Sal­mond to make a come­back ... for next ref­er­en­dum

The Herald - - NEWS - ALIS­TAIR GRANT

ALEX Sal­mond has sig­nalled a re­turn to front­line pol­i­tics as he in­sisted the Bri­tish es­tab­lish­ment has never been more frac­tured.

The for­mer first min­is­ter said he was wait­ing for the start­ing gun of a sec­ond in­de­pen­dence ref­er­en­dum be­fore re­turn­ing to the fray.

He ar­gued the SNP’S po­lit­i­cal op­po­nents in the UK had never been weaker, while Bri­tain’s iso­la­tion in Europe was “truly mean­ing­ful” for the next Yes campaign.

But a Scottish Con­ser­va­tive spokesman ac­cused him of “ig­nor­ing the in­con­ve­nient facts that a ma­jor­ity of the pop­u­la­tion in Scot­land still want to be part of the United King­dom”.

Speak­ing at an SNP branch meet­ing in Morn­ing­side, Ed­in­burgh, Mr Sal­mond in­sisted the case for in­de­pen­dence would be “vir­tu­ally unan­swer­able” if UK min­is­ters pushed ahead with their flag­ship Brexit Bill.

The leg­is­la­tion was over­whelm­ingly re­jected by MSPS at Holy­rood ear­lier this week amid fears it rep­re­sented a “power grab” that would un­der­mine de­vo­lu­tion.

Mr Sal­mond said he would re­turn to the po­lit­i­cal fray as soon as a sec­ond ref­er­en­dum was called and jok­ingly dubbed his pledge “the dec­la­ra­tion of Morn­ing­side”.

He said: “The dec­la­ra­tion of Morn­ing­side is this. I have got no im­me­di­ate po­lit­i­cal am­bi­tions. I’m very happy do­ing what I’m do­ing at the present mo­ment.

“I’m happy writ­ing ar­ti­cles, do­ing video blogs, I’m happy do­ing TV pro­grammes and all the rest of it – I’m happy do­ing the stage shows.

“But the day and the hour that Nicola fires that start­ing gun, I will be on my marks and ready to go for the Yes campaign.”

He said the case for in­de­pen­dence would be boosted if the Scottish Par­lia­ment’s Brexit vote was ig­nored. He added: “I think it would leave it in a fun­da­men­tally strong po­si­tion, with the ball in the penalty spot and wait­ing for Nicola Stur­geon to kick it into the net.”

Mr Sal­mond lost his seat to the Scottish Tories in last year’s Gen­eral Elec­tion fol­low­ing a swing of 20 per cent against him.

He went on to front a sell-out Ed­in­burgh Fringe show, Alex Sal­mond Un­leashed, be­fore launch­ing his own chat show on Rus­sian TV chan­nel RT in Novem­ber. But the pro­gramme has been heav­ily crit­i­cised amid claims it le­git­imises RT’S pro­pa­ganda out­put.

„ Alex Sal­mond’s chat show on RT has been crit­i­cised.

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