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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.

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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 Jul 2014]

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