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Alex Salmond returns to Holyrood

Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Alex Salmond will return to Holyrood today for the first time since his bid for Scottish independence failed.

Mr Salmond, who has announced his intention to step down as First Minister, is expected to reflect on the independence referendum and put pressure on the victorious unionist parties to deliver on their devolution pledges in a statement to the Scottish Parliament.

Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick will open today's proceedings with "time for reflection", a Holyrood slot normally reserved for spiritual or philosophical contributions from religious or secular figureheads.

Mr Salmond's statement will be followed by two days of debate on the future of Scotland, with Labour leader Johann Lamont, Conservative leader Ruth Davidson and Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie expected to open with responses from the Scottish opposition parties.

Scotland voted against independence by a majority of 55% in the referendum on Thursday.

Cumbrian businesses debate devolution

How could more devolved powers for England affect companies in Cumbria? Business organisations in the county have welcomed the idea in principle but want to make sure it's done in the right way.

Tim Backshall has been to one engineering firm in South Cumbria which had supported the idea of Scottish independence but now believes there are great opportunities ahead if more powers are given to Northern England.

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SNP membership surges post 'No' vote

As the fallout continues from Thursday's historic vote on Scottish independence, pressure is growing on the Westminster parties to deliver on their promise of more powers.

David Cameron gathered senior Conservatives today to discuss plans to stop Scottish MPs voting on English laws.

The row over constitutional change has dominated the start of Labour's conference, as the party tries to win back traditional supporters who voted yes to independence last week. Meanwhile, the Scottish National Party has reported a huge surge in membership since the referendum result.

Kathryn Samson reports.

Devolution could offer 'more opportunities' for Cumbria

Marl International makes LED lights and systems in Ulverston Credit: ITV Border

Marl International, an LED lights factory in Ulverston, had hoped Scotland would go independent.

Adrian Rawlinson, its Managing Director, thinks independence could have made Cumbria a major trading hub for Scotland. But now he says more powers for England could mean more powers for Cumbria, which would be better for business.

The Institute of Directors in Cumbria says the county will benefit from Scotland staying in the union and devolution will offer 'more opportunities' for Cumbria.

Credit: ITV Border

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  1. National

Downing St: 'No ifs, no buts' on Scottish devolution

Downing St has echoed Ed Miliband's line that there will be "no ifs, no buts" when it comes to delivering further powers to the Scottish Parliament.

ITV News Political Correspondent Libby Wiener has been at a briefing with the Prime Minister's spokesman.

Salmond: 'Writing is on the wall' over independence

Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

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.

  1. National

Westminster is 'extremely remote to people in the North'

People living in the North of England consider Westminster "extremely remote" and want powers closer to them to improve services, according to a council leader.

Labour leader of Manchester City Council, Sir Richard Leese, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme it was not a case of "one size fits all".

He said: "This is not an issue of who votes on what in Westminster.This is about taking power away from Westminster - not devolution to England or even devolution to Scotland, it's devolution in England, devolution in Scotland.

"I make this argument that the leader of Glasgow would make exactly the same argument about the need for powers to go away from Holyrood to cities in Scotland as well."

Independence rivals attend church service

Politicians from both sides of the Scottish independence debate have gathered for a special church service to promote unity after the referendum.

Around 1,000 people attended the Church of Scotland event at St Giles’ Cathedral on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh.

Moving on? The service was attended by prominent Yes and No campaigners, including John Swinney (far left) and Alistair Darling (far right).

Scotland’s Finance Secretary John Swinney, Better Together leader Alistair Darling, Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael, the Liberal Democrat Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander and Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson all attended.

The Church of Scotland hopes the service will help people from the Yes and No camps come together and move forward after the intense referendum debate.

The service was led by Church of Scotland moderator the Rt Rev John Chalmers. He asked people to put their differences aside and work together to redefine the country's place within the UK.

The SNP's Finance Secretary, John Swinney, gave a reading.
Labour's Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander also contributed.
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