IT started with the inside page. If Theresa May wasn’t going to allow us into her press conference, then why should we print a story using quotes taken from the BBC, or the news wires? It would make strong point, we thought, to leave the space where the story would have gone completely blank. After all, that’s all she seems interested in giving our readers.

But while that might have satisfied our readers who have already picked up the paper, we also wanted to send a message to Downing Street that it was simply unacceptable to block Scotland’s only pro-independence newspaper from asking tough questions of the Prime Minister.

Just weeks after Donald Trump had tried to revoke the press pass of a prominent CNN journalist he didn’t like, here was his buddy May doing much the same thing in Scotland.

READ MORE: Sturgeon: National ban shows May's running scared of hard questions

A thriving democracy depends on a free press.

National readers deserve answers from Theresa May – just as much as those who buy The Herald, the Mail, the Record and The Scotsman. (They are, of course, well enough informed to treat what she does say with the scepticism it deserves).

We know if that if we hit the right note, our front pages can go viral online. We’ve had a few before which have travelled all over the world. So we took that “blank page” concept and developed it – leaving the dummy text headline on the page to reinforce our point.

You never know how it’s going to go on Twitter, but 10 retweets in the first 30 seconds was a good sign. And then things really started to happen. Before the end of the night, we’d reached Washington, Sydney and Madrid. At the time of writing we’ve had 5,800 retweets, the post seen by more than a quarter of a million people.

Theresa May tried to shut us out, but her entire trip ended up being overshadowed by her disdainful attitude towards The National.

The last 24 hours have demonstrated the power of a print newspaper, and in particular how a newspaper front page can be a force to be reckoned with – no matter who you are.

The National is already up against it as the ONLY pro-independence newspaper in Scotland.

Subscribe today, in either print or digital, and help us hold this shameful Westminster Government to account.

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