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Last Updated: Monday, 25 April, 2005, 17:13 GMT 18:13 UK
Scottish Standard newspaper folds
The Scottish Standard
The Scottish Standard has closed down after its March launch
The pro-independence Scottish Standard newspaper has folded just seven weeks after its first hit the stands.

The weekly mid-market tabloid launched in March with a print run of about 50,000 papers.

It was billed on its launch as the only national wholly-owned, printed and edited paper in Scotland. Its offices were based in Paisley, Renfrewshire.

It went on sale on 9 March at a cost of 70p, with an annual subscription costing 60.

According to reports the first issue sold about 11,800 copies and its editor Alex MacLeod said at the time that the initial public response to it had been "overwhelmingly favourable".

But there were signs all was not well last week amid reports that the paper's business editor had been made redundant.

This is a sad day for the editor and staff. They were turning out a very fine product after a very short time in existence
Alex Salmond
SNP and Standard columnist

An editorial assistant, a receptionist, a designer and three administrative staff were also reported to have left.

Scottish National Party leader and Standard columnist Alex Salmond said he learned of the paper's demise on Monday morning.

Mr Salmond said: "This is a sad day for the editor and staff. They were turning out a very fine product after a very short time in existence.

"I did everything I could to help the paper including writing for it and subscribing to it, but to start a new newspaper needs a big marketing budget.

"My view is there is certainly a market for such a publication in Scotland although launching any new newspaper requires great patience and very deep pockets."

Fellow Standard contributor and Scottish Socialist Party leader Colin Fox added: "The Scottish Standard provided a much needed radical edge to Scottish newspapers and its closure is deeply regrettable.

"It is deplorable that 40 staff should lose their jobs without any notice."

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