Moray’s MSP has said that while the Scottish people voted against independence last week the referendum had “shaken the British establishment to its foundations”.
In his first public statement since last Thursday’s vote saw a firm majority of people in Moray reject independence, Richard Lochhead insisted that the referendum had changed Scotland forever.
His comments came as tens of thousands of people from Moray and throughout Scotland flocked to join political parties that had aligned themselves to the Yes campaign.
The SNP has saw the largest gains in party membership with over 15,000 people reported to have joined that party since Friday.
Mr Lochhead cited this as further proof that politicians had become ‘bit players’ in what became a grass-roots movement.
He said: “As well as playing a national role I was part of the Moray campaign – and hundreds of people threw themselves into it.
“I made new friends with people of all ages and backgrounds – and often with different political views to my own. Many of them had never been involved in any political campaign before or shown much interest in politics.”
The Moray MSP added that many people previously opposed to handing the vote to 16 and 17-year-olds were now accepted that after a record 85.4% turnout in Moray demonstrated a ‘revitalised’ democracy and political culture.
However, as a variety of groups and campaigns were being created over the weekend in Moray and throughout Scotland the MSP added: “We must all accept the result and that for the foreseeable future Scotland will remain part of the UK.
“But we must also accept that our relationship with the rest of the UK must change.
“The three Westminster parties made their last-minute pledge in the face of an upsurge for Yes in the latter stages of the campaign – and they now must stick to their pledges and timetable.
“It is essential the shape and extent of new powers should be designed by the people of Scotland and not party leaders meeting behind closed doors at Westminster.”