The National:

The latest edition of The Worst of Westminster is out now and you can sign up to the completely FREE newsletter right here.

A Brexit deal reached, but what about Scotland?

Rishi Sunak finally managed to strike a deal with the EU on the Northern Ireland Protocol this week, with he and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen unveiling the “Windsor framework”.

The “new chapter” for Northern Ireland will mean the province will have access to both the EU and UK markets.

The Prime Minister was subsequently mocked for suggesting Northern Ireland was the world’s “most exciting economic zone”, before Downing Street later said he did not mean to endorse EU membership. A tad awkward …

READ MORE: Ian Blackford: The politics of energy are integral to independence

Scots have been left feeling a bit aggrieved by the whole debacle given that, prior to Brexit, the Scottish Government had repeatedly called without success for Scotland to remain in the EU single market and customs union in the event of the UK leaving the EU.

SNP MP John Nicolson said on Debate Night Scotland was the only country in the UK that had not got what it wanted and experts believe access to the single market for Scots is now “not in the least bit likely”.

WhatsApp leaks leave Hancock red-faced

If Matt Hancock was a name you thought you’d heard the last of after his I’m a Celebrity stint, you are sorely mistaken.

WhatsApp messages concerning Covid-19 leaked to the Daily Telegraph this week proved excruciating for the ex-health secretary and Boris Johnson.

Hancock described the leak as a “massive betrayal of trust”. The journalist who revealed them, Isabel Oakeshott, said she acted in the public interest.

The National: Matt Hancock said he had been a victim of a 'massive betrayal of trust'Matt Hancock said he had been a victim of a 'massive betrayal of trust' (Image: PA)

One of the messages saw Hancock say to then education secretary Gavin Williamson that the teaching unions are a “bunch of absolute arses” in October 2020 to which Williamson replied “I know they really really do just hate work”.

The messages also suggest Hancock was told in April 2020 there should be “testing of all going into care homes”. Government guidance later mandated tests only for those leaving hospital.

Meanwhile, Johnson said “dying from Covid is as big as your risk of falling down the stairs” as he revealed he had misgivings about the UK Government’s shielding advice.

Partygate is back

We finally heard from the Privileges Committee investigation on Friday into Boris Johnson’s conduct and MPs have said he may have misled Parliament over partygate on four occasions.

Evidence strongly suggests breaches of coronavirus rules would have been “obvious” to Johnson, the committee said in an update.

However, Johnson said there is no evidence he “knowingly” misled Parliament. He is due to give evidence to the committee in the week starting March 20. You may wish to get the popcorn in as well because it will be broadcast live on TV.

Kirsty Blackman sent abuse

SNP MP Kirsty Blackman revealed she had been sent abuse attacking her and party colleagues for their “disgusting mispronunciations” of English words in the House of Commons.

READ MORE: What would Shetland's energy market look like in an ideal world?

A message she received read: “May I further request that when speaking in the English Parliament the SNP members converse in ENGLISH not the most disgusting mispronunciations of almost every word with a vowel in it that they habitually use which I find a gross insult and abuse of the beautiful English language.”

Windsor day out

The SNP accused ministers of resorting to “last-minute filler debates” in the Commons to use up time amid a light legislative agenda and reports of a Tory “away day” in Windsor to prepare for the next General Election - scheduled on a day of parliamentary business.

The party’s shadow Commons leader, Deidre Brock, said that people were starting to notice the early finishes and a small number of bills passing through the chamber.


Labour leader Keir Starmer has appointed civil servant Sue Gray – who led the investigation into lockdown parties - as the party’s chief of staff.

And Tory party deputy chairman Lee Anderson has said he has sympathy with people protesting outside hotels providing refuge for asylum seekers.

He said demonstrators were just “normal family people” despite many protests being led by far-right anti-immigrant groups.