|With Willie and local party secretary Daniel Coleman at Riverside|
|Willie at Wave 102 Studios|
|Outside Dundee Contemporary Arts in Nethergate|
|With Tim, Willie and Team in Leven|
|Willie, Craig and me – campaigning for a stronger Scotland after Scotland rejects independence|
Last night’s Scottish Liberal Democrat European Election broadcast:
We have published today the report of the party’s Home Rule and Community Rule Commission which I had the privilege to chair.
We were asked by the party conference last year to set out clear and detailed plans for achieving home rule for Scotland – substantial domestic powers while remaining part of the UK. We were asked to build on the report of the Steel Commission, and that is what we have done.
In fact the recommendations are much stronger on the need for federal United Kingdom than many commentators were expecting. That is in no small measure because of the large number of representations the Commission received from party members and the strong views expressed at our special consultation event at the spring conference in Inverness.
The report makes it clear that devolution alone will not do the job. More devolution will not provide a stable future for the United Kingdom.
Our recommendations give Scotland the best of both worlds. We get strong domestic powers, not least on social justice, wealth and the economy. But we also get the strength, equity and global voice from being part of the United Kingdom.
We have set out how new powers for Scotland and a new relationship with the rest of the United Kingdom can be achieved ahead of similar change elsewhere in the UK. But we are clear that the best future for Scotland is within a federal United Kingdom.
I should also point out that we have included very strong recommendations to increase the powers that local communities and councils have over their areas.
This will be unique Liberal Democrat territory among the political parties. We don’t think the decentralisation of power should end at Holyrood. Our plans stop in their tracks the centralising controls of government ministers over local councils.
The Times has said, “the plan represents the most developed proposal for Scotland’s constitutional future yet from any of the opposition parties at Holyrood…with sweeping new powers for councils…and an end to the power grab.”
The whole package of proposals will be debated on Saturday 27th October at our autumn conference. I hope you will come to Dunfermline and be part of our debate. You can register through Dunfermline2012@scotlibdems.org.uk.
Menzies Campbell MP
Chair, Home Rule and Community Rule Commission
|Willie and I had a really enjoyable visit to Shelter’s shop in Perth Road, managed by Karen Kelbie and her super team. Here’s Willie (left) and me (right) with some of the team, including Andy Moodie, regional manager.|
|Willie and me at Maggie’s Centre, with Valerie Busher, Maggie’s Community Fundraising Development Manager (far right) and Mr Kemlo, service user (second right)|
|Willie, interview by David Proctor of Wave 102 News|
Yesterday, I and my local party colleagues had the pleasure of another visit from Scottish Liberal Democrat Leader Willie Rennie MSP to support our Dundee City Council election campaign. Here’s some photos from a great day!
|Willie with me at Harris Academy, where we discussed the Harris Academy re-building project|
|Willie with my Strathmartine Ward colleague Iliyan Stefanov, who is campaigning for road safety improvements on Strathmartine Road|
|And … Willie with Ferry Ward candidate Craig Duncan, a hard-working campaigner for all in Broughty Ferry|
Here’s the party’s latest news release :
Voters have been urged to back a local champion on Thursday, not a cheerleader for independence. The call came from Scottish Liberal Democrat Leader Willie Rennie, who has joined forty seven campaigns in eighteen council areas, personally talking to thousands of voters on their doorstep.
During his visit to Dundee yesterday, Willie Rennie said:
“Throughout my campaigning across the country, meeting thousands of voters, I have found increasing concern about the SNP and their independence goal. People have told me how much they value their local Liberal Democrat who sticks up for their community. They have told me they want a local champion who will sort out the pavements and potholes and back the local school and the home helps.
“Liberal Democrats take pride in providing a good service to local people. Liberal Democrat Councillors listen to what people want, do something about it and report back.
“This contrasts with the offer from the SNP. With the referendum approaching fast rather than a local champion you’ll get a cheerleader for independence by electing an SNP Councillor.
“Alex Salmond’s support for Rupert Murdoch’s newspapers over phone hacking shows that the SNP will do anything to secure independence. It shows every one of their councillors will be a cheerleader for independence spending every moment on the local council plotting and planning to break up Britain.”
“Up and down Scotland, Liberal Democrat councillors like Fraser Macpherson in Dundee are listening to their constituents. They are working hard for their local community, they are involved in local groups and most importantly – they are getting things done.”
|Joe Setch of Dundee Liberal Youth introduces Willie Rennie MSP|
|Willie and me at Dundee College yesterday|
|Willie talks to the group|
|Some of the audience|
|Me in full flow!|
As one of the first Scottish Liberal Democrats to declare for Willie Rennie as our new party leader, I was delighted to learn earlier today that Willie has become Scottish Liberal Democrat leader.
Here’s the party’s news release
Rennie new leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats
Willie Rennie has been appointed leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats.
He accepted the appointment at North Queensferry, with one of the party’s oldest members and one of the youngest.
Commenting, Mr Rennie said:
“I’m delighted to be the new leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats.
“We need to reflect on the disappointment of the Scottish Parliament election results and move on and up. I’m here today with Jimmy Gordon and Neil Alexander. Two of our oldest and youngest members. I want to connect with the party at all levels.
“Scotland needs a strong Liberal voice at all levels of government. And I am determined to see that strong Liberal voice flourish.
“I will be working with my colleagues in the Scottish Parliament to stand up to the SNP bulldozer. We will not sit on our hands in the face of an SNP majority – we will be that Liberal voice standing up for the values that Scotland holds dear.
“Scotland needs us to stand up for local services, for long term solutions and for making our country a place that finds opportunities for aspirational Scots.”
Commenting, Liberal Democrat MP for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk Michael Moore added:
“This is great news. Willie will be a first class leader for the Scottish Liberal Democrats.
“Willie and I have worked together for many years. His energy, integrity and commitment make him the right person to lead our party in Scotland.
“As an experienced politician and a veteran campaigner he is ideally placed to promote our values in the new Scottish Parliament and throughout Scotland too.”
I am saddened to learn that Tavish Scott has decided to step down as leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats. Tavish has been an excellent leader of the party and the bad, very bad, result on Thursday is not of his making. I’ve texted him this afternoon to pass on my personal thanks to him for his service as party leader – Tavish visited Dundee on numerous occasions and, as I said to him, the party owes him a great debt of gratitude.
There’s one other person I have sent a text to this afternoon – Willie Rennie, new MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife. I urged Willie to stand for the party leadership. Willie is the obvious choice for the leadership of the Scottish Liberal Democrats – he’s able, articulate and committed. I hope he will decide to stand; if he does, he will certainly have my support.
|Willie Rennie with myself at a party conference|