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Andy Murray comments on party leaders getting along

Nick Clegg, Andy Murray, David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Angus Robertson at a cross-party reception. Picture: Getty

Nick Clegg, Andy Murray, David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Angus Robertson at a cross-party reception. Picture: Getty

  • by RORY REYNOLDS
 

THEY are comments likely to chime with thousands of Scots as next year’s referendum approaches – why can’t politicians stop bickering?

Andy Murray has urged David Cameron and other party leaders to stop squabbling and work together in a rare intervention into British politics by the Dunblane-born sports star.

Yesterday, it emerged the Scots champion spoke with the Prime Minister, his deputy Nick Clegg, Labour leader Ed Miliband and SNP Westminster leader Angus Robertson in the gardens of Downing Street after his historic win at Wimbledon in July.

He told them: “You all seem to get along, why can’t you always get on this well?”

Mr Clegg only revealed the conversation had taken place when he appeared at a CBI Scotland dinner on Thursday night, as he addressed more than 600 businessmen and women.

The Deputy Prime Minister was addressing the ballroom at the Glasgow Hilton and making reference to the negativity between opposing sides in the referendum debate when he revealed what Murray had said to the political heavyweights.

Although likely to have been made in jest, some political leaders said that the 26-year-old tennis player had “hit the nail on the head”.

Willie Rennie, the Liberal Democrat leader at Holyrood, who was at the dinner, told The Scotsman that Murray may have struck a chord with voters.

He said: “Perhaps he has hit the nail on the head – a little less anger and a little more objective analysis is not a bad thing to have.”

But he added: “We have heated political differences but we are all human beings and we have good personal relationships.”

Iain McMillan, director of CBI Scotland, also waded into the debate, saying: “I took the Deputy Prime Minister’s remarks as injecting a bit of humour into his speech.

“The business of politics is the business of adversary but, for the most part, I believe it is genuinely about policy differences.”

He added: “In my experience, politicians can be very civil and good company when with both each other and others.”

Murray has previously revealed he is wary of entering political debate. However, in March he said: “I don’t think you should judge the thing on emotion but what is best economically for Scotland. You don’t want to come to a snap decision and then see the country go tits up.

“I am proud to be Scottish but I am also proud to be British.”

 

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