Alexander’s ‘open mind’ over powers for Holyrood

SHADOW foreign secretary Douglas Alexander has said he has an “open mind” about which new powers should be handed to the Scottish Parliament.

The former secretary of state for Scotland also repeated a call for a “plain and simple” yes or no question to independence in the SNP’s planned referendum, amid suggestions that a third option on full fiscal powers for Holyrood could be on the ballot paper.

Labour MP Mr Alexander said that a multi-option referendum was a “get out of jail card” for the SNP.

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He also claimed that Alex Salmond was “desperately worried” he would not win full independence in a popular vote.

Mr Alexander’s comments came as Scottish Labour leader Iain Gray dismissed an opinion poll showing that 63 per cent of English residents surveyed described themselves as English rather British, as opposed to 41 per cent in 2008.

Mr Gray claimed that “being Scottish, Welsh or English does not make you a separatist”.

He also said that there was no reason why people in all parts of the UK should “not feel pride in their home countries, too”.