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Plans for devolution on the Isle of Wight were dismissed as "nonsense" by the Prime Minister last night. John Major rubbished the Liberal Democrat proposal to allow the island to run its own affairs away from Westminster interference.

In a BBC interview, he said: "You won't be surprised to hear that I don't think it's a very good idea. I gather the Liberal Democrats are running this ... I don't know, but I suppose within the Isle of Wight they will then propose devolution for parish councils ... no nonsense seems to be too silly for them." The Prime Minister said he believed islanders were "too sensible" to back the campaign, adding: "I don't think the people of the Isle of Wight will take that as a very serious proposition."