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Lord Ashcroft polls: 'Bad news for Scottish Labour, but great news for the Tories'

Commenting on the latest polls by Lord Ashcroft, Scottish Labour Leader Jim Murphy has said "David Cameron will be rubbing his hands with glee when he sees these polls".

There is no gloss that can be put on these polls. This is bad news for Scottish Labour but great news for the Tories.

David Cameron will be rubbing his hands with glee when he sees these polls, because any seat the SNP take from Scottish Labour makes it more likely the Tories will be the largest party across the UK.

We can’t let David Cameron back into Downing Street by the back door. That would be a disaster for Scotland, but it looks like that is what might happen if these polls in Scotland are repeated on election day."

– Scottish Labour Leader Jim Murphy
Leader of the Scottish Labour Party Jim Murphy Credit: PA Wire

But the Scottish Conservatives say this poll shows that their "are now in a real fight across Scotland".

A spokesperson for the Scottish Conservatives has said:

With the Liberal Democrat vote having collapsed completely, we offer Scots the opportunity to unite around a plan to finish the job of economic recovery and to secure Scotland’s place in the UK – any other vote will let Ed Miliband into Downing Street, with Alex Salmond calling the shots.

That’s the message we will be delivering before May. We know that more and more Scots are backing that plan.”

– Scottish Conservatives spokesperson
Leader of the Scottish Conservatives Ruth Davidson Credit: PA Wire

The Scottish National Party's General Election Campaign Director Angus Robertson MP has said the polls "are very encouraging", but that they aren't taking a single seat or vote for granted in May".

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National Decommissioning Authority statement

The National Decommissioning Authority response to Sellafield clean up cost figures:

"The NAO’s latest report points to improved performance at Sellafield in the last 12 months.

"The NDA has continued to report openly about the challenges faced in tackling the historic legacy at Europe’s most complex and hazardous nuclear site.

"The primary reason for increases in costs and schedule is because we now have a better understanding of the technical approach necessary to tackle these unique facilities that date back to the 1940s and 50s.

"Before deciding whether to cancel the contract with Nuclear Management Partners the NDA needed to first satisfy itself and Government that it had an alternative model that would give greater confidence of delivering progress and value for money. We have been through a thorough process to underpin that important decision."

– Bill Hamilton, Nuclear Decommissioning Authority

"We will do everything possible to work with cycle groups"

The company taking over the franchise of ScotRail at the beginning of next month, Abellio, insist cyclists will be catered for.

They issued the following statement:

"We will do everything possible to working with cyclists and cycle groups. Going forward after we commence operations on 1st April 2015 together with train manufacturers and cycle users, we will examine innovative ways of providing better on-board cycle storage. This will be done as a priority when we refurbish High Speed Trains for the inter-city service network. We will ask manufacturers for a range of solutions offering the most efficient and user-friendly way of cycle storage and will look at best practices all over Europe to cater for cycle spaces.

"The gain for cyclists in Scotland will be that we plan to invest £1.6m to increase the number of cycle spaces at stations by 1,500 within the first three years of the franchise. We will introduce three new, fully-staffed Dutch-style Cyclepoints at the key city hubs (Glasgow, Edinburgh and Stirling), which will provide the full range of services including cycle sales and hire, and Cycleparks+ at a further five stations and will add at least a further 2,000 cycle spaces – giving more than 3,500 over the first three years. In addition we will launch a ‘Bike&Go’ cycle hire network which will enable customers to complete their onward journeys by cycle from at least 10 specially selected stations, for only £3.80 per day.

"We will provide greater off-peak cycle capacity on trains: all new and refurbished trains will have multi-functional areas in addition to cycle spaces, creating up to six cycle spaces per three car unit. Customers will be able to reserve their cycle spaces in advance on our customer app in line with ticket purchase, and we will provide information on whether a particular train has spare capacity."

– Spokesperson for Abellio
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