Scottish independence: Salmond hails 'the day the No campaign fell apart at the seams'

David Cameron will miss Prime Minister's Questions to campaign in Scotland

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The Independent Online

Alex Salmond has declared today the day the 'No' campaign “fell apart at the seams” as David Cameron confirmed he and Ed Miliband are to miss their weekly Commons clash at Prime Minister's Questions in order to campaign in Scotland.

In a joint statement explaining the rare decision to cancel PMQs, the three main Westminster leaders said their place was now in Scotland, where they will unite to push the No campaign.

“We want to be listening and talking to voters about the huge choices they face. Our message to the Scottish people will be simple: 'We want you to stay'," the three leaders said.

In a move highlighting the urgency now felt within Westminster, Downing Street raised the Saltire flag this afternoon, following calls from the Labour leader to fly the blue and white flag across the UK.

It is understood the three men will campaign separately tomorrow. Mr Cameron is also intending to pay a further visit to Scotland next week ahead of the referendum vote, his spokesman said.

Video: Cameron heads to Scotland ahead of referendum

Asked whether the move was a sign of desperation, the Prime Minister’s spokesman replied: “It’s a clear strong underlining of the importance of the question.”

He declined to say who had proposed that all three leaders should travel to Scotland on the same day, saying only: "It emerged from the cross-party discussions."

Mr Cameron has resisted going to Scotland to campaign up until now. However, 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 announcement came as Scottish First Minister said the Better Together campaign was in a state of "total disintegration" with the opinion polls showing the referendum result is too close to call.

William Hague, the Commons leader, and Harriet Harman, the deputy Labour leader, will now face each other across the ballot box at tomorrow’s PMQs.