Alex Salmond urged to abandon 'conspiracy theories' over why Scotland did not vote for independence

Opposition politicians tackled First Minister Salmond at Holyrood Parliament

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Alex Salmond has been urged to let go of “conspiracy theories” about why Scotland did not vote for independence and accept that he lost the referendum.

The First Minister was tackled by opposition politicians as the Holyrood Parliament met for the first time since the count.

Ruth Davison, leader of the Scottish Conservatives, told him: “I understand that is how many are feeling who voted for Independence. Hurt, grief, loss. But that pain is not healed by people crying foul and that grief is not ministered to by talk of a conspiracy.”

Her words were echoed by the Scottish Liberal Democrat leader, Willie Rennie, who accused Mr Salmond of trying to discredit the result with a “range of bogus distractions, claims and allegations.”

Mr Salmond resigned the leadership of the SNP hours after Scotland had delivered its 55-45 per cent verdict in favour of staying in the union.

Two days later, angered by the apparent failure of Westminster’s main parties to agree on how to deliver the new powers for the Scottish Parliament during the campaign, he claimed in a BBC Sunday Politics interview: “It’s the people who were persuaded to vote No who were misled, who were gulled, who were tricked effectively.”

In a separate interview on the same day, he appeared to blame the over 55s in Scotland, who voted heavily in favour of the union, for letting down younger voters who wanted independence. He told Sky News: “Scots of my generation and above should really be looking at themselves in the mirror and wonder if we by majority, as a result of our decision, have actually impeded progress for the next generation which is something no generation should do.” Earlier, at the height of the campaign, Mr Salmond reacted angrily to warnings from business leaders that prices might rise in an independent Scotland. He claimed that the warnings from a range of employers including John Lewis, Asda, BP and Standard Life had been “orchestrated” by Downing Street.

That was denied by the boss of the B&Q chain Sir Ian Cheshire, who said: “There’s no conspiracy – it’s called agreement.”