General Election 2019 briefing: Corbyn could nationalise broadband | Calls for Freeman to quit

Hello and welcome to the Scotsman's daily election briefing as voters prepare to go to the polls on December 12.

Jeremy Corbyn's broadband pledge

Jeremy Corbyn's election pledge to nationalise broadband and make it free across the UK has been met back a backlash from internet providers.

Shares in BT dropped fell 4% - before rallying - and TalkTalk put the sale of one of its businesses on hold after the Labour Party announced plans to turn broadband into a public service.

Jeremy Corbyn appeared at the University of Lancaster today. Picture: GettyJeremy Corbyn appeared at the University of Lancaster today. Picture: Getty
Jeremy Corbyn appeared at the University of Lancaster today. Picture: Getty
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Jeremy Corbyn is due to officially announce the new policy in a speech in Lancaster today.

Labour has costed the policy at £20 billion, saying it will deliver free full-fibre internet to every home and business by 2030 if it wins the General Election.

Freeman 'should resign' over child death

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman is facing calls to "resign or be sacked" after it emerged that she knew of the death of a child with cancer in Scotland's biggest hospital was linked to contaminated water.

Ms Freeman's actions have been branded "unacceptable" after she refused to go public about the case which happened in September, citing patient confidentiality. The details only came to light this week after a whistleblower contacted the Labour MSP Anas Sarwar about the death in the Queen Elizabeth hospital in Glasgow.

Tory health spokesman Miles Briggs has said Ms Freeman’s time is up in the position.

Looking bright for SNP

In 2015, when the SNP won just over 50% of the vote in the general election and swept all but three Scottish constituencies, it was clear that the landslide was a hangover from the independence referendum the year before.

Two years later, when the SNP’s share of the vote slumped to 36.9% and they lost 21 of their MPs, the dominant narrative was that Nicola Sturgeon had misread the public mood, responding to Brexit by pushing for indyref2.

But according to polling guru Professor Sir John Curtice, the issue that divided the Scottish electorate in 2017 and damaged the SNP most wasn’t independence - but Brexit.

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One third of 2015 SNP voters backed Brexit in the referendum the following year. It was those voters - particularly in parts of the country where anti-EU sentiment was strongest, like the northeast - that boosted the Conservatives and helped produce their unexpected Scottish breakthrough.

Boris Johnson questioned on Russia, flooding and children

Prime Minister Boris Johnson appeared live on BBC Radio 5 Live this morning.

During the programme, the PM said there was "no evidence" of Russian interference in UK politics, amid calls for the government to release a report on the subject before the election.

He also said there were "big plans" for investing in flood defences.

And he said claims none of his children went to state school were "wrong".

'Hostile' Tory immigration plans

The Daily Record is reporting that Home Secretary Priti Patel has been accused of undermining the Scottish economy at risk with her immigration plans.

Tories were accused of “making up” immigration numbers after ditching a controversial target to cut the total.

Home Secretary Priti Patel abandoned former PM Theresa May’s failed policy in an attempt to win over Brexit supporters.