Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 05 March 2015
All newspaper references refer to Scottish editions. Where there is a link to a newspaper’s website, the relevant page reference is highlighted and underlined.
In addition to the newspaper stories outlined below, further news coverage can be found online at BBC News Scotland, STV News and Sky News.
General Election Polls: According to Lord Ashcroft’s new poll survey, the Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy, as well as the only Scottish Conservative MP, are locked in a battle with the SNP to secure their seats at the General Election. Jim Murphy is one percent ahead his SNP rival in East Renfrewshire. The survey shows a strong support to the SNP that will give them the seats currently held by former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, ex-chancellor Alistair Darling and Charles Kennedy. (The Times page 4, The Daily Telegraphpage 2, The Sun page 8, The Daily Record page 9, The National page 2, The Herald page 1, The Daily Express page 5, The Scotsman page 1, The Guardian page 12, The Scottish Daily Mail page 6, The Courier page 15, The Press and Journal page 14, The Daily Mail page 2).
James Kelly gives an analysis of Lord Ashcroft’s survey in the National (page 2).
Ukip’s immigration policy: Ukip’s immigration spokesman has reportedly contradicted Mr. Farage over whether Ukip wanted a cap on migrant numbers and a ban on terminally ill foreigners coming to Britain’s shores (The Times page 4, The Daily Telegraph page 4, The Herald page 6, The Guardian page 9, The Daily Mail page 12).
Allister Health comments on Great Britain as a nation of immigrants in the Daily Telegraph (page 22).
TV debate: Skys News and Channel 4 have launched a last call to persuade Prime Minister David Cameroun to take part into a televised election debate with Ed Miliband, offering to stage the clash at any time of the leader’s choice. However, David Cameron has said that he would only take part in one contest featuring at least seven party leaders more than a month before the elections (The Financial Times page 2, The Daily Telegraphpage 1, The Times page 2, The Herald page 6, The Guardian page 1, The Daily Mail page 2)
Nicola Sturgeon: The First Minister will meet parents from a closure-hit Catholic primary school, who wants the institution to be given to the community to run (The Herald page 5).
Equality and competitiveness: Lesley Riddoch comments on the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s change policy about the topic of the former First Minister Alex Salmond’s controversial goal of slashing corporation tax on business. (The National page 10)
SNP call for talks: Prime Minister David Cameroun has rejected First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s call for pre-election talks with the civil service on the SNP’s policy priorities (The Herald page 6).
David Cameroun: The Prime Minister has challenged Labour leader Ed Miliband to rule out any “grubby deal” with the SNP after May’s General Election (The Herald page 6, The Press and Journal page 14).
Alex Salmond: Former Scottish First Minister is believed to be in talks with Rupert Murdoch’s News UK for the serialisation rights to his new book about the referendum campaign, reportedly titled The Dream Shall Never Die: 100 Days that Changed Scotland Forever, due to be published on March 19 (The Herald page 6, The Scotsman page 3,The Press and Journal page 11)
John MacLead comments on Alex Salmond’s new book in the Scottish Daily Mail (page 16).
GE Financing: Tony Blair has donated £1,000 to Labour’s election campaign in each of its 106 battleground target seats in the North and South of the Border, in an attempt to rebalance the campaign spending gap with the Tories (The Herald page 7, The Daily Mailpage 10).
Oil: Scotland’s oil and gas industry could be facing an economic tumbling according to the experts, if the Chancellor George Osborne does not use the budget to reform the sector’s “highly complex tax regime” (The National page 3, The Herald page 13).
Scotland’s economy: Bill Jamieson comments on Scottish Government’s policy about economics in Scotland in the Scotsman (page 23).
Drug Reform: The Liberal Democrats manifesto will commit the party to ending imprisonment for the possession of drugs for personal use, as well as ensuring that those arrested with small amounts of illicit substances do not get a criminal record (The Herald page 6, The Daily Mail page 4)
NHS Central Register: Plans to open an NHS ID database to about 120 public bodies have been narrowly backed by MSPs when The Liberal Democrats called for a debate about NHS central register at Holyrood yesterday. Liberal Democrats are opposed to the will of the Scottish Parliament to expand access to public bodies, which would allow agencies to check the name and address of who they are dealing with. (The Times page 2, The Daily Telegraph page 2, The Sun page 2, The Herald page 6, The Daily Record page 9, The National page 4, The Daily Express page 5, Opinion in the Scotsman page 24, The Scottish Daily Mail page 2, The Courier page 14, The Press and Journal page 14)
Iain Macwhirter comments on the action of the Liberal Democrats for “standing up for our liberties” in the Herald.
Keith Aitken comments on the identity crisis over database plan in The Daily Express (page 13).