23/Apr/2014 - Last News Update: 07:00

Lib Dems Willie Rennie urges Alex Salmond to start listening

Category: Scotland

Published: 4th Mar 2012 13:03:33

Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie has told the SNP's Alex Salmond to start listening to ordinary people.

In his Inverness conference speech, the MSP accused the first minister of cosying up to "rich and powerful billionaires".

Mr Rennie also pledged that his party would bring people together during the debate on Scotland's future.

The Scottish government has already said it wants to hold an independence referenum in autumn 2014.

The MSP told the party faithful that the Lib Dems would be the "guarantors of change".

Mr Rennie said: "Be in no doubt. Other parties might say they want home rule but they are only taking their first, hesitant, infant steps.

"We will need to be the ones who bring people together and bring people along.

"We will be the guarantors of change.

"We have wanted home rule for 100 years."

now he's got Rupert Murdoch on speed dial; inviting him round for fireside chats at Bute House”

Turning his attentions to Mr Salmond and the SNP government, Mr Rennie said the first minister needed to "look again at his diary and make the time to lead on drugs".

He added: "Our First Minister prefers to court the rich and the powerful rather than the dispossessed and the vulnerable.

"Giggling on the golf course with Donald Trump - who denies climate change.

"Up the back of the bus with Brian Soutar. The man who denies gay people equality in our Scotland.

"And now he's got Rupert Murdoch on speed dial; inviting him round for fireside chats at Bute House."

Mr Rennie's comments came after Donald Trump said he may spend more than £10m campaigning against a planned offshore wind turbine development, saying it would affect plans for his luxury Aberdeenshire golf resort.

Opposition parties also criticised a meeting this week between the first minister and News Corporation chairman Mr Murdoch in Edinburgh, where they discussed Scotland's constitutional future and the Leveson Inquiry into press standards - prompted by by phone-hacking allegations which led to the closure of the News of the World.

Mr Souter, an SNP donor, previously funded a campaign against abolishing controversial laws banning the promotion of homosexuality in schools.

The Lib Dem leader also sought to rally support ahead of May's council elections, after his party was badly defeated at last year's Scottish Parliament poll.

BBC News External Link Show Citation

Latest News

Harvard Citation

BBC News, 2012. Lib Dems Willie Rennie urges Alex Salmond to start listening [Online] (Updated 4th Mar 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1415392/Lib-Dems-Willie-Rennie-urges-Alex-Salmond-to-start-listening [Accessed 23rd Apr 2014]

News In Other Categories

  • Future of the internet debated at NetMundial in Brazil

    A meeting to determine how the internet should be governed gets underway in Sao Paulo, Brazil later.
  • Shakespeare 'a cultural icon' abroad

    William Shakespeare is the UK's greatest cultural icon, according to the results of an international survey released to mark the 450th anniversary of his birth.
  • Llanishen reservoir campaign plea to David Cameron

    Campaigners calling for a Cardiff reservoir to re-open will visit the prime minister to press their case to restore fishing and sailing there.
  • World War One: The dubious reputation of Maconochie's stew

    Maconochie's stew was a household name during World War One. The tinned "meat and vegetable rations" were welcomed by some troops but others described them as a "man-killer". They also had an unfortunate side-effect.
  • Bristol Academy extends reach overseas with first foreign students

    With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
  • GM seeks to bar some ignition lawsuits

    General Motors has asked a US court to bar some lawsuits relating to its recall over faulty ignition switches.