Hello and welcome to The Midge, the e-bulletin that takes a bite out of politics in Scotland and elsewhere. 


  • Police to contact MP after rape allegation
  • Private schools in Edinburgh fear Brexit exodus
  • Nicola Sturgeon's mother to quit politics
  • Boris sets off for Middle East

06.00 BBC Today headlines 

Conservatives win comfortably in Sleaford by-election; Labour beaten into fourth place … Boris Johnson begins visit to Middle East after Saudi criticisms … David Cameron speech … Report on state sponsored doping in Russia due … Two-thirds of public support police carrying tasers in England and Wales, says Police Fed … Obama leads tributes to astronaut John Glenn.  

07.00 BBC Good Morning Scotland headlines

Leading civil rights lawyer backs call for inquiry into football abuse ... Western Isles accuse UK Government of betrayal over wind farm subsidies ... Ruling due on George Square bin lorry crash private prosecution ... 14-year-old in serious condition after shock on rail line in South Lanarkshire. 

Camley’s cartoon


Following their success with Robert the Bruce, Camley wonders what experts can dig up on Brexit. 

Front pages


In The Herald, political correspondent Kate Devlin talks to Michelle Thomson MP about the speech she gave to the Commons yesterday revealing she had been raped at 14. “I did not know whether I would be able to do it,” she said of the address that speaker John Bercow said had left an “indelible impression” on the House.

The Mail reports that police in Northern Ireland are to examine every British Army killing during the Troubles. Up to 1000 retired soldiers face “a police witch-hunt”, says the paper. 

HeraldScotland: Exclusive: In the Evening Times, Hannah Rodger reports on the devastation caused by petrol bombs at two primary schools in Glasgow during an evening attack. 

“Allies rally to Johnson over Saudi gaffe” is the splash in the Guardian, while the Telegraph says: “Saudi row widens Boris rift with May”. 

The FT takes a look at the row over Scotland’s educational performance, with the paper saying this week’s poor ranking in a global study has been “a heavy blow” to the SNP. 

The Times leads on an investigation into the use of foreign aid cash. 

FFS: Five in five seconds

What’s the story? David Cameron is back in the news, making his first speech since leaving Downing Street after defeat in the EU referendum.  

Where? DePauw University in Indiana. 

Naturally. What has he said? That he has no regrets over calling the EU referendum, even though he said “populism” cost him his job. “I still believe that the fact we hadn’t had a referendum on this issue for 40 years was beginning to poison British politics,” he said. He also predicted trouble ahead for the Euro, saying: “I wonder how long it can last.”

The first of many speeches? Having resigned his seat, speeches, and writing his memoirs, will be the main source of income for the newly established “The Office of David Cameron Limited”. He joked to the students in Indiana that his son had seen him leaving for his American trip. “Dad,” said Cameron junior, “why are you wearing a suit? It’s not as if you’ve got a job or anything.” Public speaking will be a lucrative gig, if the experience of his pal George Osborne is any guide. 

Do tell? The Mirror today reveals that the former Chancellor has now earned half a million in just seven weeks from speeches, giving him an hourly wage rate of £26,000. 

Afore Ye Go

HeraldScotland: Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont is to stand down

"I'll be getting recycled by that point.”

Johann Lamont, convener of the Public Petitions Committee, on being told by campaigner Stephen Duff that at the current rate it would take 42 years to achieve the target of having 70% of household waste recycled. Mr Duff wants MSPs to consider “significant fines” for those who fail to recycle. 


Time was forced to defend its cover last night after being accused by on-line critics of putting "devil horns" above Donald Trump's head. The magazine said this positioning of the "M" had happened 35 times before, to subjects including the Pope and Bill Clinton. “Any resemblance to cats, bats or devil horns is entirely coincidental."


“Free and compulsory schooling for the children of illegal parents encourages more immigration, which must be stopped.”

Marine Le Pen of the French National Front. CNN. Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images.

HeraldScotland: In trouble: Foreign Secretary's views are "personal" says No 10 as it slaps him down over Saudi "proxy wars" remark

"The Prime Minister has full confidence in the Foreign Secretary.”

Downing Street on Boris Johnson yesterday after the Foreign Secretary was caught on camera criticising Saudi Arabia. Ben Birchall/PA Wire

Reckon the Supreme Court Brexit hearing wasn't a barrel of laughs? The BBC's Esther Webber has news for you.


“The White House just announced a new programme to teach computer science to more American schoolchildren. They say if it goes well, one day America will be able to hack its OWN election.”

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

In a tweet clearly inspired by The Goodies, SNP MP Tommy Sheppard purrs about a Cats Protection League reception.


Nicola 'Sturrrgeon'/Alex Salmond

The FM and former FM are included in Daily Mail columnist Quentin Letts's list of what he calls "the 75 most annoying people of 2016". Also getting in the neck are Gary Lineker, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, and "Simon bloody Schama". The Spectator

PM Theresa May in full headmistress mode at the switching on of the Downing Street lights.

Thanks for reading. See you Monday. Twitter: @alisonmrowat