Scottish Office alone in stand against new 'Government'

A GOVERNMENT department's decision to continue to refer to Alex Salmond's administration as the Scottish Executive was yesterday branded "almost unbelievable" by an SNP MP.

Holyrood announced at the weekend it was ditching the title Scottish Executive in favour of Scottish Government.

And from Monday, all documents, letters and publicity material have carried that new name. Workmen also replaced the Scottish Executive sign at the administration's Victoria Quay building in Leith, Edinburgh.

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However, the Scotland Office will continue to use the term Scottish Executive - which is laid down in the Scotland Act, which established the Scottish Parliament.

SNP MP Pete Wishart said he had written to the Scottish Secretary, Des Browne, regarding the matter. Mr Wishart, the party's constitution spokesman, said: "It is incredible and almost unbelievable that alone amongst public bodies the Scotland Office will continue to refer to the Scottish Government as the Executive.

"Where I'm sure they will secure a level of nostalgic hankering for a return to the bad old days of Labour rule it will seem to the rest of the public as the most ridiculous sort of petulant defiance."

A Scotland Office spokesman said yesterday:

"We believe it is correct to use the term set out by the Scotland Act in circumstances which may have legal ramifications."