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Alex Salmond calls for English referendum

alex salmondMr Salmond is to stand for a seat in the House of Commons in May’s general election

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Alex Salmond has called for England to hold a referendum on its own constitutional future.

The former Scottish first minister called for a “peasants’ revolt type referendum” to “clean out the stables”.

He said a “constitutional revolution” could get rid of the House of Lords and see it replaced by a “people’s senate”.

And he said UKIP leader Nigel Farage was “not the answer” to the country’s problems.

In an interview with the Times, Mr Salmond said: “You in England need a referendum – not on Europe, because that would be such a negative thing.

“The Scottish referendum was about saying ‘yes’ to change and the prospect of a different society. The EU referendum is all about fear and worries and closing in.

“You need a peasants’ revolt type referendum to clean out the stables, a constitutional revolution – let’s get rid of the House of Lords and stick in a people’s senate.”

Mr Salmond said there was an “absolute acceptance” among the public that “something is amiss” in the UK.

‘Fundamentally decent’

He was also quoted as saying: “There is progressive and regressive nationalism. We are about the future and UKIP is all about the past.

“People in England are fundamentally decent. They’re not going to en masse waltz up the UKIP side alley. But why isn’t there an articulation of something forward-looking and modern in England?”

And he reaffirmed his belief that Scotland would become independent in his lifetime.

Responding to Mr Salmond’s interview, Labour’s shadow Scottish secretary Margaret Curran said: “While Alex Salmond repeats his call for another referendum, poverty in Scotland is still too high and the life chances of our children are still determined more by their postcode than their potential.

“Instead of focussing on the debate we’ve just had, Alex Salmond and the SNP should be talking about how we make Scotland the fairest country on earth and how we can use the powers that we have, and the ones we are about to take control of, to tackle poverty and disadvantage.”

Polls have suggested that the SNP is on track to dramatically increase its number of Westminster seats in May’s general election, at the expense of Labour.

Mr Salmond, who stood down as first minister in the wake of the pro-independence campaign’s defeat in September’s referendum, recently confirmed he will be standing as a candidate in the Gordon constituency.

Mr Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon – his successor as both first minister and SNP leader – have repeatedly suggested that an agreement could be reached on support for a minority Labour government at Westminster in the event of a hung parliament.

In an interview with the Independent which was published on Friday, Mr Salmond also hinted that the SNP could potentially allow its MPs to vote on English-only issues as part of any such arrangement. The party has previously only voted on issues which affect Scotland or the UK as a whole.

But Mr Salmond and Ms Sturgeon have also stressed that the SNP would never do any deal with the Conservatives

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-30560368

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