Alex Salmond: 'Rocks would melt with the sun before I'd ever set foot in the House of Lords'

The Scottish First Minister announced his resignation after referendum defeat

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The Independent Online

Alex Salmond has rapidly wiped out the prospect of taking a seat in the House of Lords following his resignation, saying rocks would sooner “melt with the sun”.

The First Minister announced he will be stepping down from his post as leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) on Friday after his defeat in the independence referendum.

He stressed he is not retiring completely from political life and will continue to serve as MSP for Aberdeenshire East.

A future seat in the House of Lords, however, does not seem to be on the cards.

“The rocks would melt with the sun before I'd ever set foot in the House of Lords,” he told Sky.

Mr Salmond previously used the phrase, which appears in Robert Burns' song A Red, Red Rose, to illustrate his opposition to tuition fees for Scottish students.

His deputy Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: “This is what a principled politician sounds like, Westminister.”

During an interview on the Murnaghan programme, Mr Salmond also claimed No voters had been “tricked” in the referendum by David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg’s last-minute promises of devolution.

Disagreement between Labour and the Conservatives about the “devo-max” arrangement have reportedly surfaced already and the plans have sparked a backbench rebellion calling for an “English Parliament”.

Mr Salmond, 59, has spent 20 years as SNP leader and seven years as First Minister.

Following his resignation, David Cameron paid tribute to his leadership.

“Alex is a politician of huge talent and passion. He has been an effective First Minister and always fights his corner,” he said.

Ms Sturgeon, the Deputy First Minister, is expected to replace him and said she could think of “no greater privilege”.

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