Tony Blair is preparing to re-enter the British political fray by joining "a call to arms" to fight Scottish independence, the former Chancellor, Alistair Darling, suggested yesterday.
The former Labour Prime Minister has kept a high international profile but has rarely been seen on the home front since standing down in 2007. Now Mr Darling, who held several cabinet posts under Mr Blair, and was Chancellor under Gordon Brown, has said the former PM may join the No to Independence campaign.
Confirming that he would play a major role himself, Mr Darling told The Andrew Marr Show that the key issue was keeping the Union together in order to grow the economy. "The context is that there are a growing number of people who recognise that unless we can get growth going in the economy, then the standard of living of people in this country, and their jobs prospects are going to be so much worse. He [Mr Blair] has got a lot to contribute and I hope he'll contribute more in the future. It's interesting. The centre of political gravity is shifting. You can see that the Tories are rattled by this.
"This is a call to arms, whether it's the constitution in Scotland or the economy in the whole UK, this is the time to stand up and be counted."
The Scottish Government wants to hold a referendum on ending the 305-year-old Union in autumn 2014.