The Scottish Sun experienced one of its biggest reactions as it led the press in forcing the Scottish First Minister to change his mind about attending the D-Day commemoration.
The Sun’s first edition on Friday of carried a “Shame on You” castigation of Jack McConnell, who had chosen to attend the 250th anniversary dinner of the Royal and Ancient golf club instead of going to Normandy. The paper accused him of insulting the war veterans.
It was the Sun, the Scottish Daily Mail and The Scotsman which led the attack, widely followed up by broadcasters Sky News, Radio Five Live and BBC News 24.
Before the day was over McConnell had changed his mind. The Sun followed up the next day with an exclusive interview with McConnell on his reasons, which included blaming the press.
Meanwhile the paper’s telephone and e-mail messages were running into the hundreds.
Editor Rob Dalton said: “First Minister McConnell’s incomprehensible decision to attend a golf dinner rather than the 60th D-Day celebrations infuriated Scottish Sun readers…
and the whole country.
“We were determined to reflect that anger in our coverage and splashed with our page one comment ‘Shame On You’, which gained immediate UKwide TV coverage.
“It provoked one of the biggest reactions ever by phone, fax and e-mail from our readers, with not one person backing Jack.
By Jean Morgan and Hamish Mackay