Moray referendum opponents call for Federal power promise to be met

Sean Morton and Gary Coull

A leading Moray campaigner took time out from celebrating the success of the Better Together campaign in the region to call for a new ‘Federal’ Scotland.

Fochabers/Lhanbryde Labour councillor Sean Morton – who is set to fight for the Moray seat at the Westminster Parliament at next year’s general election, was ecstatic on Friday morning as the Moray referendum result was announced.

Councillor Morton had spent the night surveying the Moray count with increasing confidence – and that proved well founded when the result turned in a majority in Moray of over 9000 wished to remain a part of the United Kingdom.

However, within hours of the result Morton was calling for the joint promises made by the three main national party leaders to be kept. He said: “For two years on the doorstep people told me they were voting no. They wanted to stay in the UK.

“In recent months the parties laid out very different plans on more powers for the Scottish parliament and maybe that helped us win almost 10,000 more votes here in Moray.

“I would very much like Federalism for the UK. I want more powers for communities on these Islands.

“If David Cameron decides to come out and make a cheap play to make the Tory party more powerful the day after the referendum, I don’t believe Labour are obliged to back him.

“We agreed a timetable but we did not agree to his plan.”

Councillor Morton’s call came after the Prime Minister insisted that greater powers for English communities must be included in any decisions over the powers he pledged for Scotland – and because of that the rapid timetable for changes in Scotland may not be possible.

Morton said: “I don’t believe everyone who voted no voted for David Cameron’s plan, we voted No for unity.

“But we do want change – but we want change we can believe in. So to the outraged and opportunistic people who lost and are demanding recounts or Ed Miliband’s head – calm down, we’ll get there.”

The SNP councillor for Keith, Gary Coull, insisted that it was the last-minute pledges made by the national leaders that swayed the vote in favour of the Union – and insisted that these pledges must now be kept in full.

He said: “I firmly believe that the promise of more powers, late in the day, swayed many people to vote No – however, we are seeing that unravel already.

“We need to channel our energy in to making sure the Westminster parties deliver and that they can’t get away with duping the Scottish people.

“I would say that we should make sure we hold the government to account and kick them out if they don’t deliver – but that was the whole point of getting a Yes vote!”

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