Scotland

Scotland's papers: Indyref2 and the Union 'fire up' election debate

Image caption Scotland featured prominently in the TV head-to-head between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn. The Daily Mail says the prime minister insisted he would not back a second independence referendum as he vowed that the Union was more important to him than Brexit.
Image caption The Herald leads with Mr Johnson accusing Mr Corbyn and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon of having "probably" done a deal on indyref2. Mr Corbyn dismissed claims of a Labour-SNP coalition government as "nonsense".
Image caption The Scotsman focuses on the same claim by Mr Johnson, with his Labour rival insisting there would be "no deal with the SNP and no support for a Scottish independence referendum in the early years of the next Labour government".
Image caption The Times reckons Boris Johnson came out on top after his clash with Mr Corbyn. The paper highlights a snap poll which gave the Tory leader a 51-49% victory over his Labour rival.
Image caption The Daily Express says the prime minister "tore into" Mr Corbyn in a debate that "ignited" the campaign. It says Mr Johnson "stands firm" after his performance.
Image caption It was a "historic head-to-head", says the i, but the two men "reverted to attack lines" on Brexit and the NHS. The paper points out that Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon were "shut out" of the debate.
Image caption The National says the prime minister "slammed the SNP and indyref" during the ITV clash. The paper leads with a follow-up to its story on Tuesday about a Tory election candidate being dropped over Islamophobic and homophobic comments he made online. It quotes Labour peer Lord Alf Dubs, whose family fled the Nazis, saying the Conservative party must "face up to racism" within its ranks.
Image caption Away from the political cut and thrust, the Daily Record leads with claims that a convicted drug dealer is funding a "lavish lifestyle" by breeding and selling designer puppies. The paper also says there are calls for Scotland Yard to release notes kept by royal protection officers that detail Prince Andrew's movements during the period when he was a friend of paedophile Jeffrey Epstein. The prince strongly denies any wrongdoing.
Image caption Meanwhile, The Scottish Sun reports that the Duke of York cancelled a visit to flood-hit areas in Yorkshire following his "disastrous" TV interview and how corporate backers are withdrawing support from his business mentoring initiative.
Image caption The Daily Star features an interview with TV and stage star Christopher Biggins, who claims political correctness has ruined traditional British pantomimes and forced acts such as The Krankies to quite the festive panto scene.
Image caption The Courier's Fife edition leads with court evidence of a "gangster-style" stand-off in a Kirkcaldy street which saw the mother of convicted drug dealers shot in the chest. Robert Speed has been jailed for 40 months for the BB gun attack.

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