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Miliband: Darling was an 'extraordinary public servant'

Labour leader Ed Miliband has paid tribute to Alistair Darling as a man of "values, decency and kindness" who "distinguished himself as an extraordinary public servant" after he confirmed he will stand down as an MP at the next election.

Mr Miliband said Mr Darling played a "crucial role in helping" Labour win power in 1997 and showed "both conviction and competence" in his various Cabinet roles.

Ed Miliband said Alistair Darling will 'always be remembered' for leading and winning the Better Together campaign against Scottish independence. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Archive

He said the former chancellor could "take pride" that he "helped steer our country through the worst financial crisis to hit the world in living memory", adding: "His was a calm head when calm heads were needed.?"

Mr Miliband said the MP for Edinburgh South West would "always be remembered for leading and winning" the campaign to keep Scotland in the United Kingdom and would be "much missed from the House of Commons".

Darling confirms exit and backs Murphy in Labour race

Alistair Darling has confirmed he will stand down as a Labour MP at the next election and thrown his weight behind Jim Murphy to become the party's new leader in Scotland.

Jim has the enthusiasm, the energy and above all he's a fighter. For too long we have sat back when we needed to fight.

– Alistair Darling, speaking to the Financial Times
Alistair Darling has backed Jim Murphy in the race to replace Johann Lamont as Scottish Labour leader. Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire


Labour MPs lead tributes to 'honourable' Alistair Darling

Labour MPs have paid tribute to Alistair Darling following reports the former chancellor will stand down as an MP at the next election.

Conservative MP Matt Hancock also paid tribute to Mr Darling from across Parliament's benches.

Alistair Darling 'to stand down' as MP at next election

Former Chancellor Alistair Darling is set to stand down as a Labour MP at the next election, the Financial Times has reported.

Alistair Darling entered Parliament in 1987 but will reportedly vacate his Edinburgh South West seat next year. Credit: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna led tributes to Mr Darling, who led the successful Better Together campaign to keep Scotland as part of the United Kingdom.

Alistair Darling: We have chosen unity over division

The leader of the Better Together campaign, Alistair Darling, has called the result a "momentous result for Scotland and also the United Kingdom as a whole".

Alistair Darling addressing Better Together supporters. Credit: ITV News

He said that it "reaffirmed all that we have in common and the bonds that tie us together - let them never be broken".

But he said the surge in support for independence showed great dissatisfaction and that "every politician must now listen to their cry for change".

Darling: People 'do not expect to be shouted down'

Scottish people "do not expect to be shouted down" and want to debate freely, the leader of the Better Together campaign told Good Morning Britain.

While Alistair Darling acknowledge it was only a small minority of Yes campaigners who had intimidated voters, he said it is "not the sort of Scotland any of us want to live in."


Darling and Salmond to take part in Mumsnet debate

The leaders of the Better Together and Yes Scotland campaigns, Alistair Darling and Alex Salmond, are about to take part in a web debate on Mumsnet.

The move is being seen as an attempt by both leaders to reach out to female voters, who polls have shown to be in favour of independence for the most part.

Alex Salmond (L) and Alistair Darling Credit: Mumsnet

Mumsnet founder Justine Roberts said: "Our Scottish users have been actively debating the referendum on Mumsnet.

“Many are firmly in either the Yes or No camp but a significant number are still very much undecided and we hope the webchat will help them reach a decision on who to vote for.”

“The issue of the economic viability of an independent Scotland has been raised far more frequently than individual household budgets in discussions, but the impact of independence on jobs, welfare, health and education are all areas of concern for Mumsnet users.”

Darling: Devolution could be achieved 'in months'

Alistair Darling has said Scots could achieve their goal of greater powers over tax and welfare "in months" in the event of a 'No' vote.

By contrast, the Better Together leader said that a 'Yes' vote would result in "years of negotiation".

Alex Salmond speaking to STV's political editor Bernard Ponsonby Credit: STV

Pressed by STV's political editor Bernard Ponsonby to say how much the three pro-Union parties agree on, he said: "The parties are more or less in the same place, of course there are some differences."

He said that in the event of a 'No' vote there would be a period of discussion and compromise between the political parties and then a consultation outside the parties, but that it would still be quicker than the alternative.

Watch the full interview on the STV website

Darling: Independence 'will lead to years of wrangling'

A vote for Scottish independence will lead to years of wrangling with the UK and Europe, the leader of the Better Together campaign has claimed.

Alistair Darling told STV's Scotland Tonight: "I don't want to see that turbulence, all that risk, all that uncertainty.

Better Together leader Alistair Darling was interviewed in STV's Scotland Tonight. Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

"I want to make sure we can improve the quality of people's lives within the United Kingdom, within Scotland."

But Darling would not be drawn on whether he would join First Minister Alex Salmond's "Team Scotland" to negotiate a deal on independence if there is a Yes vote in the referendum.

Darling 'always expected Scotland polls to narrow'

Alistair Darling said the gap between support for the Yes and No campaigns had always been expected to narrow, dismissing suggestions that plans to outline the handover of more powers this week were little more than a bribe.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "The additional powers coming to the Scottish Parliament were announced by the party leaders north and south of the border some time ago.

"People have said yes, we want to know the timetable and the process, and that is something that the Government is going to announce this week."

"I believe that we will win this referendum because a majority of people in Scotland do want to ensure that there is a better and stronger future for themselves and the generations to come," he said. "I'm very confident we will win the day."

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