The Scottish election campaign has continued at pace with the release of three more party election manifestos.
All the major parties have now unveiled the policy proposals they are putting to voters ahead of the May 6 vote, with less than a fortnight left until voters go to the polls.
This week we also revealed our exclusive series of interviews between The Courier editor David Clegg and leaders of the four opposition parties in Scotland, as the Holyrood contest heats up.
Here’s a look at the top 10 political must-reads from the last week:
1. Margaret Ferrier leak: Calum Ross revealed a Scottish Government blunder that led to the release of personal details identifying members of the public who complained about Margaret Ferrier MP. Read his exclusive, here.
2. Death threat: A 66-year-old man has been charged in connection with threatening comments allegedly made to SNP candidate Fergus Mutch, Andy Philip exclusively revealed.
It is claimed the “death threat” comments were directed at the Aberdeenshire West candidate and made about SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon. Read the full details, here.
3. Exclusive leader interviews: The Courier editor David Clegg had the opportunity to quiz the four leaders of Scotland’s main opposition parties on their visions for Scotland. Read more, below:
- Willie Rennie: There will never be a ‘reasonable’ time to hold IndyRef 2.
- Patrick Harvie: We are the only ones telling the truth about changes needed for oil and gas industry.
- Anas Sarwar wants Lord Advocate role broken up in wake of Salmond saga.
- Douglas Ross says unionists must ‘get their act together’ to face ‘nationalist threat’.
4. Salmond ally: Calum Ross profiled Kirk Torrance this week, a key figure behind the scenes during the SNP’s landslide victory 10 years ago.
The digital guru, who is now the lead Alba Party candidate in the Highlands and Islands region at the Holyrood election next month, found himself embroiled in the controversy surrounding data-harvesting firm Cambridge Analytica in 2018. Read the profile, here.
5.’Damaged brand’: Paul Malik reported on campaign leaflets from the Alba Party dropping through letterboxes this week, which do not mention or feature Alex Salmond.
6. Sinister warning: Police have been contacted after a north-east Conservative supporter received a “sinister” warning on a sign purportedly from ultra-nationalist group Siol nan Gaidheal. Read the full story, here.
7. Fishing industry: Douglas Ross admitted the Scottish Conservatives have “more to do” on the challenges faced by Scotland’s fishing industry.
He told Adele Merson that the Scottish Conservatives must compensate the losses that have been experienced by fishermen but also to resolve the issues preventing some produce from being exported. Read more, here.
8. Scottish Labour’s ‘national recovery plan’: Anas Sarwar is keen to address perceptions his party is not focused on anywhere beyond the central belt.
On Thursday, he unveiled a five-point recovery plan as he pinned hopes on pushing the Tories into second place. Andy Philip covered the party’s manifesto launch in more depth in this report.
9. Alba Party manifesto: Alex Salmond unveiled his party’s manifesto for the Holyrood election on Wednesday.
The former SNP leader, who is standing on the North East regional ballot, warned against a “backsliding” on timetables for a second independence referendum. Andy Philip takes a look at the main proposals being put forward by the party ahead of May 6 here.
10. ‘Narrow’ escape from funding crisis: Experts warned Scotland could have been plunged into financial turmoil if the coronavirus pandemic had hit harder north of the border because the current UK funding arrangement may have been insufficient. Read Derek Healey’s report on the IFS research, here.