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Ashcroft Poll: '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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New selection process for Conservative candidates in the Borders

The Conservative Party is changing the way it selects Westminster parliamentary candidates in a key Borders seat.

Anyone living in the** **Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk constituency can apply to vote in the selection process.

The Tories say the open primary system will give electors more of a say in choosing their MP.

Ruth Davidson MSP, Leader of the Scottish Conservatives told ITV Border how the process would work:

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MPs get reimbursed for travel for Thatcher tributes

Members of Parliament travelling back to the UK from overseas to pay tribute to Baroness Thatcher can claim up to £3,750 in travel expenses, it was confirmed today.

MPs are able to claim for their journeys back following the recall of Parliament during the Easter recess, the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) says.

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Baroness Thatcher's funeral set to cost '£10 million'

Tributes have been left outside the home of Baroness Thatcher in Belgravia. Credit: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The funeral of Baroness Thatcher, which is being planned by a special Cabinet Office committee under the name ‘Operation True Blue’, will reportedly cost around £10 million.

Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude yesterday said MoD, the police, Number 10, Parliamentary authorities, the Thatcher family and the Conservative Party were in involved in planning the ceremony.

It will be the biggest security operation since the Olympics, according to The Sun, as fears mount that protestors could attempt to disrupt proceedings.

The Guardian says the threat of Irish republic terrorists are under the spotlight.

The Independent reports that social media and internet forums are being monitored for potential troublemakers.

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Adams: Thatcher 'did great hurt to Irish and British people'

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams has criticised Lady Thatcher, saying "her Irish policy failed miserably":

Margaret Thatcher did great hurt to the Irish and British people during her time as British Prime Minister.

Working class communities were devastated in Britain because of her policies.

Her role in international affairs was equally belligerent whether in support of the Chilean dictator Pinochet, her opposition to sanctions against apartheid South Africa; and her support for the Khmer Rouge.

Here in Ireland her espousal of old draconian militaristic policies prolonged the war and caused great suffering.

Margaret Thatcher will be especially remembered for her shameful role during the epic hunger strikes of 1980 and ’81.

Her Irish policy failed miserably.

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Football clubs 'will not be asked to hold minute's silence'

Rob Harris, a reporter for The Associated Press, says the Premier League will not be asking clubs to hold a minute's silence for Margaret Thatcher.

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