News in 5 Minutes: Andy Wightman MSP prepares to defend himslef from defamation allegations, Labour figures swing behind federalism policy and what nobody wants for Christmas

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TODAY’S INSTALMENT (12 December) of the CommonSpace daily news roundup includes Andy Wightman MSPs preparations to defend against defamation allegations, growing support in Labour for federalism and the thing nobody wants for Christmas.

News: Andy Wightman MSP prepares to fight defamation suit

Land campaigner promises to defend himself “to the utmost”

Scottish Green MSP and leading land reform campaigner Andy Wightman has promised to defend himself “to the utmost” against a defamation suit worth £750,000. Friends of the MSP have taken to social media to threaten resistance to attempts to silence him.

Politics: Momentum grows behind Labour federalism policy

Scottish Labour in bid to mark party out on constitutional matters

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has become the latest Labour figure to back plans for the policy to adopt a ‘new act of Union’ policy for a federal UK. Former Edinburgh MP Mark Lazarowicz has called on former Prime Minister Gordon Brown to head the campaign which will see a more decentralised UK state with greater devolved power.

Sport: John Swinney calls for football abuse inquiry

Deputy first minister calls for independent inquiry

Deputy first minister John Swinney has called on the Scottish Football Association (SFA) to accept an independent investigation into allegations of historic sexual abuse in the Scottish game. However, he ruled out extending the Scottish Government’s historic abuse inquiry on the grounds that it would see that inquiry exceed its current duration.

Culture: Inverness sees tourism boost off back of Outlander success

Small Scottish city aided by falling pound and direct flights

The small Scottish city of Inverness has seen a huge boost in tourism in recent months off the back of the international success of the Outlander television series. The US historical drama, set in Jacobite era Scotland, has been aided by a falling pound and more direct flights to the highlands in driving an 80 per cent in bookings to visit the town.

Weather: Mild weather still holding up, but you can feel the chill settling in

Or at least you’d hope so, it’s almost the middle of winter

The mild weather has certainly been nice, but it’s also a little troubling. Some scientists are saying the latest outbreak of avian flu has been helped by unseasonably warm temperatures across parts of Europe. There are highs of 10 degrees in parts of the Highlands today.

And another thing: People will never learn

Nobody wants your cheesy political anthem for Christmas

A pop-folk, Christmas themed, single to raise support for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn (and to be fair to them, money for the Trussel Trust, which organises foodbanks). Definitely not what you want to find in your Christmas stocking. When will people learn?

Pictures courtesy of Simon VarwellRichard_GoughScottish GovernmentmendhakKen

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