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Eilidh Whiteford, MP for Banff & Buchan

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Scotland Needs Additional Levers To Improve Economy

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

MOORE DITCHES HIS LIB DEM DEMANDS FOR TORY DESIRES

The SNP said the Liberal Democrats have “lost their way” ahead of a speech by Scotland Secretary Michael Moore in which he is expected to argue against devolution of key economic powers for the Scottish Parliament - including powers previously supported by the LibDems.

The speech contradicts the previous position of the Liberal Democrats in Scotland who called for the powers of the Scottish Parliament to be extended even further than had been initially suggested by the Calman Commission.

Previous Scottish LibDem leaders – Nicol Stephen and Tavish Scott – have spoken in favour of more power for the Scottish Parliament and against the return of powers to Westminster.

Commenting, SNP MP Dr Eilidh Whiteford, a Member of the Scottish Affairs Select Committee, said:

“The Liberal Democrats have totally lost their way. Instead of obsessing about the SNP, Michael Moore should focus on delivering the additional levers Scotland needs to improve the economy.

“Michael Moore’s position is all the more ridiculous given that delivery of these powers was previously supported by the Liberal Democrats in Scotland.

“In evidence to the Calman Commission, outgoing Lib Dem leader Tavish Scott called for the powers of the Scottish Parliament to be extended but now Michael Moore is calling for the opposite.

“Why is Michael Moore talking down the Scottish Government when he should be speaking up for Scotland? And if Michael Moore has forgotten his party’s policy, why isn’t Willie Rennie reminding him?

“The Liberal Democrats have well and truly lost their way and it is worrying they are looking to the Tories for guidance. As senior figure in a federal party, surely Michael Moore should work with the SNP to deliver the progress in the constitution that people want to see – not doing what he is told by the Tories. It’s no wonder that their former voters are deserting in droves and their councillors in squads to the SNP.”

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