Daily Political Media Summary: 7 April 2010

All newspaper references refer to Scottish editions. Where there is a link to a newspaper’s website, the relevant page reference is blue and underlined.

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General Election

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Start of campaigning: Yesterday Gordon Brown announced that the General Election would take place on 6 May and the political campaign properly began. (Scotsman page 8, Eddie Barnes in the Scotsman, Brian Monteith in the Scotsman, Sun page 4, Herald page 6, Guardian page 1, Jonathan Freedland in the Guardian, Mirror page 1, Express page 1, Times page 1, Daniel Finkelstein in the Times, Record page 1, P&J page 1, Courier page 1, Telegraph page 1, Philip Johnston in the Telegraph, Simon Heffer in the Telegraph, FT page 1, Philip Stephens in the FT)

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Hung parliament: Gordon Brown yesterday agreed to delay the return of MPs to Westminster for 12 days after the General Election.  The move is seen by commentators as an acknowledgement that a hung parliament may be likely and the delay would allow time for coalition negotiations. Meanwhile Nick Clegg has signalled that Gordon Brown would have to quit as Prime Minister if the Lib Dems were to do a deal with Labour. (Scotsman page 1, Anatole Kaletsky in the Times, Mail page 6, P&J page 11, Telegraph page 5)

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Key battlegrounds: Analysis of some of the key marginal seats. (Scotsman page 6, Sun page 6, Herald page 7, Guardian page 8, Express page 5, P&J page 11, Telegraph page 6, FT page 2 and page 4)

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Class war: Gordon Brown has put class at the centre of his general election campaign, comparing his “ordinary” Scottish Presbyterian background with David Cameron’s upbringing. (Herald page 1, Guardian page 4, Mail page 1, P&J page 11)

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National Insurance: Alex Salmond said yesterday that he agreed with the Conservative party’s opposition to the National Insurance increase. (Times page 10)

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Economy

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Mortgage costs: The cost of mortgages has fallen again while the Post Office and Woolwich are both offering new market-leading rates. (Scotsman page 2)

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Tax rises: Labour has dropped plans for a new tax on phone lines, increased tax on cider and proposals to scrap tax relief on holiday homes. (Telegraph page 1)

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Crime

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Legal aid: The president of the Law Society of Scotland has warned that legal aid is still underfunded and the Scottish Government may want to consider obliging firms to provide certain legal services to the public for free. (Herald page 11)

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Local government

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Gaelic education: Glasgow council yesterday launched a three year action plan which includes proposals to open a second Gaelic school in the city and increase the use of Gaelic on signage and in the media. (Herald page 3, Mail page 17)

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Politics

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SNP burglary: Burglars broke into SNP’s headquarters in Edinburgh yesterday and stealing money and laptops. (Sun page 2)