IT'S a matter of some concern that the most important issue facing the world just now – Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the slaughtering of its citizens – is being overshadowed by the Partygate affair with Boris Johnson facing increasing calls to resign.

It's very likely that the Prime Minister is using the Ukraine war to deflect attention from domestic issues in the hope that in the long term he will be forgiven his transgressions in breaking the Covid rules and will be accepted to lead the Tories into the next General Election. However, with the possibility of yet more fixed penalty notices being issued; the forthcoming publication of the Sue Gray Report and repeated allegations about him misleading Parliament, surely this situation cannot be allowed to continue ad infinitum for the good of the country. He should go now and allow another leader to take the country forward.

Likewise, Nicola Sturgeon's breaking of her strict Covid rules on at least two occasions has led to her becoming "the news" rather than the crisis in the NHS and other failing public services. She has been the main UK enforcer of the draconian Covid regulations and yet has allowed herself to "inadvertently" forget to follow her own rules, resulting in, we are told, a brief talking-to by Police Scotland. Whatever one thinks of the Covid restrictions, they were the law of the land which the vast majority of people followed, much to the detriment of some who were kept from seeing dying relatives. For the two leaders to seemingly treat the rules as of little consequence is unacceptable and both should resign now.

Surely there must be other politicians at Westminster and Holyrood who have the credibility and competence to take the country forward at this dark time. No one is indispensable.

Bob MacDougall, Kippen.


NICOLA Sturgeon has accused Boris Johnson of repeatedly breaking the law by lying to Parliament about it. Ian Blackford has also delivered his usual self-righteous whinge, demanding Mr Johnson’s resignation.

Regardless of the PM's guilt or otherwise, Ms Sturgeon's comments are a bit rich coming from the woman who misled the Scottish Parliament during the Salmond Inquiry; on 50 occasions during the same interrogation, the best she could do was "I can't recollect; I can't remember; I don't recall."

She then added: “The basic values of “integrity and decency are in inherent in any democratic parliament."

Integrity, decency and openness don’t automatically spring to my mind where this grossly under-achieving First Minister is concerned. It is still unknown where around £600,000 of supporters' contributions to SNP funds disappeared. To date this investigation is still ongoing.

Ms Sturgeon is riding for an eventual and colossal fall. For the First Minister not to have, at her fingertips, regular and updated audited accounts for such a huge sum of money, it is surely a given that her approach to running Scotland’s finances will be commensurate with her obvious belief that money grows on trees, or, more accurately by her regularly extending her begging bowl to the English taxpayer – the next generation of which may say, in effect: “Sod Scotland. We can use that money ourselves.”

This is the woman who, back in 2019, Andrew Neil exposed as have virtually zero understanding of Scotland's dire fiscal situation; whilst year on year confirming her inability to understand the basic concept that income should exceed expenditure.

Almost everything she touches from shipyards to national deficit and debt turns to lead. Beyond accountability, she rarely answers questions with anything other than a raised eyebrow, a smug smile or intolerant annoyance.

And independence will forever remain a cock-eyed, unachievable dream.

I am a Glaswegian Scot.

Doug Morrison Cranbrook, Kent.


THE "Boris and Rishi must go" bandwagon is now verging on mass hysteria. As things stand, if his party is behind him, the Prime Minister will stay until the next General Election, possibly a year away.

It has often been said that Boris Johnson is Labour's and the SNP's best recruiting sergeant and the last thing they need is a new Prime Minister and a honeymoon period that thwarts their chances.

But what if the current PM rides the storm? What if, by luck or design he succeeds, is perceived to succeed, on Covid, Brexit, levelling up, energy policy, energy prices, taxation, Ukraine, immigration, and now Rwanda,?

He'd win a landslide, Sir Keir Starmer will go, as will Nicola Sturgeon and Scottish independence. Isn't that what all this is about? Not so much what's good for the UK but what's good for the opposition leaders and their parties?

Allan Sutherland, Stonehaven.

THE First Minister informs us, via a TV talk show, that if the SNP loses another referendum, “this time”, she intends to step down and let someone else lead the nationalists in Scotland. Is she not being a little over-presumptive? For the fact first of all that as things stand there could never be a legal and binding second referendum, let alone a third.
I can see a Canada-style situation arising in Scotland where people, no matter how much pro-separation they may be, simply become so sick and tired of the constant grievances and upheavals brought on by nationalists, they give up. The Canadian separatist movement is the perfect example and is now dead and a hiccup in history, for exactly that reason.
Alexander McKay, Edinburgh.

* NICOLA Sturgeon has confirmed, on ITV’s Loose Women, that she would resign if she were to lose another independence referendum, were one ever to take place. Another great reason to vote No.
Martin Redfern,  Melrose.


IN his interview with Barrie Cumming in your paper on April 10, David Miliband praised the leadership of Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar.

He of course did not mention that at the 2021 Scottish Parliament election under Mr Sarwar's leadership Scottish Labour actually lost two more seats than they did in the previous 2016 election.

Mr Miliband also referred to the electoral challenge faced by Mr Sarwar in Scotland. He is correct about that. However, that electoral challenge might not be quite so formidable had Mr Sarwar had actually given some support to Richard Leonard, his predecessor as leader.

As former MSP Neil Findlay and some others have averred, Mr Sarwar spent much of Mr Leonard’s leadership briefing against him.

Scottish Labour would probably have been in a better position electorally and policy-wise had Mr Sarwar not behaved in such a divisive manner.

Arthur West, Irvine.


ISN'T it nice to hear our future King is happy so many people in the UK are offering rooms in their homes to refugees from Ukraine? Prince Charles finds it "profoundly moving" ("Plight of millions of displaced people left Charles ‘heartbroken’", April 17). But what is he willing to provide?

He has Clarence House in London, Highgrove House in Gloucestershire, Birkhall on the Balmoral Estate in Aberdeenshire, and Llwynywermod in Carmarthenshire. There may be others too.

What a gesture it would be if he said: "I have these rooms available. Maybe my mum could help out too. She has Balmoral, Buckingham Palace and Windsor."

What chance? I suspect no chance.

Andy Stenton, Glasgow.


THE decision to destroy Ukraine and its infrastructure is another one of those extremely callous ventures we, the people, have come to bow to over recent decades. Would it not be beneficial, therefore, if we were told who exactly were involved in the negotiations for the contracts to rebuild the country’s infrastructure and who will benefit from carrying them through once the wretched plan of destruction is fulfilled?

William Burns, Edinburgh.


JOHN-PAUL Holden's article ("Scots education is ‘normalising’ underage sex claims academic", April 17) rings alarm bells against "normalising " underage sex. The Scottish Government seems to be "normalising" sex separated from children (and marriage). We appear to be heading back to the time where Roman orgies were similarly "normalised.".

(St) Mother Teresa (of Calcutta/Kolkata) at a World Day for Young People had a better vision for young people: "Keep your chastity, chaste; your virginity, virgin; and your purity, pure."

Joseph Sullivan, parish priest, Croy.