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Sturgeon: Smith report does not represent 'real home rule'

The new leader of the SNP Nicola Sturgeon has said she welcomes all new powers but that the Smith report on devolution does not go far enough.

Nicola Sturgeon takes over as SNP leader

Nicola Sturgeon has take over as SNP leader from Alex Salmond. Credit: PA

Nicola Sturgeon has taken over the leadership of the Scottish National Party (SNP) and will become Scotland's new first minister next week.

Sturgeon, currently the Deputy First Minister, was confirmed as the new SNP leader at the start of the party's annual conference in Perth.

She takes over the reins after Alex Salmond announced he was stepping down as both party leader and First Minister in the wake of the referendum defeat.

Dundee MSP Stewart Hosie will replace Sturgeon as the party's new Deputy First Minister.

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Nicola Sturgeon to declare SNP leadership bid

Credit: PA Wire

Nicola Sturgeon is today expected to formally announce her bid to become leader of the SNP and Scotland's First Minister.

Ms Sturgeon, who has been Deputy First Minister since the nationalists came to power at Holyrood in 2007, has emerged as the overwhelming favourite to take over the post from Alex Salmond.

He announced his intention to step down on Friday after Scotland voted against independence in last week's referendum.

Cunningham rules out SNP leadership bid

A former candidate for the leadership of the SNP has ruled out standing for the position again in the wake of Alex Salmond's sudden resignation.

Scottish Community Safety Minister Roseanna Cunningham Credit: PA

After Scots voted against independence, Mr Salmond announced he will be stepping down from the position of both SNP leader and First Minister.

Roseanna Cunningham stood for the leadership of the party against Mr Salmond in 2004.

A spokesman for Ms Cunningham, the community safety minister in the Scottish Government, said: "Roseanna wants to make it quite clear that she has absolutely no intention or desire to stand for either the leadership or the deputy leadership of the party.

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has already emerged as the clear favourite to take over from Mr Salmond, when he formally steps down at the SNP annual conference in November.

SNP: Voting 'Yes' only way to get more Scottish powers

The Scottish National Party have dismissed Tory proposals for enhanced powers for Holyrood in the event of a 'no' vote in September's independence referendum.

Annabelle Ewing, an SNP member of the Scottish Parliament, said: "The only way to get the powers Scotland needs to build a fairer society and stronger economy is to vote Yes in September.

"There isn't a 'more devolved powers' option on the ballot paper."

The leader of the Scottish Conservatives, Ruth Davidson, will set out proposals for extra tax-raising powers in a speech in Glasgow this morning.

SNP: Westminster 'slashing £4bn of Scotland's budget'

Staying in the UK would mean further cuts to Scotland's budget, hindering business by taking away valuable public services they rely on, a leading SNP MP claims.

On top of unprecedented cuts we've already seen, senior figures at Westminster are committed to slashing another £4 billion from Scotland's public services - and this survey finds that businesses outside Scotland would pile further pressure onto the UK Government to do this.

Businesses also stated that the referendum debate has had no impact on their business decisions - this blows away No camp attempts to scaremonger to the contrary.

The biggest threat to UK business is Westminster's obsession with a referendum on EU membership that could see us ripped out of the European Union.

– Stewart Hosie

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Sturgeon: Labour 'will be free to make decisions'

The Scottish National Party will urge Labour supporters to "reclaim" the party by voting Yes in the independence referendum. Scottish Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who is to address supporters during a keynote address at the SNP's spring conference, will say today:

To every Labour voter in the country, I say this: The Yes campaign is not asking you to leave your party. Instead it offers you the chance to get your party back.

An independent Scotland will not mean the end of Labour but might mean a rejuvenated Labour, a Labour Party free to make its own decisions, a Labour Party that no longer needs to dance a Westminster tune.

Labour supporters urged to vote Yes over Scotland

Labour voters in Scotland will be urged to vote Yes in the independence referendum to "reclaim" their party.

Scottish Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will make a direct appeal to Labour supporters during her keynote address at the SNP's spring conference today.

Deputy First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon Credit: PA

The event, which is taking place in Aberdeen, will be the party's final conference before the referendum in September.

With polls showing support for remaining in the UK is still ahead of independence, Ms Sturgeon will call on Labour voters to back Scotland becoming a separate state.This, she will argue, could help bring about a "rejuvenated" Labour Party.

Swinney: Lloyds comments 'back up currency case'

Scotland's Finance Secretary John Swinney has said the warning by Lloyds Banking Group about the possible "risk" from independence backs up the case for a "formal currency area".

Scotland's Finance Secretary John Swinney Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Swinney said: "Scotland has a strong and diverse economy and the point of independence is to win the powers we need to build on those strengths and create a more prosperous and secure economy - which is good for the financial sector and everyone else.

"Lloyd's Banking Group's comments show exactly why our proposals for a formal currency area are the right proposals, why they are in the best interests of business on both sides of the border and why that is what will be implemented by both governments."

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