Starmer promises to ‘carry the can’ as Labour braces for challenging elections

Labour leader says he will take responsibility if results go badly, as MPs warn of ‘apathy’ among voters ‘Super Thursday’ elections: what to expect in England, Scotland and Wales Keir Starmer is braced for a challenging 48 hours ahead of a bumper set of elections, as his critics prepare to seize on weaknesses in Labour’s […]

‘Super Thursday’ elections: what to expect in England, Scotland and Wales

With elections taking place for parliamentary seats, councils, mayoral roles and PCCs, here’s what you need to know Scottish election 2021: a visual guide on what to expect Elections buildup – politics live On Thursday voters in every part of the UK apart from Northern Ireland go to the polls in the biggest democratic outing […]

That creaking sound? It’s the United Kingdom starting to break apart | George Monbiot

Westminster’s self-serving rule is bolstering the cause of independence across the union. Democracy will be the winner Any residual argument for Scotland to stay within the United Kingdom meets its counter-argument in Boris Johnson. Westminster politics has always been the preserve of a remote enclave, on average massively richer and more privileged than those they […]

Take the issue of independence out of Scotland’s election and the SNP would be struggling | James Mitchell

So long as the union is centre stage, the SNP and Tories will benefit. It’s up to Labour to articulate a clear alternative The Holyrood elections will be the “most important in Scotland’s history”, according to Nicola Sturgeon. She hopes to repeat the SNP’s 2011 performance and win an overall majority to claim a mandate […]

The end of lockdown: exactly how much freedom will we have?

Next month, life is scheduled to return to some sort of normal. However, say scientists, some restrictions may need to remain Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage On 21 June England is scheduled to be released from the final curtailments of national lockdown, with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland planning to follow […]

Scotland nightclubs and bars launch legal action against Covid rules

Trade body says 39,000 jobs are at risk as a direct result of restrictions Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Nightclubs and bars have launched legal action against the Scottish government’s coronavirus restrictions, describing the curbs as “no longer justifiable or proportionate”. The trade body Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) Scotland said […]

Scotland at the crossroads: the vote that will decide the fate of the union

The SNP will win this week’s Holyrood elections – but the margin of victory will test whether it can push for independence again Eilidh Hamilton has signed three separate petitions calling for her local MP to stand down, but she won’t be voting in this week’s Scottish parliament elections. “It’s like getting back to football […]

Wish I was there: Alison Luntz’s photographs of imaginary lockdown escapes

The New York-based photographer’s series In Spirit explores the gaps between where we are, where we want to be and who we want to see In the bedroom of her apartment in Brooklyn, Alison Luntz has a large landscape photograph she took in 2018 on the Isle of Skye. A road snakes through dramatic, iridescent […]

Plaid Cymru has a mountain to climb, but Welsh independence is no pipe dream | Simon Jenkins

Wales has gone from ‘indy curious’ to ‘indy plausible’, and nationalists should look to Ireland for inspiration Next year is the centenary of the founding of the Irish Free State and the path to full independence. It is just conceivable that Scotland could celebrate by striking out alone too. But Wales? Surely not. The Welsh […]

10 of the coolest holiday rentals in Scotland

With Scotland back on the holiday map, we pick exciting places to stay, from cabins and castles to treehouses and bothies Two converted horseboxes, Thistle and Juniper, have been added to the collection of self-catering and glamping accommodation at the Alexander House estate in Perthshire. The whole place, which sleeps 25, is often rented for […]

Accusations of lying pile up against Boris Johnson. Does it matter?

Analysis: MPs and broadcasters are losing their reluctance to openly call out the PM’s deceit It was a jaw-dropping moment. This week the SNP Commons leader, Ian Blackford, asked Boris Johnson a question in parliament that was unsurprising and yet somehow extraordinary. “I can’t possibly call the PM a liar in this house,” Blackford said, […]

Scotland’s election: a stepping stone to independence? – podcast

Constitutional questions have dominated the Scottish election campaign. As voters go to the polls next week, Libby Brooks assesses whether they will give the SNP a majority and a mandate for a new independence referendum Nicola Sturgeon has said that next week’s election in Scotland is the most important in the country’s history. The SNP […]

What’s the pull? Magnet fishing proves a catch in pandemic Scotland – a photo essay

Part environmentalism, part treasure-hunting, magnet fishing has attracted a tight group of enthusiasts around Glasgow who cast their lines out for grenades, knives, cannon balls – and shopping trolleys It doesn’t take long to see the appeal of casting a high-powered magnet into a canal to find anything from scrap metal and weaponry, to unexploded […]

NatWest to move HQ to London if Scotland votes for independence

Chief executive confirms potential departure of Edinburgh-based bank after almost 300 years Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage NatWest would move its headquarters from Edinburgh to London if Scotland voted for independence, its chief executive has said. Alison Rose said an independent Scotland would be too small to support the banking group, […]

Heroin to Holyrood? Man behind ‘illegal’ drug van runs for Scottish parliament – video

Peter Krykant, who operates a van in Glasgow where people can safely take illegal drugs, is running for Holyrood as part of a campaign calling for the Scottish government to establish legal sites.  A former heroin addict, he is pushing for drug reform in Scotland, which has a reported drug deaths rate 15 times higher than the […]

‘I don’t trust him’: little buzz for Salmond or election in Scotland’s north-east

Region is a key battleground between the SNP and Tories, while mentions of Alba mostly elicit shakes of the head Sixteen-year-old Harvey Buchan will cast his first vote in Scottish parliament elections on 6 May, but as he paces the deck of a trawler in Peterhead harbour he admits it is hard to summon much […]

Ghosts review – writing the enslaved back into Glasgow’s past

Merchant City, GlasgowAdura Onashile’s app-based walking tour, created with the National Theatre of Scotland, explores the city’s historical ties to the slave trade Glasgow’s Merchant City is a construct. Before the wave of post-1980s regeneration, nobody knew the city centre district by that name. With its new identity, it was branded as a destination for […]

Johnson can thwart the SNP if he offers Scotland single market access | Simon Jenkins

If the Scottish economy aligned with the EU, it could bring financial benefits and slow down the independence movement In two weeks’ time Scotland will likely re-elect a government committed to dismantling the United Kingdom. It has been doing so, overwhelmingly, since 2007. Though the Scottish people did not say yes to independence in 2014, […]

Wetherspoon’s to reopen dozens more pubs as lockdown eases

Chain to reopen 44 sites in England, 60 in Scotland and 32 in Wales on 26 April, and three in Northern Ireland on 30 April Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage The pub group JD Wetherspoon will reopen another wave of pubs in England on 26 April, along with venues in Scotland […]

From grassroots games to the Women’s Six Nations: how Poppy and Bryony Cleall became rugby stars

Prison officer turned one-half of the world’s first professional female rugby twins, England’s Poppy Cleall talks inequality, investment and making the world take women’s rugby seriously “We want to play for England,” announces an eight-year-old Poppy Cleall on a video shared on her twin sister’s Instagram page last month. England players Poppy and Bryony Cleall […]

Boris Johnson drops plan for pre-election visit to Scotland

PM’s move, which emerged after Scottish Tories’ manifesto launch, suggests party fears his poor ratings will harm campaign Boris Johnson has dropped plans to visit Scotland to campaign for the Conservatives before the May elections, heightening suspicions the party fears he will damage efforts to lure anti-independence voters away from Scottish Labour. Douglas Ross, the […]

An independent Scotland could turn to Denmark for inspiration | Ian Jack

Instead of looking south, campaigners are looking north, to the egalitarian models of small Nordic nations What kind of country should Scotland be and how can it prosper? Surprisingly, given the swell of Scottish opinion in favour of independence, these questions aren’t much discussed. A swirling mist obscures the road beyond the referendum, occasionally lit […]

Country diary: the ospreys are back – this is the ultimate spring thrill

Badenoch, Highlands: The sight of the male taking up his proud perch and the sound of his high-pitched call mark the climax of spring The ospreys are back! All the way from west Africa, over 4,000km away, these powerful birds of prey have returned to the Scottish Highlands to breed. There is a nest near […]

The Guardian view on summer holidays: the changing search for elsewhere | Editorial

Travel restrictions have put great pressure on our familiar ways of taking time off. This could be a moment for different solutions One consequence of the UK government positing a possible date for the reopening of foreign travel but then, quite responsibly, refusing to confirm it is an anxious frenzy. What to do about the […]

Revealed: the huge British property empire of Sheikh Mohammed

Holdings of more than 40,000 hectares in London, Scotland and Newmarket make Dubai ruler one of UK’s biggest landowners The controversial ruler of Dubai has acquired a land and property empire in Britain that appears to exceed 40,000 hectares (100,000 acres), making him one of the country’s largest landowners, according to a Guardian analysis. The […]