Scottish independence: McLeish’s plea to Greens

Former First Minister Henry McLeish. Picture: TSPL

Former First Minister Henry McLeish. Picture: TSPL

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FORMER Labour first minister Henry McLeish will call on the Scottish Green Party to harness their energy and engagement in the independence referendum to build a consensus on more powers for Scotland.

In an address to the Scottish Green conference in Edinburgh on Saturday, Mr McLeish is expected to urge the party to turn their “clear and determined” support for independence towards resolving “the many questions that need to be answered about what further powers can be devolved to Scotland”.

Green MSP Alison Johnstone welcomed Mr McLeish’s pending visit to conference, insisting “his commitment to radical devolution is second to none”.

Mr McLeish said: “It’s a great time to be addressing the Scottish Green Party conference, just as the party has played such a prominent role in the referendum campaign, albeit on the opposite side of the debate to me.

“I know many Greens also campaigned for a No vote, and many will have found it a hard decision to make.

“Whichever way you voted, this has been an extraordinary period in Scottish politics, with extraordinarily detailed and passionate debates taking place across the country.

“I have never seen a level of political engagement like this, not even during the debate ahead of the 1997 devolution referendum.

“Given the many questions that need to be answered about what further powers can be devolved to Scotland, and about how the relationships between Scotland and the rest of the UK need to be restructured, we urgently need that energy and engagement to continue.”

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