporter

The SNP has welcomed the passing of the Alcohol (Minimum Pricing) (Scotland) Bill at stage one in the Scottish Parliament.  86 MSPs voted in favour of the Bill, including former Labour Health Minister Malcolm Chisholm. 

Mr Chisholm was the sole Labour MSP to support the minimum pricing bill, 32 Labour colleagues abstained.  

By a Newsnet reporter

The SNP has made a scathing submission to the Future Maritime Surveillance inquiry by the Commons Defence Select Committee which examines the UK Government’s approach to this vital aspect of defence.

In a detailed submission, SNP Westminster Leader and Defence spokesperson Angus Robertson MP points out that MoD cuts leave the nations of the UK as the only maritime state in Europe not to have long range surveillance and search and rescue capabilities.