By Shaun Gibson : @ShaunyNews
Few days old this now, but with the Clegg ‘Promise below this’ I though it fitting to remind ourselves, Nicola means business!
The SNP’s Nicola Sturgeon has pledged to work in good faith with the commission set up to boost Holyrood’s powers in the wake of the referendum. Ms Sturgeon, who is bidding to lead the SNP after Alex Salmond’s resignation, said the Smith Commission had to go a long way to deliver on promises made. The main UK parties have said they were committed to devolving new powers, expected to include welfare and tax. Ms Sturgeon said the parties would face a backlash if they were not delivered. She told the Sunday Times: “I’ve said it directly to Lord Smith – we go into this in good faith. We won’t get everything we want from it. “It is not going to deliver independence but it has to go a very long way to deliver what people out there think was promised to them. It has to be a comprehensive package. “Between the 45% who voted ‘Yes’ and a sizeable number who voted ‘No’ because they thought that was the route to more powers, there is a powerful public majority out there for change. “In the few days before the referendum the language being used was the language of substantial radical change – devo max, something close to federalism, home rule. That is the expectation that has been generated. “Unless we end up with a package that is substantial the backlash against the Westminster parties is going to be severe.”
Earlier this week Lord Smith – whose appointment was announced by Prime Minister David Cameron in the wake of the referendum – warned it will “not be easy” to get agreement from political parties. He said those involved in the talks would require “courage” and “compromise” – but he was confident they would rise to the challenge. The Smith Commission aims to get agreement between the SNP, Scottish Labour, the Scottish Liberal Democrats, Scottish Conservatives and Scottish Greens on the way forward by 30 November. A “command paper”, setting out the issues, is also due to be published by 31 October, with draft legislation unveiled by 25 January.
Meanwhile, on Saturday, thousands of supporters of Scottish independence took part in a rally outside the Scottish parliament. The rally, organised under the Voice Of The People banner, heard from speakers urging people to carry on with the campaign. Speaking at the event, SNP MSP Marco Biagi said: “True power has not been given back to Westminster, it has been lent to them and one day we will take it back.” At an event in Perth on Saturday for Liberal Democrat activists, Scottish Lib Dem leader, Willie Rennie, has warned independence supporters not to seek an “ultra-extreme” form of devolution. He said: “An attempt from nationalists to redefine home rule and federalism in an ultra-extreme form is perhaps understandable but it is not something that will create a sustainable settlement that will stand the test of time.”
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