WHAT stories does The National uncover, report, and share that are worth subscribing for?

We've put together this handy list that can give you a good idea of what we as a publication contribute to the Scottish media sphere - which is often what other mainstream and Unionist media outlets don't report on.

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Job offer after headlines leads to Home Office approval for the Brain family to stay in Scotland

In 2016, Kathryn and Gregg Brain, and at the time, seven-year-old Lachlan, made headlines when The National told of their struggle to stay in Dingwall, where they had lived for five years, because the UK Government scrapped the post-study work visa they had pinned their hopes on.

The National:

The Highlands were awash with messages of support and congratulations after the young Australian family won their battle to remain in Scotland.

Two job offers for Kathryn fell through, but she secured a position to become museum curator for Macdonald Hotels and Resorts at their flagship Aviemore resort.

Tory donor under fire for 500-mile trip to his Highland estate during lockdown

A multi-millionaire Tory donor faced questions in 2020 after it emerged that he travelled more than 500 miles to visit his sprawling Highland estate during lockdown.

Dr Christopher Moran, a wealthy London businessman, owns the 48,000-acre Cabrach and Glenfiddich Estate in Aberdeenshire.

The National exclusively revealed he travelled from his medieval Crosby Hall home in central London to his estate in Scotland. A Police Scotland officer spoke to the long-time Conservative donor but said no action was required.

The Tory donor, who once described himself as “astronomically wealthy” and is worth hundreds of millions according to the Sunday Times Rich List, is a controversial figure for the party. At the time, it was estimated he had donated at least £290,000 to the Conservative Party on a personal basis and through his companies.

Scottish independence referendum showdown in Supreme Court sees first loss for UK

We covered every element of the Supreme Court showdown and were present in the court every day, unlike most Scottish media outlets.

Before the concluding ruling in favour of the UK Government, the Supreme Court rejected their effort to have the Supreme Court case for a Scottish independence referendum thrown out without even receiving evidence.

The Westminster government had asked the court not to hear the case, asking if it would be “premature” as the proposed Referendum Bill was yet to make its way through Holyrood.

However, the court moved on to hear the written and oral arguments of substance in favour, and opposed to, Holyrood legislating for a referendum itself. 


REVEALED: PM's new aide made vile claims about women and sex on Reddit

The National revealed in early 2020 that a newly hired adviser for Boris Johnson had once claimed it was a woman’s Christian “duty” to have sex with her husband.

Andrew Sabisky, who later resigned (Kwasi Kwarteng claimed Sabisky had “jumped before he was pushed”) made the comments on Reddit, where he seemingly acted as an agony uncle to posters on the site’s popular sex forum, doling out advice on rape fantasies, incest, Christianity, and other subjects.

Sabisky had also reportedly suggested black people have lower IQs than white people and claimed compulsory contraception could prevent “creating a permanent underclass”.

The Reddit posts were deleted soon after The National approached Sabisky for a comment.

He was taken on to work on projects after Dominic Cummings’s advert for “misfits and weirdos” to work at Number 10…

Boris Johnson is an unthinking Unionist who wants to reverse devolution, Cummings says

The PM’s former aide told The National that Johnson sees both devolution and the Scottish Parliament as a “disaster”, as was reported widely last year.

Johnson said at the time that his words were “not entirely accurately” reported after it was alleged, he told a Zoom call of northern English Tory MPs that he considered devolution to be a “disaster”.

The National: Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressing the nation during a briefing on coronavirus. Picture: PA Images

He insisted he is not opposed to devolution itself, but the “way the SNP have handled devolution in Scotland”.

However, his former chief adviser Cummings, who left Downing Street one week before the disaster comments were reportedly made, told us that the Tory leader did indeed view devolution negatively - offering some further insight into how Johnson, who was PM at the time, viewed Scotland.

Supreme Court Judgment Day rally guide

The Yes movement geared up in November to receive the verdict from the UK Supreme Court on whether Scotland can legislate for an advisory independence referendum.

We talked to activists across Scotland working hard to make Scotland’s voice as loud as possible on the historic day.

Eight were originally announced with Skye, InverurieGreenock, Orkney and Lochgilphead joining, consequently widening availability of events to activists.

The National:

Stirling also announced a rally and credited our coverage showing the movement across Scotland as the reason for doing so.


Revealed: Question Time secretly edited SNP answer to Unionist plant

We've covered all the big Question Time controversies and continue to probe the BBC on the lack of transparency around how decisions around the flagship show are made.

Back in 2019, we exclusively revealed how the BBC had been plunged into fresh controversy with the sensational revelation that Fiona Hyslop’s full response to an angry Unionist was secretly edited out from Question Time in Motherwell.

Billy Mitchell, a former Ukip candidate who has appeared in the show’s audience four times, was given more than a minute of uninterrupted airtime to direct his Unionist rant at the SNP minister.

But her response to him appeared to be just seven seconds long – with some in the Yes movement suggesting in the days that followed that her rebuttal should have been much more thorough.

However, The National revealed that her full response WAS in fact significantly longer - but was chopped out in the final edit by the show’s producers.

Nominated for GRR Coverage

Political journalist Abbi Garton-Crosbie’s coverage of the Gender Recognition Reform Bill (GRR) being passed in the Scottish Parliament has been shortlisted for Best Coverage of a Live Event this year.

Garton-Crosbie worked into the wee hours of the morning across three days to ensure no one missed any part of stage three of the GRR Bill from Holyrood.

You can read her main piece here: Gender recognition reform PASSES in Holyrood after three-day debate

Alex-Cole Hamilton called to resign after saying Scotland “can never and should never exist again”

The National:

The leader of the Scottish LibDems recently said that Scotland “can never and should never exist again” in an “extraordinary” intervention during a debate on independence.

Speaking at an Oxford Union debate on Scottish independence, Alex Cole-Hamilton compared the Yes movement with the push for Brexit, saying both pined for “ancient nations” at odds with the modern world.

He said: “We are a people trapped between flags, between politicians who mythologise and pine for ancient nations that can never and should never exist again in the global world in which we find ourselves.”

A petition has been launched calling on the leader of the Scottish LibDems to resign, which has gathered pace and stands just above 8000 signatures.

Alex Cole-Hamilton issues formal apology after caught swearing at minister

The National:

The now leader of the Scottish LibDems Alex Cole-Hamilton makes a second appearance on this list!

He was exclusively spotted by The National in February 2021 mouthing “f*** you Maree” at minister Maree Todd during an online meeting of the Equalities and Human Rights Committee.

Cole-Hamilton tweeted an apology after Maree Todd responded to a tweet about The National's article on the issue. He said: "Hands up, I lost my temper here. I was frustrated by your government backsliding on children’s rights once again (as long-grassing UNCRC incorporation would have been).”

However, the pressure didn’t end there and the fallout led Cole-Hamilton to issue a full apology in Parliament.

"I apologise unreservedly to the minister.

"Each of us in this chamber should strive to reflect the better natures of the people we are sent here to serve. I am very sorry and I will reflect on that.

What it was like as only pro-independence journalist at Nicola Sturgeon's resignation

Our reporter Steph Brawn was the only pro-independence journalist in the room when Nicola Sturgeon announced her resignation.

Her piece here sums up the main reason we at The National do what we do, and what all the articles above do – we give the alternative perspective.

She wrote: “Being a pro-independence journalist is often a lonely road to follow in Scotland’s media industry, but after being in that room, it had never felt anymore necessary to continue pursuing it. Scottish audiences are being left at a disadvantage because of the tunnel vision agenda of so many news outlets and it has to change.”