Tories urged to rule out ‘anti-Scottish’ referendum meddling


After senior Labour figures spoke out in favour of the referendum being held by the Scottish Parliament, the SNP has urged the UK Government to make clear that they will not support any efforts to run a referendum on Scotland’s future from Westminster.

The call follows an an interview in the New Statesman by Labour’s Jim Murphy where he says “The referendum has got to be made in Scotland.”. Mr Murphy’s comments were echoed by Labour’s former First Minister Henry McLeish who claimed that any London interference would be ‘anti-Scottish’.

In yesterday’s Scotsman Mr McLeish insisted those at Westminster should “keep out of the referendum and not meddle” describing attempts to interfere, including those by Labour’s Lord Foulkes as “insulting and contemptuous” and “anti-Scottish”.

The SNP urged the Tories to make crystal clear that they will not support any efforts to run the referendum from Westminster.

SNP MSP and Scotland Bill member Stewart Maxwell said:

“Instead of sabre rattling we finally have some sense from Labour.  Now we need the same from the Tories and Lib Dems.

“This Scottish Government was elected on a commitment to deliver a referendum and that is what we shall do.  It would be ridiculous for Westminster to try to take it over or hold their own referendum.

“Labour has seen sense and walked away from a Tory run referendum, it is now time for the Lib Dems and Tories to give categorical assurance that they will not put forward meddling amendments to the Scotland Bill or back amendments from backbenchers or Lords that try to interfere.

“Voters know what they want and they voted for an SNP Government to hold a referendum in the second half of this parliament and that is exactly what we will do.”