Jack warns Clegg and Cameron: Trust will be tough

By Michael MacLeod

SCOTLAND’s former First Minister Jack McConnell says trust, rather than the economy, will be the biggest challenge to the new UK Government.

Mr McConnell says the Tory and Lib Dem coalition will have “life and death” decisions to make – but the key will be their relationship.

He praised David Cameron and Nick Clegg for “a great start,” but warned that head-to-head battles are inevitable and potentially damaging.
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Ex-PM Brown still the boss, as he sends wife to Tesco

By Cara Sulieman

AFTER his very public departure from high office, it was perhaps of little surprise that Gordon Brown would chose to keep a low profile on what was his first day back as a jobbing MP.

Back in his beloved Fife, at the North Queensferry home where his children no doubt were enthused as to how daddy suddenly had so much free time, the former Prime Minister stayed behind closed doors.

It was his wife Sarah, a rock to him these past few tumultuous days, who was to run the gauntlet of photographers, TV crews and reporters camped at the end of their driveway.

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Election countdown is on as Salmond rallies troops

By Michael MacLeod

ALEX Salmond got up on a soapbox to rally his SNP troops ahead of a frantic last few hours of canvassing today.

He made a tub-thumping speech to activists at the party HQ in Edinburgh while standing on a tiny stage.

The First Minister said Labour were “finished” as a government, urging his party staff to hit as many doors as possible in the final few hours before polls open.

He said: “Only the SNP can protect this country from the London parties, none of whom put Scotland first.

“Labour are finished, while the Tories are arrogantly saying they can rule with no Scots MPs and the Lib Dems are ready to do a deal with David Cameron.”
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GE2010: Tories on track to turn back time on Scotland

Deadline reporter PAUL THORNTON joined SNP leader Alex Salmond for an interview on the campaign trail during his journey between Edinburgh and Glasgow as the countdown to polling continues.

THE SNP has warned that Scotland is on track to be dragged back into a Thatcher like era even if the Tories fail to win any seats north of the Border.

During a coast to coast rail journey between Edinburgh and Glasgow, Nats leader Alex Salmond said only the prospect of a hung Parliament through voting for his party could stop that from happening.

Mr Salmond said: “We are now certain that there are only two possible outcomes to this election.

“One is a balanced Parliament.

“But we also have to look at the possibility that there is a Tory government.

“We are hoping for a balanced Parliament because that would allow for a strong block of SNP and Plaid Cymru, a Celtic block to get success for Scotland.

“David Cameron has refused to answer the question whether he is going to tear up the funding formula and have a special Scottish cut in addition to all the other spending cuts.

“It is an incredible claim by the Conservatives that even if they get no MPs at all in Scotland they will rule the country on the back of anyone who votes Liberal or Labour.

“That is what Margaret Thatcher used to do in the 80s and David Cameron seems to want to take us back to the 1980s.

“What we have got from Labour now, it looks like the last desperate throw of the dice, if they had said this at the start of the campaign then there might have been some logic to it but now in the last few days it looks like ‘oh dear, we are getting beat what can we think of to try to prop up our position?’. Continue reading

Murphy vows to smash far right party with local coalition

By Rory Reynolds

THE BRITISH National Party’s Scottish leader aims to contest Jim Murphy’s seat in the May election as part of PR drive to win a seat at Holyrood next year.

The far-right party will use the Westminster election campaign to gain publicity for the next Scottish Parliament election in 2011, where they believe they can win a regional list seat.

Murphy’s East Renfrewshire constituency will be one of the key battlegrounds north of the border, with the BNP even claiming that they could cost Labour enough votes to allow the Tories to take the seat.

The BNP admits they will lose in May, but hope to boost their support and will be fielding candidates against Gordon Brown, Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling as well.

However, Murphy has said he will unite Christian, Muslim and Jewish groups to battle the party, which he described as “abhorrent”. Continue reading

Pastor Praises Gordon Brown in home town

By Andrea McCallum

A CHURCH leader from Gordon Brown’s home town has taken out an advert in his local paper to support the under-pressure PM in the upcoming election.

Reverend Joe Nwokoye insists the Fife-born Premier is the best candidate for the job.

And Dr Nwokoye – a pastor in Kirkcaldy – hopes to inspire Mr Brown’s home town voters.

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Former Army chief Sir Richard Dannatt accused of being Tory stooge as Labour Peer goes on the attack

By Shaun Milne

THE FORMER head of the British Army has been branded a “Tory stooge” after it emerged he stands to become a junior minister should David Cameron’s party be swept to victory at the next General Election.

Labour reacted furiously to news that General Sir Richard Dannatt may be handed a Peerage to allow him to enter a Conservative administration as adviser on defence if they can seize Downing Street.

UNDER FIRE: General Sir Richard Dannatt

UNDER FIRE: General Sir Richard Dannatt

Mr Cameron, who is expected to unveil the appointment in Manchester tomorrow (thur), fuelled the speculation when he said: “He is a man of great talent and ability.

“He has been a great public servant and I think he has more to do.”

Such a move would be lauded by the Tory Party faithful – but fiercely rounded upon by angry Labour figures.

General Dannatt has recently pounded the current Government with claims soldiers on the front line are being forced to take on the Taliban in Afghanistan with “at least part of one arm” tied behind their backs.

Stretched

He said Prime Minister Gordon Brown has left troops exposed by refusing to allow 2000 extra soldiers into theatre on grounds of cost.

It follows a previous volley from the General in January where he said a lack of equipment had “seriously stretched our soldiers”. Continue reading