Ashdown: Have Scottish independence referendum to finish off SNP
Paddy Ashdown, former Liberal Democrat leaderTony Blair's heart was never in it… In fact, I suspect he saw it as an irritant.
Former leader of the UK political party the Liberal Democrat, Paddy Ashdown has said 'Scotland should back a referendum on independence to finish off the SNP as a political force once and for all'.
He feels that his own party has failed when it came to this subject and they should have done what former Scottish Labour leader Wendy Alexander did and challenge the First Minister Alex Salmond to "bring it on" and hold a referendum on independence now and not in 2010.
One of the SNP's main aims when it came to power in on the 3rd of May 2007 was to hold a referendum come 2010 to ask the Scottish people if Scotland should break away from the United Kingdom and become an independent country.
A spokesman for the Scottish Liberal Democrats said: "Paddy Ashdown is entitled to his own views on this matter, but the Scottish party has made its position on this clear.
"At this time, people should not be focusing on an independence referendum, but rather on the recession and supporting the economy and protecting people's jobs."
Lord Ashdown will be presenting the Scottish Legal Awards next month and will publish his autobiography in April.
Ashdown, in this new book will claim he stayed on as leader of the Liberal Democrats until 1999 to make sure Tony Blair saw through devolution giving Scotland it's own parliament.
"It seemed clear to me that Tony Blair was not committed to the devolution project.
It is true to say that he felt some debt to the memory of John Smith [the former Labour leader] who, of course, was very committed to devolution. But I felt that Tony Blair's heart was never in it… In fact, I suspect he saw it as an irritant."
THE Unionist parties in Scotland should back a referendum on independence to finish off the SNP as a political force once and for all, former Liberal Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown has claimed.