Sparks Begin to Fly Between Tabloids as Election Looms Ever Closer

As the Scottish Parliament elections loom ever closer, signs of tension between Scotland's two top-selling daily newspapers.

Says a non-bylined story in the Labour-supporting Daily Record: “Rupert Murdoch's Tory-supporting Sun have agreed to back Alex Salmond's SNP in Scotland. The English-based tabloid are organising a ‘political breakfast’ on April 21, during which Salmond will address business people.

“It confirms speculation the Sun will support the Nats in the run-up to May 5. And it's a striking switch for a paper who, in a notorious lapse of taste on polling day 2007, portrayed the SNP logo as a noose.

“The Sun are now tying themselves in knots to appease Tory PM, David Cameron. He is desperate to see Labour lose as it would hurt Labour leader, Ed Miliband. But after seeing Labour's manifesto, the Record are clearer than ever that Iain Gray has the right policies for Scotland's future.

“That's why we back Labour. We're interested in what's best for Scotland and our readers.”

Although the Scottish Sun has not made a formal declaration of support for the SNP, in its leader column on Tuesday the paper indicated it was certainly anti-Scottish Labour. The leader article complemented its front-page splash, which it labelled as an exclusive, on Dundee-born actor and lifelong Labour voter, Brian Cox, jumping ship to the SNP.

The leader article said of Scottish Labour: “Bereft of bright ideas, they’ve now been overtaken by the Nats, and Mr Gray’s personal ratings are at an all-time low. The economic mess that was the legacy of Gordon Brown’s UK Government means the party can no longer be trusted to be in charge of anywhere.’

Dundee-born Cox, who provided the voice-over for a Scottish Labour election broadcast four years ago, is reported saying that, in his role as rector of Dundee University, he was backing the SNP because of its policy to oppose tuition fees for Scottish students.