The Prime Minister also admitted that the UK government had buried polling on independence, having spent £46,550 of taxpayers’ money on it. He told STV that such research “was not routinely published”.
Responding to David Cameron’s visit to Scotland, First Minister Alex Salmond said:
“Nobody will believe Tory promises of more powers for Scotland, because the last time that happened the only thing Scotland got was Thatcherism and 18 years of Tory governments we didn’t vote for.
“The Prime Minister is perfectly entitled to come to Scotland, and we are perfectly entitled to ask why he isn’t prepared to have a debate in Scotland. He is prepared to have a debate with UKIP and the Greens, but not on the future of Scotland. If you are entering a debate, you cannot be half in that debate – you have to be accountable, which is why he should agree to a one to one TV debate, First Minister to Prime Minister.
“And Mr Cameron is making a grave mistake if he thinks the campaign for an independent Scotland is about flags or symbols – it is about democratic choice. What people across Scotland object to is that David Cameron is Prime Minister with just one MP in Scotland – that will change with independence because then Scotland will always get the Governments we vote for.
“Any Tory politician is a liability to the No campaign, and it is a huge problem for Labour that they are tied together with the Tories – the Tory takeover of the No campaign, with Alistair Darling pushed aside, is one of the reasons the Yes campaign is gaining so much ground.
“Mr Cameron chose to invoke the memory of John Smith on the eve of his visit to Scotland. I was a Westminster counterpart of John Smith when Mr Cameron was an adviser to a Tory Chancellor.
“At that time, John Smith believed in a Scottish Parliament – David Cameron didn’t.
“John Smith believed in a fairer society – David Cameron didn’t.
“I knew John Smith, and David Cameron is no John Smith.”
The SNP press release is available here:
The First Minister’s comments are available here: