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Scotland’s papers: A Covid Christmas and court threat over ‘power grab’


Boris Johnson

Scotland’s papers: A Covid Christmas and court threat over ‘power grab’

Image caption He may not be the Grinch, but Boris Johnson’s news about Christmas was just as bleak according to many of the papers on Thursday. The Times reports the PM’s comments that “normal life is unlikely to resume before spring”. Announcing his new “rule of six” at his first Downing Street press conference in…

Scotland’s papers: A Covid Christmas and court threat over ‘power grab’

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He may not be the Grinch, but Boris Johnson’s news about Christmas was just as bleak according to many of the papers on Thursday. The Times reports the PM’s comments that “normal life is unlikely to resume before spring”. Announcing his new “rule of six” at his first Downing Street press conference in weeks, the prime minister said it broke his heart to impose the new restrictions on individuals and families.

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The Daily Telegraph agrees that Christmas is “to bring little cheer” as it details the new restrictions for England and hints that Nicola Sturgeon may follow suit in Scotland. The paper quotes Mr Johnson saying it was “too early to say” if the restrictions would still be in place over Christmas, but added that he was “still hopeful” some aspects of life could return to normal for the festive season.

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A more positive Scottish Daily Express claims Christmas can still be saved by Boris Johnson’s “moonshot” testing. He revealed ambitious plans to test millions of people every day using a rapid test.

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“Glum and number” is the Scottish Sun’s headline for their top story which claims Nicola Sturgeon may follow the prime minister’s new rules limiting the number of people meeting up to six. The paper reports the first minister as saying the rule of six was “something to look at”.

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The Edinburgh News says parents in the capital are keeping their children at home after positive cases of coronavirus were discovered in their schools. The headline claims some are “scared to go to school”.

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Public health expert Prof Linda Bauld tells the Scottish Daily Mail that social unrest is a real risk as support for coronavirus restrictions declines. In the paper, she calls for “more severe penalties” for those who flout the rules, including those who hold large house parties and illegal raves.

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Brexit is the top story in the i newspaper on Thursday, as it reports that Nicola Sturgeon has vowed to fight against the UK government’s Internal Markets Bill. Calling it a “shameless power grab”, the paper says the “widely-condemned bill” will prevent Holyrood legislating on food standards, which could lead to the introduction of chlorinated chicken.

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On the same bill, The Scotsman says Nicola Sturgeon could “take the UK to court” over the post-Brexit plans. She called the plan to create a UK single market an “abomination” that will cripple devolution.

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The National claims that independence is “the only way to save our parliament” as it slams the Internal Markets bill. It quotes Nicola Sturgeon as saying her administration will oppose the bill “at every turn”.

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The top story in the Daily Record is an international police operation which broke up a sex trafficking gang luring vulnerable women to Scotland. The paper reports that guns, knives, luxury cars and cash were seized by officers and 24 traffickers were arrested in raids in Scotland, England and Romania on Wednesday.

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Rush hour “chaos” on the Queensferry Crossing is the lead story in The Courier. A combine harvester and a tractor with trailers were stopped as they crossed the bridge at the end of the morning rush hour. Two drivers have been reported to the procurator fiscal.

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Fast food giants are “cashing in” on the coronavirus crisis, according to The Herald. It says a new report found companies “leveraged the pandemic for commercial gain” and that manufacturers of ultra-processed foods along with tobacco companies and alcohol brands “rapidly” adapted their marketing strategies to boost sales during lockdown and create a “health halo” on products known to harm public health – for example through donations of doughnuts or burgers to frontline emergency workers.

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The P&J leads with a tragic agricultural accident. An investigation has been launched after farmer John Ramsay, 61, was killed by a bull while he was working on Overton Farm near Memsie, south of Fraserburgh.

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A woman found guilty of a campaign of social media abuse makes the front page of the Evening Telegraph.

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A “violent brolly brawl” is the lead in the Glasgow Times as it reports on a video showing a fight at a city bank.

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Delays to the £223m project to build Aberdeen’s maternity hospital and cancer centre is the lead in the Evening Express. The hospitals were originally due to open next year.

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And the front page of the Daily Star claims TV presenters Ant and Dec were in tears as they attended a reunion with their former colleague at the children’s TV show SMTV, Cat Deeley.

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