TORONTO, Canada — Scotland’s independence leader has accused Britain’s politicians of reneging on their promises to give more powers to Scots, as the main political parties bickered over how to take political reform forward.
Alex Salmond, who will step down as Scotland’s first minister in November, said voters were “tricked” into rejecting Scottish independence in Thursday’s vote by a last-minute vow.
Salmond said Prime Minister David Cameron looks set to “renege” on his promise, something that would bring down “the wrath of Khan” from Scottish voters.
All three of Britain’s main parties signed a pact to pass laws to transfer key decision-making powers from London to Edinburgh. That rare agreement had fizzled out by Sunday.
Cameron drew bitter attacks from rival politicians after he said that plans to empower Scotland should be linked to constitutional reform in England. Critics say linking the two issues puts Scotland’s future in the back seat.
U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron sought to use the fallout from Scotland’s rejection of independence to derail opposition leader Ed Miliband as his Labour Party began its annual conference in Manchester.
As polls narrowed in the closing days of the referendum campaign, Cameron, Miliband and Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg all signed up to give greater powers to the Scottish Parliament, on a timetable set by former Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown. They also agreed to maintain higher levels of public spending per head in Scotland than in England.
After the referendum result was announced two days ago, Cameron said he would stick to the timetable, seeking agreement by January, though he wanted at the same time to look at whether Scottish lawmakers in the House of Commons should continue to vote on matters that only affect England. Miliband said that while he’s “open” to looking at ways of addressing this, it shouldn’t be linked to giving powers to Scotland.
“People right across the U.K. will say David Cameron made a promise,” Miliband told BBC Television’s “Andrew Marr Show” today. “He did not make a conditional promise. He made a clear promise and he is going to be kept to that.”