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Scottish independence: ‘Spell out monarchy views’

The Queen and Alex Salmond. Yes Scotland leaders have been asked to clarify their position on the monarchy. Picture: AFP

The Queen and Alex Salmond. Yes Scotland leaders have been asked to clarify their position on the monarchy. Picture: AFP

  • by SCOTT MACNAB
 

The leaders of the official Yes campaign in the independence debate should spell out their views on the monarchy, the Tories have said.

It follows calls at the weekend from Yes Scotland chairman Dennis Canavan to hold a referendum on whether or not a separate Scotland would keep the Royal Family as head of state. Alex Salmond wants a separate Scotland to retain the Monarchy.

But other members of the Yes Scotland board are vocal anti-Royalists, according to Tory deputy leader Jackson Carlaw, who has now written to each of them to clarify the organisation’s position.

Mr Carlaw said: “I would prefer if the future of the Monarchy was not confused with the issue of Scottish independence.

“But given views expressed by Mr Canavan, and ‘Mary Doll’ some weeks before in a Sunday newspaper, I think it’s important the matter is cleared up.”

Actress Elaine C Smith, who played the character Mary Doll in the 1990s sitcom Rab C Nesbitt, also sits on the Yes Scotland board.

Mr Carlaw added: “The Royal Family enjoy huge public support in Scotland – that’s played out in poll after poll.

“Alex Salmond himself has outlined he would want to keep the Monarchy in the event of separation, so we need to know exactly where his Yes campaign stand on all this.”

A spokesman for Yes Scotland insisted it represents a “broad church” of opinion, but agrees on the principle that Scotland should make its own decisions on these issues.

“It is a virtue and a strength of the Yes campaign that Yes Scotland is an umbrella group for supporters of an independent Scotland,” the spokesman said.

“With Independence, the Queen would be head of state in 17 commonwealth countries, including Australia and Canada, as well as Scotland. That would remain the position for as long as the Scottish people wish.

“Perhaps the time of the Scottish Conservatives would be better spent writing to David Cameron and George Osborne to ask why they won’t listen to Scottish MPs and scrap the unfair Bedroom Tax.”

 

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