This is a “sad and tawdry” tale and the plight of the women who made the initial complaints is in danger of being overlooked, says The Times. Still, with both Salmond and Sturgeon effectively accusing each other of lying, “this is now a battle for survival in which someone must lose but from which there is no guarantee anyone can emerge victorious”. Things have escalated so far it is no longer unthinkable that it could end Sturgeon’s career.
Whatever the final outcome of the police investigation into Salmond and any inquiry into Sturgeon’s role, the split between its two major figures could not have come at a worse time for the SNP, says Nick McKerrell in The Scotsman. Sturgeon is rumoured to want a second independence referendum in the near future, but that would need “a unified and strong ‘yes’ campaign” to stand any hope of winning. A police investigation, standards committee involvement and the machinations of supporters of Salmond will not help.