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Jack McConnell: Devolution the best for Scots

Lord McConnell was first minister from 2001 to 2007. Picture: Donald MacLeod

Lord McConnell was first minister from 2001 to 2007. Picture: Donald MacLeod

  • by SCOTT MACNAB
 

Former first minister Jack McConnell is to become the latest Labour big gun to step up his involvement in the referendum campaign.

He is to take a more active role in the next couple of months, starting with a speech tomorrow which will mark 15 years since the Scottish Parliament was established.

It’s understood he will pledge to “fight” for devolution and warn against the bitter arguments which have begun to dominate the campaign.

Lord McConnell, first minister from 2001 to 2007, has kept his distance from the Better Together campaign so far.

He will follow in the footsteps of former prime minister Gordon Brown, who has also become more active in the No campaign in recent weeks, by appearing under the Better 
Together banner for the first time.

“I look forward to making the case for devolution as the best ­system of government for Scotland,” Lord McConnell said.

“The UK is the most successful voluntary union in history.

“Since I was 18, I [have] spent day after day, year after year, campaigning for devolution for Scotland and trying to make it work.

“I’m not going to give up the system of government I believe is best for Scotland just because the current political conditions make people cynical.”

The speech will be the first of a number of interventions by Lord McConnell before polling day.

 

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