Alex Salmond takes dig at SNP amid row over devo-max referendum option

Alex Salmond has criticised the SNP's lack of progress on independence amid a row over whether any future referendum should include a devo-max option.

The former first minister insisted "none of it matters a whit without a political strategy for securing" a second vote.

It comes after former SNP policy chief Chris Hanlon argued excluding the option of enhanced devolution from the ballot if there is another referendum would be “just plain wrong”.

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Writing in The National, Mr Hanlon said: “Devo-max isn’t my preference and maybe, given the changed circumstances, it might not be the choice of the majority of the people of Scotland.

Picture: Getty ImagesPicture: Getty Images
Picture: Getty Images

“But part of me remains of the opinion that excluding it from the ballot paper is just plain wrong.

"The people must have the option of choosing the path the largest percentage of them favour.”

SNP minister Kevin Stewart branded the suggestion “idiotic, foolish, nonsensical”, while MSP Gillian Martin rejected it as a “con”.

She wrote on social media: “I’ll be having none of it, thank you! The only way Scotland can really flourish is with full self government with ALL the powers. You know, like other normal countries.

“In fact I’d go as far to say that the very notion of ‘devo-max’ floated by certain players last time lost us our independence (and consequently our place in the EU). Nope – it can get in the sea.”

Mr Salmond, who leads the pro-independence Alba Party, tweeted: "What can possibly explain the extraordinary stushie within the SNP about a three-way referendum?

"The consternation should surely be about why no referendum at all?

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"Referendum, another democratic test, two questions or ten. None of it matters a whit without a political strategy for securing it."

He also took a dig at the SNP's 11-point “road map to a referendum”, unveiled in January last year.

Mr Salmond said: "I spent some moments over the New Year trying to work out which stage we had reached on the anniversary of the SNP 11-point plan.

"I think there might have been ten points too many?"

The former first minister has been a frequent critic of his successor Nicola Sturgeon and the current SNP leadership.

The SNP was approached for comment.



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