This is the front page ‘exclusive’ in today’s Scottish Daily Mail:

ToriessnpThe story – not online – alleges:

  • A Tory plan to "hugely increase the powers of the Scottish Executive" in return for keeping Scotland in the Union.
  • A "senior Tory insider" told the Mail’s John Robertson of a "warm and friendly relationship" between the SNP and Tories "with an eye to mutual political advantage".
  • The Mail says the gain for an incoming Tory government would be that they could claim to have saved the Union.  Alex Salmond would be able to claim extra powers and avoid a referendum on independence that polls suggest he would lose.

The Scottish Conservatives have denied that secret talks are taking place.  Annabel Goldie issued this statement:

"No such talks have taken place. A review of devolution is currently being conducted by the Calman Commission.”

Editorial comment: "The plan doesn’t appear to make much sense.  Extra powers for Holyrood may win a temporary accommodation with the nationalists for a few years but would only take Scotland one step closer to independence.  We hope there is no truth in the story and in other rumours that the Conservatives are willing to dilute plans for English votes for English laws and reform of the Barnett formula in return for a ‘peace deal’ with the victors of Glasgow East."

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