Scottish independence: Tony Blair should help pro-Union campaign, says Miliband
LABOUR leader Ed Miliband has said former prime minister Tony Blair should play a role in the campaign against Scottish independence.
Speaking at the Press Gallery lunch in the Commons yesterday, Mr Miliband insisted he was “sure” the prime minister who brought in devolution should play a part in keeping Scotland in the UK. He added that former prime minister Gordon Brown should also be involved, along with ex-chancellor Alistair Darling, who is heading the Better Together campaign.
Mr Blair’s relationship with Scotland has been ambiguous, despite being born and schooled in Edinburgh and having a Scottish father. In his autobiography Mr Blair complained that he was made to feel like an outsider in Scotland.
And his decision to take Britain into war in Iraq is credited with giving the SNP the opportunity to replace Labour as the party of government at Holyrood.
An SNP spokesman said: “We would be happy to pay for Tony Blair’s bus fare up to Scotland. Given his lasting legacy as the Labour leader who lied to the country over going to war in Iraq, his engagement in the debate over Scotland’s constitutional future will positively boost support for independence. This truly is desperate stuff from the anti-independence parties.”
At the Westminster lunch Mr Miliband also discussed pension companies that charge excessive fees, which he described as “the next chapter” in the scandals that have emerged in the financial services sector. He said he was “determined” to protect people who were seeing as much as half of their pension savings eaten up by fees.
No firm decisions had yet been taken on Labour’s policy on the issue, said Mr Miliband. But he floated the idea of a cap on charges, which could be linked to the 0.5 per cent fees benchmark set out by the Labour government.
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Sunday 26 May 2013
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