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Independence: Former Labour minister backs Yes

Former Labour defence minister Peter Kilfoyle said there was a huge imbalance in the UK. Picture: PA

Former Labour defence minister Peter Kilfoyle said there was a huge imbalance in the UK. Picture: PA

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A FORMER Labour defence minister has backed a Yes vote in the Scottish independence referendum.

Peter Kilfoyle, who served in Tony Blair’s government, hit out at the “scaremongering” of the No campaign and suggested a Yes vote could secure a better deal for the regions of England.

Mr Kilfoyle, who was MP for Liverpool Walton for almost 20 years, spoke out after meeting Alex Salmond in Liverpool on Thursday.

The SNP leader hailed the “significant endorsement” of the independence campaign from a “Labour stalwart”.

The First Minister said: “It shows that a Yes vote is in line with traditional Labour values.”

Mr Kilfoyle stated: “Scotland’s referendum debate is a timely reminder to the regions of England that we, too, have an issue with an overbearing London. There is a huge imbalance between a favoured London and its south-eastern hinterland, and the other regions and countries of these islands.”

He added: “Of course, the immediate case of the Scottish ballot is a matter for Scots to decide. However, it strikes me that the aspirational message of the Yes campaign is far more attractive than the negativity and scaremongering of the No lobby. I trust Scots will recall the wise words of Franklin D Roosevelt – ‘the only thing we have to fear is fear itself’.

“As a Labour Party member for 50 years, hoping to do my bit to improve the lot of working people throughout the British Isles, it seems to me that a Scottish vote for independence will make Scots masters of their own destiny.”

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