Alex Salmond: General Election about '˜backing Scottish parliament'

Scotland's former first minister Alex Salmond has said the General Election is about 'backing our Scottish parliament'.

Alex Salmond at an SNP conference. Picture: TSPL

Mr Salmond said it is also about backing the right of the Scottish parliament to exercise the mandate for a referendum on independence.

On Wednesday, Mr Salmond said Scots casting their ballots on June 8 ‘’will know that they are voting to support the right of the parliament to decide on the holding of the Scottish referendum’’.

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However, just days ago Nicola Sturgeon told the broadcaster STV: ‘’This election is not deciding whether or not Scotland is independent.’’

On the BBC Sunday Politics programme Andrew Neil asked Mr Salmond whether the General Election is about independence as he says it is, or not about independence as Ms Sturgeon says it is.

Mr Salmond replied: “I’ve said exactly the same as Nicola Sturgeon on that.

“The issue of independence will be decided in a national referendum of the Scottish people.

“The mandate for that referendum was gained at last year’s Scottish election.

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“This election is about backing the right of the Scottish parliament to exercise that mandate and also providing real opposition to the Tory government and of course allowing the Scottish parliament to resist austerity and some of the public expenditure that you’ve been talking about.

“That’s what this election is about, backing our Scottish parliament.”

Scottish Labour General Election campaign manager James Kelly said: “Alex Salmond let the cat out the bag last week when he said this election is about forcing another divisive independence referendum.

“When people go to the polls for the council elections on Thursday and the General Election on June 8 they can vote Labour to elect a local champion; or they can vote SNP to elect a candidate who will only focus on another divisive referendum.”