Michael Moore MP replaced

The Scottish Secretary of State for Scotland, Michael Moore, has been replaced by Liberal Democrat's chief whip Alistair Carmichael in a cabinet re-shuffle.

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Scottish Borders Chamber of Commerce "disappointed"

Commenting after the news of Michael Moore's replacement in the Cabinet, the Scottish Borders Chamber of Commerce Convener Jack Clark said:

“Everyone in the Scottish Borders will be disappointed by this news.

"Michael Moore has been an effective and intelligent Scottish Secretary, not least for his role in framing the Scotland Act and the Edinburgh Agreement which sets the terms of next year’s independence referendum.

“I know Michael personally and have always been struck by his passion for people and his kindness. It is not surprising that he is liked and respected across the political divide.

"He has been an effective and diligent MP for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk.

"Michael will now be able to devote more time to his constituency, which I am sure he will do with the care and diligence we have come to expect from him.”

– ack Clark, Convener, Scottish Borders Chamber of Commerce

Statement from Michael Moore

Following Nick Clegg's decision to replace Michael Moore as Secretary of State for Scotland, the Borders MP released the following statement:

"It has been a huge privilege to serve as Secretary of State for Scotland for the past three years. The constitutional debate is at a critical point and I am proud of the part I have played in it so far.

"Delivering more powers for the Scottish Parliament through the Scotland Act and negotiating the Edinburgh Agreement to secure a legal, fair and decisive referendum are two particular highlights.

"Throughout my time in government I have drawn great support from people across the Borders. I am hugely grateful for that support and I have been proud to draw attention to the region in the work that I have been doing nationally.

"But my ongoing constituency work over the past few years has kept me focussed on the challenges facing people and I will continue to work hard on behalf of my constituents in the months ahead."

– Michael Moore MP


Prime Minister to make wider-changes later

Mr Moore is said to be the only Lib Dem Cabinet-level casualty planned, with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg thought to want a more attacking approach in the run-up to the referendum.

The Prime Minister announced the appointment of Mr Carmichael on Twitter, also confirming that he will be making wider changes later.

He is expected to promote women and northern MPs in what has been branded a "flat cap" reshuffle.


Michael Moore "grateful to have had the opportunity"

In a reply to Nick Clegg's letter, Michael Moore says that he is pleased to have had the opportunity to be part of the Cabinet and is pleased for Alistair Carmichael:

Dear Nick Thank you for your letter. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to be part of the cabinet. Putting Liberal Democrat policies into practice in government has been our party's ambition for a very long time and I have valued the chance to play a key role in it.

This has been, and will continue to be, a hugely important time in Scottish politics and that has made it a challenging and rewarding time to be Secretary of State for Scotland.

Taking the Scotland Act through Parliament and negotiating the Edinburgh Agreement have been the highlights of my time in office, as well as, more recently, making the case for Scotland to stay part of the United Kingdom.

However, I have also valued the chance to get out and about around Scotland week after week to listen to the challenges facing people and make sure those are understood by colleagues elsewhere in government.

I am glad that there are now early signs of economic recovery, but we must not lose sight of the huge difficulties many people still face.

Over the last few years I have worked with a superb team of civil servants and advisers in the Scotland Office, and other government departments, in very challenging circumstances.

I do not think the support teams for ministers always get the credit they deserve: I am very grateful for the support they have given me. In leaving the Scotland Office I am pleased that Alistair will be succeeding me. As a good friend and long time colleague, I believe he will do a superb job. I wish him all the best.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Moore

Reaction to Michael Moore's departure

Clegg thanks Moore for the "vital role" he played

The Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has thanked Michael Moore for the "vital role" he played during his time as Secretary of State for Scotland.

In a letter to the Borders MP, the leader of the Liberal Democrats said that it was now time to "draw on different experiences":

Dear Mike I want to thank you for the vital role you have played as Secretary of State for Scotland over the past three years. You became Scottish Secretary in 2010 at a critical time in Scotland's relationship with the rest of the United Kingdom and you have managed the challenges of the situation with great skill and effectiveness. Not only have you successfully piloted through legislation to enable Scotland to take a major step towards the party's long held goal of 'Home Rule'.

It should be recognised that you secured both the Scotland Act and the Edinburgh Agreement in the context of a majority SNP government at Holyrood, and against a backdrop of an external political narrative that often suggested the legislation would fail and a referendum agreement could not be secured. You have achieved all of this while working ceaselessly for the interests of the Scottish people within the United Kingdom.

As we discussed when we spoke on Friday, I believe we now need to draw on different experience in the final year running up to the referendum

itself and I am keen that just as we have benefited from your formidable skills over the past three years that we take advantage of other experience within our ranks during this period. I am immensely grateful for all the work you have done at the Scotland Office and for the very significant contribution you have made to the first coalition government in 70 years. I have no doubt that there will be an opportunity for your talents to be deployed in government in the future.

Yours sincerely

Nick Clegg

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