ALISTAIR Darling has said that Alex Salmond has “lost the plot” after being defeated in the referendum as he accused the First Minister of failing to accept the outcome of the vote on independence.
Mr Darling – the leader of the No campaign – told Labour’s party conference in Manchester that Mr Salmond had “lost the argument”, “lost the referendum” and “lost office” after the Yes side was defeated by 55 per cent to 45 per cent in last week’s ballot.
The Better Together leader attacked a suggestion by Mr Salmond that independence could be delivered by the SNP winning a majority at Holyrood rather than a referendum after the First Minister talked about a “parliamentary route” to Scotland leaving the UK.
Mr Darling, speaking at a Scottish session of Labour’s conference, said: “Some people have not entirely accepted this result.
“I would say to Alex Salmond that you lost the argument, you lost the referendum and have lost office. Now you have lost the plot.
“The people of Scotland said no thanks to separation and you have to accept that result.
“When the polls closed, people’s heads didn’t go down. They were galvanised.
“We need to make sure we energise that enthusiasm of people. We can change the country utterly if we maintain that support.”
Scottish Labour party leader Johann Lamont, speaking alongside Mr Darling, Ed Miliband and shadow Scottish secretary Margaret Curran, said her party would now pursue a “moral crusade” to reconcile a divided nation in the aftermath of last week’s vote.
However, SNP MSP Stewart Maxwell said: “The Labour Party need to remember that 45 per cent of people in Scotland voted Yes last week – and polling has shown that a further quarter of No voters cast their vote in the expectation that substantial further powers would be devolved to Scotland in the coming months.
“The Westminster parties must now honour their commitment on further powers to the people of Scotland – and the first thing they must do is outline exactly what powers they are proposing for the Scottish Parliament.”