Blow for Better Together as leading figure admits he could vote Yes

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  By Martin Kelly

The anti-independence campaign Better Together has suffered an embarrassing blow after one of its most high profile campaigners admitted he would be prepared to vote Yes in the independence referendum, and said it was “time for change”.

Mike Dailly who is a solicitor with the Govan Law Centre has told Newsnet Scotland that the prospect of an independent Scottish Republic “would be a game-changer” for himself and, he claimed for “many others”.

The admission from the Better Together campaigner that he would be prepared to vote Yes is a blow to the pro-Union group and the first admission from any senior figure from either camp that they could switch support to the other.

Mr Dailly had been contacted by Newsnet Scotland after we were alerted to an online discussion he took part in, in which he said, “I’d vote Yes if we ditched the monarchy”.

In the discussion Mr Dailly attacked the monarchy and complained that the UK suffered from a “despicable social apartheid”, he added: “Children go to foodbanks while the rich don’t pay tax and earn income from the poor in the UK. Time for change.”

Following our inquiry, the Better Together campaigner said however that the prospect of an independent Scottish Republic remained unlikely and insisted he remained firmly in the No camp.

In a statement to Newsnet Scotland Mr Dailly said: “I believe Scotland’s long term economic and social interests are best served from within the UK.  No-one seriously disputes that Scotland can go it alone but the question is why, when we have the best of both worlds – devolution and membership of an economic and social union with Scotland’s largest trading partners, England, Wales and Northern Ireland.”

The former Labour activist, who is a close friend of Tommy Sheridan, is a prominent campaigner for social justice and has regularly criticised the bedroom tax.  Mr Dailly is also a representative of the Conservative funded Better Together campaign and has written articles on behalf of the No campaign and represented the cross party group in debates on independence.

He added: “Neither the SNP or Yes Scotland offer a Scottish Republic where socialist policies could genuinely flourish – that would be a game-changer for me and many others.

“Retaining the centuries old UK elites of the monarchy, the aristocracy, and all of the unfair privileges and power that comes with a constitutional monarchy would mean that an independent Scotland would perpetuate the very worst aspects of the UK – elitism by birth and accident.  We need to be honest; the SNP offer a continuation of those elites in an independent Scotland”.

Newsnet Scotland contacted Better Together communications head Rob Shorthouse for a comment but none was forthcoming.