Scottish independence: David Cameron answers Ed Miliband's call to fly the Saltire by raising it above Downing Street

The Labour leader called on people across the UK to  fly the Scottish flag

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The Independent Online

Ed Miliband has called for people across the UK to fly the Saltire to show support for keeping Scotland in the UK as the independence referendum approaches.

A YouGov poll on Sunday put the “yes” vote ahead for the first time - at 51 per cent against the “no” camp at 49 per cent - after a late surge in support for secession.

The Labour leader raised the blue and white flag above Liverpool’s council building on Tuesday morning with the city’s mayor, Joe Anderson.

He said he would campaign “night and day” to stop Scotland seceding on 18 September and is missing Prime Minister's Question Time on Wednesday, along with David Cameron.

“Over the next few days we want cities, towns and villages across the UK to send a message to Scotland: stay with us,” Mr Miliband said.

Mr Cameron appeared to answer his rival's call later on Tuesday, allowing the Saltire to be raised above Downing Street.

But there appeared to be some difficulty when Sky News, broadcasting the event live, captured the moment it was hoisted half way up the pole, only to swiftly fall down.


The Prime Minister's official spokesperson said it will fly there until the end of the referendum period next week and the same step is expected at civil service departments in Whitehall.

"The Prime Minister has been very clear in his message that we want Scotland to stay," he added.

"I would put the fact that the Saltire will be flying over No 10 firmly in that context."

Mr Miliband said "fairness, equality and social justice" can be achieved better as a united nation than apart.

He added that people care about inequality “wherever we find it”, citing child poverty in Glasgow and Liverpool, unemployment in Motherwell and Newcastle and “social justice” in Dundee and Carlisle as examples.

“In the final days of this referendum we will campaign night and day to preserve the United Kingdom and we will do that with a message from all parts of the United Kingdom – that we are better together,” he added.

The Labour Party faces losing its 41 Scottish MPs with a “yes” vote, seriously reducing their prospect of winning a majority in the general election.