Independence: Former Labour minister backs Yes

A FORMER Labour defence minister has backed a Yes vote in the Scottish independence referendum.

Former Labour defence minister Peter Kilfoyle said there was a huge imbalance in the UK. Picture: PA

Peter Kilfoyle, who served in Tony Blair’s government, hit out at the “scaremongering” of the No campaign and suggested a Yes vote could secure a better deal for the regions of England.

Mr Kilfoyle, who was MP for Liverpool Walton for almost 20 years, spoke out after meeting Alex Salmond in Liverpool on Thursday.

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The SNP leader hailed the “significant endorsement” of the independence campaign from a “Labour stalwart”.

The First Minister said: “It shows that a Yes vote is in line with traditional Labour values.”

Mr Kilfoyle stated: “Scotland’s referendum debate is a timely reminder to the regions of England that we, too, have an issue with an overbearing London. There is a huge imbalance between a favoured London and its south-eastern hinterland, and the other regions and countries of these islands.”

He added: “Of course, the immediate case of the Scottish ballot is a matter for Scots to decide. However, it strikes me that the aspirational message of the Yes campaign is far more attractive than the negativity and scaremongering of the No lobby. I trust Scots will recall the wise words of Franklin D Roosevelt – ‘the only thing we have to fear is fear itself’.

“As a Labour Party member for 50 years, hoping to do my bit to improve the lot of working people throughout the British Isles, it seems to me that a Scottish vote for independence will make Scots masters of their own destiny.”