NICOLA Sturgeon’s announcement yesterday of both a proposed date for indyref2 and the beginnings of a legal battle with Westminster was the top story of the day in Scotland – but how did the papers cover it?

We took a look at the front pages both within and outwith Scotland.

Financial Times

The Financial Times made the First Minister their main picture on their salmon-coloured front page, going with the headline: “Party pledge: Sturgeon names her date for fresh Scottish independence vote”.

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The I

Splashing on the announcement, the i – owned by the same company as the Daily Mail – ran the headline: “Sturgeon’s new bid to split from UK”.

The Independent

One readers won’t see on the newsstands because the paper hasn’t been published physically since 2016. The Independent went big on the military spending row breaking out among Boris Johnson’s Government.

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The main headline goes to the scandal-plagued Metropolitan Police being placed in special measures. John Rentoul, the paper’s chief political commentator opines: “Sturgeon gambles on a new poll date”.


The highest-circulation paper in the UK left the story off its front page in England and Wales entirely, choosing instead to focus on the major news that shamed socialite Ghislane Maxwell was sentenced to 20 years in a US prison for sex trafficking crimes in conjunction with her late partner Jeffery Epstein.

In its Scottish edition, the headline reads: “Sturgeon tells Supreme Court judges … You’re the Indy refs”, in a nod to the Lord Advocate referring the indyref2 bill to the highest court in the land.

The Press and Journal

The largest paper in the north east leads with the story, going with the headline: “Sturgeon sets off on a course for indyref conflict: First Minister warns court battles lie ahead in bid to secure second vote”.

The Yorkshire Post

Sturgeon’s announcement gets a small look in on the Yorkshire Post’s front page, albeit below the fold. The paper goes big on a lovely picture of goth Mecca Whitby Abbey and the news about the Metropolitan Police.

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The Guardian

It’s the main story on the Guardian’s front page, alongside a story about the sad news of the death of bowel cancer campaigner Deborah James, who has died at the age of 40. The headline reads: “Sturgeon in bid for new referendum in late 2023”.

Daily Record

You might remember this paper from The Vow. Today, they carry the headline: “Legal battle looms over new vote: I’ll See you in court”, along with a slightly sinister-looking First Minister.

The Daily Telegraph

Below a photo of posh boys at a cricket game, the arch-Unionist paper gives this frank assessment of yesterday’s announcement: “Sturgeon wrongfoots Westminster by sending indyref2 fight to Supreme Court”.

The Times

Britain’s paper of record left the story of its front, going instead with stories about gambling curbs, defence spending and the Metropolitan Police.

The Mirror

No mention on the Daily Record’s south of the border sister title, splashing instead on a scoop about the Maxwell trial, writing that the lawyers who brought the disgraced heiress to justice are urging US prosecutors to focus on the alleged crimes of Prince Andrew, who denies any wrongdoing.

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The Sun

Its English edition leaves the story off its front, which is entirely dedicated to tributes to Deborah James after her tragic death.

The Scotsman

The only paper other than this title to devote its entire front page to the indyref2 announcement. “Sturgeon names a date ahead of long battle for referendum,” runs the headline. Comment pieces from commentator Joyce McMillan, the paper’s deputy political editor Connor Matchett and Scottish Tory MSP trail at the bottom of the page.

The Herald

Giving over most of the front to indyref2 news, the paper announces: “Sturgeon’s dramatic gamble in move to force new referendum: Indyref2 ‘will be held in October next year’ using Holyrood’s own powers, says FM”. Columnists Ian McWhirter, Adam Tomkins and Guy Stenhouse examine the issue in the comment pages.

Daily Star

In inimitable style, the Daily Star ignores almost all main political stories of the day, focusing instead on the case of a gimp-suit wearing man being hunted by vigilantes. They run with the headline: “Squeaky bum time”.