- Nicola Sturgeon has dismissed claims of a backlash against the SNP over her plans for a second independence referendum as “ludicrous”
- The SNP returned the highest number of councillors with 431, becoming the largest party in 16 local authorities. The Scottish Conservatives experienced their best ever local government results, returning 276 council seats. Labour has assumed third position with 262 councillors. Discussions took place over the weekend on possible coalition deals after no party returned a majority on any council. Labour could find itself the “kingmaker” in many areas, choosing between supporting the SNP or engaging in a number of “pro-union” deals.
- Starting the Scottish Conservatives’ General Election campaign in Edinburgh today, Ruth Davidson has vowed to make the “Herculean effort” to bring the SNP “back down to size”.
- Ruth Davidson has claimed the Conservatives have a chance of unseating former first minister Alex Salmond after her party’s local election surge.
- The Scottish Greens’ co-convener Patrick Harvie has announced that he will be standing as an MP for Glasgow North in the General Election.
- BBC Scotland has announced it is to host a television debate with the leaders of Scotland’s five main political parties on Sunday 21 May.
- Residents in Edinburgh have raised concern that a sharp rise in holiday lets in Edinburgh city centre is making it more difficult to find somewhere to live. Research by the Scottish Green Party suggests that about half of the homes in the EH1 postcode will be holiday lets by 2050.
- New research for the Institute for Public Policy Research Scotland estimates that nearly half of Scottish jobs could be carried out by machines in just over 10 years’ time.
- Insider has compiled the latest statistics on Scottish business – from the top towns in which to be an entrepreneur, to a breakdown of ScotRail’s performance. Get up to speed here.
- Facebook has deleted thousands of UK accounts and overhauled its news feed algorithm in an attempt to address ‘fake news’. The social network has broadened its campaign to raise awareness of fake news by publishing adverts in UK papers.
- Leading anti-EU campaigners have told the BBC’s Panorama programme that Facebook played a key part in the outcome of the Brexit vote – raising concerns that the social network is set to play a decisive role in the upcoming General Election.
ENVIRONMENT & ENERGY
- According to the quarterly public attitudes tracker from Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Beis), public support for onshore wind and solar power are at all-time highs.
- Centrica, the owner of British Gas, has reported a loss of more than a quarter of a million customers since the beginning of 2017.
- The Conservatives’ manifesto is expected this week.
- Holyrood will crown a winner in its first ever Dog of the Year competition.