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

Front pages


In The Herald, Hamish Macdonell reports on a warning from Peter Bennie, chairman of the British Medical Association in Scotland. 

The National pictures Scotland’s Brexit minister, Michael Russell, saying he will be “straight and clear” when he meets Theresa May on Thursday. 

HeraldScotland: Exclusive: In the Evening Times, Caroline Wilson reports on claims that crucial evidence is being lost in child abuse inquiries because the equipment used to record interviews frequently breaks down. 

The Mail says £3bn of taxpayers’ money is being given to Scottish charities each year. 

The Record welcomes a new columnist, FM Nicola Sturgeon, who says Scotland “won’t be bullied” over the EU.

The Times leads on its Donald Trump interview. See FFS, below. “Trump salutes Brexit” is the headline in the Telegraph

The FT looks ahead to Mrs May’s Brexit speech tomorrow, noting Chancellor Philip Hammond’s hint that the UK could lower corporation tax if it did not like any deal with Brussels. See Afore Ye Go, below. 

Camley’s cartoon


Camley spies Theresa May sending a signal north ahead of her Brexit speech tomorrow. 

FFS: Five in five seconds

What’s the story? Donald Trump has been speaking of his Scottish heritage to Michael Gove of the Times. Yes, that Michael Gove. Also present was a reporter from the German paper, Bild. 

What has he said? That he inherited his pzazz from his mother, Mary Anne MacLeod, who emigrated to New York from Lewis, aged 18. “My mother was very ceremonial,” said the president-elect. “I think that’s where I got this aspect because my father was very brick and mortar.” Mrs Trump admired one Briton in particular. 

Who was? The Queen. “She loved the Queen, she loved anything - she was so proud of the Queen. She loved the ceremonial and the beauty, because nobody does that like the English.”

Anything else in the interview? He wants a quick trade deal with the UK; Brexit was a "great" move for Britain; he thought German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open door policy towards refugees was “catastrophic”; he wants Russia to reduce its nuclear weapons in return for dropping sanctions; he will ask his son-in-law to broker a Middle East peace deal; and he will start work on strengthening America’s borders soon. See Herald political editor Michael Settle's story here. Oh, and interviewed later on the BBC's Today, Mr Gove laughed off the notion that, given his relationship with Mr Trump (the pres-elect offered him the interview), he could be a pick for British ambassador to the US. 

Final word on his Scots roots? They are what made him a canny businessman. “The Scottish are known for watching their pennies, so I like to watch my pennies – I mean I deal in big pennies, that’s the problem.”

From the Mirror's Kevin Maguire.

Afore Ye Go

HeraldScotland: Nicola Sturgeon Vogue - for online.jpg.gallery.jpg

“The Vogue shoot will form part a central part of Operation Trump. Theresa knows she needs to raise her profile in the US and Anna Wintour was only too keen to help.”

The reason behind the PM’s appearance in the April US edition of Vogue, according to a source quoted by the Mail on Sunday. In appearing in the magazine, the PM is following in the footsteps of FM Nicola Sturgeon, who was featured in the British edition of Vogue in October 2015, above. Picture: Vogue 

HeraldScotland: “Andrea is very sad to be missing the chance to sing at such a huge global event but he has been advised it is simply not worth the risk.”

Opera singer Andrea Bocelli has become the latest celebrity to back out of an appearance at Donald Trump’s inauguration on Friday, reportedly following threats to his life. Theo Wargo/Getty Images


“Penthouse is offering a million dollars to anyone who has compromising videos of Donald Trump. When he heard about the offer, Trump provided the videos himself. ‘I know a good deal when I see one’.”

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


“Strong new partnership”

The new buzz phrase to describe UK-EU relations after Brexit, to be deployed by Theresa May in her speech tomorrow. Tim Shipman, Sunday Times. Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

SNP MP Alex Salmond is losing patience with the UK Government's negotiating positions.


"I do not have a vendetta of the press and stop saying that, it's not true. You submit evidence for it or don't put it forward.”

Max Mosley, interviewed by Andrew Neil, also denied money to fund the press regulator Impress was put together by his father and 1930s fascist leader Oswald Mosley. He said he inherited the money from Oswald, adding his father received it from his father with the cash passed down through the years. BBC One Sunday Politics. Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire. Leon Neal/Getty Images

Bit harsh, Kaye.

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