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Sturgeon to put forward further devolution plans

Nicola Sturgeon. Credit: PA

Nicola Sturgeon says her talks with David Cameron were "constructive", and that she intends to put forward plans for further devolution, that go beyond the Smith Commission's recommendations:

  • She says the Prime Minister has committed to implementing the full recommendations of the Smith Commission, and that this is a good start
  • Ms Sturgeon says the next step is to put forward proposals for more powers for the Scottish Government, and that David Cameron has said he will consider these proposals

However, Ms Sturgeon says there is still "a world of difference" between her and the Prime Minister's political stances.

Most notably, she wants full fiscal autonomy for Scotland, whereas David Cameron does not.

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Cameron 'to consider more devolution for Scotland'

David Cameron will "consider" more devolution for Scotland after pledging to honour the Smith Commission recommendations in full.

A spokesman for Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said today's meeting between the two leaders had been "constructive and helpful".

David Cameron met for talks with Nicola Sturgeon Credit: PA

ITV News deputy political editor Chris Ship tweeted:

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Cameron and Sturgeon hold talks

The Prime Minister held talks with the First Minister. Credit: PA

Prime Minister David Cameron has held talks with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, at her Bute House residence in Edinburgh.

The two shook hands as David Cameron arrived.

It's his first visit north of the border since the general election, and the devolution of new powers to Scotland is likely to have dominated the agenda.

Ahead of the meeting, the Prime Minister said the UK government would keep its promise to implement the recommendations of the Smith Commission.

But Ms Sturgeon is expected to have pressed for more powers to be devolved to the Scottish government.

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Sturgeon 'plans to distance Scots from Westminster'

Nicola Sturgeon plans to deliberately "drive a wedge" between Scotland and Westminster by setting out unreasonable demands she knows will be refused, the former Scottish Secretary has claimed.

Alistair Carmichael Credit: PA

Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today show, Alistair Carmichael - the country's only Liberal Democrat MP - said Ms Sturgeon was playing a long game to try to ensure victory in the Scottish Parliament elections next year, including proposals for a second independence referendum.

Be quite clear about what Nicola Sturgeon is about here.

What she is wanting is to make a series of demands which she knows will be refused which will then drive that little wedge that bit further between Westminster and Holyrood and which will justify her then in going to the people of Scotland next year in her manifesto in the Scottish Parliament elections with a proposal for a second referendum.

That's what this is all about.

– Alistair Carmichael, Shetland and Orkney MP
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In brief: New powers for Scotland

Prime Minister David Cameron will meet with Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon today to discuss devolving certain powers to the Scottish Parliament.

These include:

  • Control over £2.5 billion of welfare spending
  • Power to set rates of income tax

In addition, Ms Sturgeon - who believes the Smith Commission is a good "starting point", but does not go far enough - wants additional rights including:

  • Power to set minimum wage and National Insurance
  • Business taxes levels
  • Equality legislation
  • Full fiscal autonomy - including total control over tax and spending

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Tim Farron launches leadership bid

Credit: ITV Border

South Lakes MP Tim Farron has this morning officially launched his campaign to become leader of the Liberal Democrats.

He was re-elected last week with a majority of 8,949, and claims that since then he has received hundreds of messages urging him to stand to be leader of his party.

But he says he is keen to stress the move will not distract him from his constituency work, stating ‘Westmorland is my home and will always be my top priority’.

I'm standing to be leader of the Liberal Democrats because I think Britain needs a political party who will stand up for the environment, human rights, equality and liberalism.

"I want to be the person who helps our party fightback and give Britain the liberal voice it needs.

“However Westmorland will always be my home and will remain my top priority. "Nothing will distract me from that.

"When I was first elected I said that I would always be Westmorland’s man in Westminster and never the other way around."

– Tim Farron, MP
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