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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.

Read: Tories to unveil plan for extra Scottish tax powers

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.

SNP's Treasury spokesman Stewart Hosie responded to BCC findings that 85% of businesses outside of Scotland wanted it to stay in the union:

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.

Read: Eddie Izzard urges Scots to remain in UK

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
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."

Read: Lloyds says 'no immediate issues' posed by independence

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SNP: Standard Life shows 'irresponsible' London threats

Scottish finance minister John Swinney has responded to Standard Life's revelation that they would relocate parts of its operations to England if an independent Scotland "were to threaten" its business:

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John Swinney tells me Standard Life announcement illustrates why SNP plans are right and W'minster "threats" are irresponsible. #indyref

Salmond 'delighted UKIP failed to retain deposit'

SNP leader and Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond congratulated Mr McDonald on a "fantastic SNP win", adding he would be a "first-class representative for the people of Donside".

Midway into our second term of government and we have comfortably retained a seat which Labour once held. Their failure to make significant progress is a major setback. This is a very bad result for Labour - after six years of opposition, they show no sign of being anything more than an opposition party.

I am also delighted that UKIP failed to retain their deposit. They have never saved a single deposit in Scotland, which once again demonstrates a clear divergence between Scottish and Westminster politics.

Winning seat 'protects legacy' of late MSP Brian Adam

Mark McDonald was elected as an MSP in the by-election. Credit: PA Wire

The by-election was held following the death in April of Nationalist MSP Brian Adam, who had been suffering from cancer.

Mark McDonald said that by winning the seat he had "protected the legacy of the late Brian Adam, who was a great mentor to me and a great friend of mine".

He added: "We worked hard, we put up a good campaign on the issues that mattered to the people of Aberdeen Donside. We wanted to make sure we protected the legacy of Brian Adam.

"Our objective was to win the seat, now we've won the seat the hard work starts."

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