Scotland’s Papers: Ross defends PM U-turn and ‘Match of the Pay’

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Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross has told The Scotsman that he believes Prime Minister Boris Johnson is “fit for office”. His comments, in an interview ahead of next week’s municipal election, come just three months after Mr Ross called on Mr Johnson to resign over the partygate scandal. He also told the newspaper that he is optimistic his party will not lose its hold on second place to Scottish Labor when the country goes to the polls on May 5.

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The Daily Record is leading the charge over a new TV deal that could make Scotland football fans pay more to watch the national team. SNP MSP Gavin Newlands told the paper the deal with Swedish broadcaster Viaplay has been “hard to digest” at a time when so many supporters are being hit hard by the cost of living crisis.

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Public finance auditors say further investigation may be required as to why ministers took the financial risk of Scotland’s controversial ferry contract, The Herald reports. Auditor General Stephen Boyle spoke to MSPs about the affair after Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon denied there was a government “cover up” over missing documents related to the deal award. It has seen two new lifeline craft still out of service after six years amid rising costs.

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The Times reports that millions of people suffering from arthritis will be advised to lose weight and exercise rather than take painkillers under new NHS guidelines. The policy change could save health care billions by cutting prescription costs and avoiding the need for expensive joint replacements, the paper says. It also reports that the end of the BBC license fee is near as ministers consider a “funding revolution”.

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Meanwhile, the i is leading with new sexual harassment allegations coming out of parliament following an allegation that a Tory MP viewed pornography in the House of Commons. The paper says demands for the MP’s expulsion have increased, while a female Conservative MP claims a senior Labor politician said she was a “secret weapon” because men wanted to sleep with her.

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“Disorder! Disorder!”, is the Daily Star’s headline about the various scandals emanating from Westminster. The paper highlights an apparently “toxic drink” problem, as well as recent cases where one MP has been charged with a car accident and another accused of bullying, asking: “How the hell do they find time to work?”

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The Scottish Daily Mail splashes on a Labor admission that Deputy Leader Angela Rayner attended an event alleged to have broken lockdown rules. According to the paper, Ms Rayner was in Durham in April 2021 to campaign in the same office where leader Sir Keir Starmer was pictured having a drink with officials. A party source tells the Mail that previous claims that she was not there were an “honest mistake”.

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The Scottish Daily Express is leading on the funding shake-up that could spell the end of the license fee. The newspaper says BBC bosses have been informed by the government that the annual fee is “the axe” after Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries published proposals to “overhaul” the BBC’s funding model.

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Many of the front pages feature a photo of the former British soldier who was killed fighting in Ukraine. The Metro reports that Scott Sibley’s family is supported by the State Department, along with the loved ones of another missing man. Tributes to the father of two have poured in since news of his death emerged, with a former comrade describing him as a “command ghost to the end,” the paper adds.

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The British government plans to send 8,000 troops to Eastern Europe in what the Daily Telegraph calls “one of the largest deployments since the Cold War”. Tanks, artillery, armored vehicles and aircraft are also being sent to bolster NATO forces in the region, the newspaper reports.

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The Scottish Sun reports that British comedian and actor, host of the American talk show, James Corden has confirmed that he will be leaving The Late Late Show next year. He made this known on Thursday during a tape recording of the CBS network show in Los Angeles. The newspaper says the star plans to spend more time with his family in the UK.

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Douglas Ross has been accused of acting in Westminster-style “misogyny” over comments he made about a female politician, The National reports. The paper says Karen Adam, the SNP MSP for Banffshire and the Buchan coast, claimed the Scottish Conservative leader was trying to “import the Westminster culture of misogyny”. Ross said Adam preferred to “nag” after calling out the UK government for “defaulting” North East Scotland amid a row over the replacement of EU funds that the SNP says are lagging far behind what was being announced. paid pre-Brexit.

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The Press and Journal reports that in one week, nearly 60 vehicles were stopped during a major crackdown on illegal dumping. The paper also features a dramatic depiction of a forest fire in the hills near Kyle of Lochalsh in the Western Highlands. The Scottish fire brigade and rescue services have been on the scene since Wednesday morning.

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The Courier reports that a man who wandered down a street in Perth brandishing an ax and yelling “I’m going to kill someone” has escaped jail time. First offender Mitchell Webster, 21, was given a structured suspended sentence and ordered to participate in the Right Track program for young offenders.

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A West Lothian woman has warned that those who rely on hormone replacement therapy “could die” amid a shortage of supplies of the drug. The Edinburgh Evening News reports that Marion Swarbrick was prescribed HRT after having thoughts of suicide and is now deeply concerned about her mental health.

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The Evening Express leads the charge against a man who threatened a busker because he thought he was singing about him. According to the newspaper, police officers discovered an ice pick in the suspect’s pocket.

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And the Evening Telegraph reports that a 54-year-old married man is facing jail time after being convicted of having sex with a teenage girl.

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