Salmond says in his resignation speech that Cameron has broken a campaign promise made by Brown:
I spoke to the Prime Minister today and, although he reiterated his intention to proceed as he has outlined, he would not commit to a second reading vote by March 27 on a Scotland Bill. That was a clear promise laid out by Gordon Brown during the campaign. The Prime Minister says such a vote would be meaningless. I suspect he cannot guarantee the support of his party.
Brown says the SNP are ‘perpetrating a lie’ about protecting the NHS with independence, as Holyrood already has the power to keep the health service public:
The Scottish Parliament can keep the NHS in public hands with its existing powers. If the SNP continue to say they are powerless to protect the NHS in Scotland, let them make way for a Labour government in Scotland and we will protect the NHS.
He says Labour would not allow the NHS to be privatised:
It is the SNP who are perpetrating a lie about what the NHS can and cannot do in Scotland. Over these next few hours, you must remind the people in Scotland the NHS has the powers and the Scottish Parliament has the powers to fund the health service, to protect the health service, to stop any privatisation, and to keep the health service in public hands.
A survey by YouGov for The Times and The Sun finds that the Scottish public favor remaining in the UK by 52% compared with 48% who want independence. The numbers exclude undecided voters. YouGov says the reversal in the margin from its previous week’s Times poll – which showed Yes ahead for the first time, at 51%-49% – is due to Brown joining the debate:
Shortly before he stepped down as Prime Minister, Tony Blair warned David Cameron to beware ‘Gordon Brown’s great clunking fist.’ Cameron survived it, but Alex Salmond’s bid for Scottish independence may not. Since Brown entered the debate, the Yes bandwagon, which has been rolling so dramatically, has stalled. His warnings that independence would be bad for jobs and family finances have struck home.
YouGov’s three previous polls each showed Yes climbing in support, although Yes remains at a higher level than at any point up to late August.
Brown promises ‘a modern form of Home Rule’ in Scotland if voters choose No:
Labour since Keir Hardie has been the Party of Home Rule for Scotland within the United Kingdom so the plan for a stronger Scottish Parliament we seek agreement on is for nothing else than a modern form of Scottish Home Rule within the United Kingdom.
The plan is to devolve powers over borrowing, the work program, housing benefit, land use and income tax. Brown says an accelerated timetable envisages the ‘starting gun’ being fired on the process within a day of a No vote the referendum, a paper published by the coalition government in October, an agreement by November, and a new Scotland Bill in January:
Quite simply, Scottish voters deserve to know to the fullest extent possible about how new powers as ambitious as possible will be delivered as soon as possible within the UK. And so we are demanding a tight-timetable with tough deadlines and streamlined procedures.
Mugabe is stripped of his knighthood by Prime Minister Brown as a symbolic gesture.
This action has been taken as a mark of revulsion at the abuse of human rights and abject disregard for the democratic process in Zimbabwe over which President Mugabe has presided.