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Cabinet minister: English votes for England

The Justice Secretary has said that Scottish MPs should not be allowed to vote on English laws.

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling. Credit: Peter Macdiarmid/PA Archive/Press Association Images

That would be a travesty of democracy, and would be regarded with fury by the English. But the renewed focus on England brings with it a further great risk. Today marks the start of the Labour conference.

The future of our constitution is bound to be a subject of major debate there. But it is likely to be a very different one to that at the Conservative conference in a week’s time.

– Justice Secretary Chris Grayling

Writing in the Telegraph, Chris Grayling said that there cannot be a situation where Scottish MPs "come to Westminster and vote on English-only issues", influencing the destiny of health, education, justice, environment and probably taxation in England, "potentially against the wishes of most English representatives".

Labour pledge to give votes to 16 and 17-year-olds

Labour plan to extend the vote to 16 and 17-year-olds in future general elections. Credit: PA

A pledge to give 16 and 17-year-olds the vote in general elections will be in the next Labour manifesto, Ed Miliband has promised.

The opposition leader said politicians had to address a 'crisis in our democracy' and involving young people more was a 'really important part of that'.

He said seeing young people's engagement in the Scottish independence referendum had convinced him it was "the right thing to do" to extend the voting franchise.

He told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show: "We're going to have it at general elections, it's the right thing to do, alongside proper education about our democracy."


Labour to 'write next chapter' in battle against low pay

Labour Leader Ed Miliband has said a Labour government would "write the next chapter" in the battle against low pay.

Ed Miliband speaking on the Andrew Marr Show. Credit: BBC/Andrew Marr Show

This country is hurting. This country isn't working for so many people. One in five of the men and women who go out to work in this country - they do some of the most important jobs - they clean buildings, they act as security guards.

They do incredibly important jobs, and they are some of the lowest paid people in this country, and we are determined to change it.

This is why we say the establishment has got to understand the lessons of this referendum, of what people are saying in England and Wales and throughout the United Kingdom. People aren't willing to have business as usual.

– Labour Leader Ed Miliband

Speaking on the Andrew Marr Show, Mr Miliband added that the Low Pay Commission has an important role in "working out a path to a higher minimum wage of over £8 an hour before the next Parliament".

Salmond: 'Writing is on the wall' over independence

It is only a matter of time before Scotland becomes an independent nation, Alex Salmond has suggested.

The First Minister, who this week announced his intention to resign from his post, said the majority of younger Scots supported independence.

He told Sky News' Murnaghan programme: "When you have a situation where the majority of a country up to the age of 55 is already voting for independence, I think the writing's on the wall for Westminster."

"I think the destination is pretty certain, we're only now debating the timescale and the method," the SNP leader added.

Miliband cool on 'English votes for English laws' plan

Ed Miliband has attacked David Cameron's proposal for 'English votes for English laws', saying he is trying to "drive our country apart".

The Prime Minister has called on the Labour leader to make clear whether he would support measures to stop Scottish MPs voting on matters that only affect people in England.

Speaking to the BBC's Andrew Marr Show, Mr Miliband said he was open to "greater scrutiny" of English-only legislation, but insisted it could not be hurried.

"I am open to the idea of greater scrutiny of legislation by English MPs...but we can't do it in a back of the envelop, fag packet way," he said.

"We've spent two years trying to keep our country together, let's have a proper constitutional convention, let's look at these issues, but let's not do this, let's not drive our country apart because David Cameron thinks it's an opportunity to do it, let's keep our country together," Mr Miliband added.

Ed Miliband: Scottish vote was a 'wake up call'

Labour leader Ed Miliband has said that the vote on the Scottish referendum was a "wake-up" call for the establishment on how the country and the economy are run.

Mr Miliband, speaking on the Andrew Marr show, said: "Unless the establishment recognises this wake-up call about how our country is run, how our economy is run, we are not going to address the discontent in England, Wales, Scotland and the whole of the United Kingdom."


Alistair Darling: Polls galvanised our support

Leader of the Better Together campaign Alistair Darling said he did not believe the results of polls ahead of voting on the Scottish referendum.

Asked what he thought when he learned the polls had put the 'Yes' vote in the lead, he said: "I thought 'well I don't believe it'.

"I'll tell you what that poll did do though - it galvanised out support. Because when it appeared, far from heads going down, heads went up."

Miliband: Economy 'much bigger' than constitutional change

Reforming the economy is a "much bigger" issue than constitutional change, Ed Miliband has argued.

Speaking to the BBC's Andrew Marr Show about the Scottish referendum result, the Labour leader said there was a "real danger that the political class is learning the wrong lessons" from the campaign by focusing on constitutional issues.

Ed Miliband said economic concerns were 'much bigger' than constitutional issues. Credit: BBC/Andrew Marr Show

"I think there is a much bigger lesson and in the words of Bill Clinton, it's the economy, stupid. Forty-five per cent of people tried to break up our country by voting 'Yes' they thought they had nothing to lose, many of them, by saying 'let's leave the United Kingdom'," he said.

"This was about Scotland and how the UK is governed, but more than that it's about how this country works - does it work for an elite few or does it work for working people?" Mr Miliband added.

Darling: 'Formidable' Salmond has his place in history

Alistair Darling called Alex Salmond 'a very formidable politician'. Credit: BBC/Andrew Marr Show

The head of the Better Together campaign, Alistair Darling, has paid tribute to his former opponent, Alex Salmond, following his recent decision to step down as First Minister.

Mr Darling told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show: "He is a very formidable politician. He's brought his party from being a fringe sort of protest movement and he's got them into government."

"He's a divisive politician, this is the nature of the beast, if you like. Alex Salmond, he's got his place in history, I'm sure that's what he wanted and that's what he'll get," the former Chancellor added.

Tories: We're already delivering minimum wage rise

The Tories have hit back at Labour after Ed Miliband announce plans to raise the minimum to £8 by 2020.

Conservatives said that the Government had already delivered the first real-terms rise in the minimum wage since the 2008/09 recession.

The Conservatives are already delivering the first above-inflation minimum wage rise since Labour's great recession began, something we can only afford because our long-term economic plan is working.

– Culture Secretary Sajid Javid

The party said that with the main rate due to increase to £6.50 an hour on October 1, after Chancellor George Osborne gave evidence to the Low Pay Commission that the economy could afford an above-inflation hike.

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