Scottish Referendum: Alex Salmond claims voters were 'tricked' over devolution pledge as divisions emerge among Westminster parties

First Minister says the three leaders’ positions are irreconcilable

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The Independent Online

Scots who voted against independence have been tricked by Westminster, Alex Salmond has claimed, saying the three main parties would feel Scottish voters’ wrath as they stall on handing over more powers to Holyrood.

Speaking on Sky News, Mr Salmond said the last-minute pledge by David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg to give extended tax and welfare powers to Scotland had clinched victory for the No campaign.

However, he said that the increasingly divergent positions of the three leaders were “irreconcilable” and that a log-jam in parliament over the powers would force them to renege on their promises.

“Shouldn't they have thought of that before they made a solemn vow and pledge to the Scottish people?" Mr Salmond asked.

"They believed these commitments from the Westminster leadership, these are the people who are feeling most angry, most hurt, most disappointed in Scotland today.

“The wrath of Khan will be as of nothing to the wrath of a No voter who has been gulled by the Westminster leadership,” he said.

Ed Miliband has rejected David Cameron’s calls to link changes to Scottish power to ensure that only English MPs can vote on legislation which impacts England alone.

Speaking on the Andrew Marr programme, Mr Miliband said he felt Cameron’s plan to resolve the so-called West Lothian question at the same time as passing the new settlement for Scotland was untenable.

He said he backed greater scrutiny of England-only legislation by English MPs but stopped short of a pledge on votes.

He warned there must be no rush to resolve a century-old dilemma in the constitution, and said he did not want to see Parliament divided.

“I am in favour of one House of Commons, with 650 MPs, because goodness we fought tooth and nail over the past two years to avoid our Parliament being split up and our United Kingdom being split up,” Mr Miliband said.

Mr Salmond told Sky that Mr Miliband didn't want to link the two issues because Labour would lose the chance of a majority over English business in the House of Commons.

However, it appears that the Labour leader, despite assertions that he remains committed to keeping the vow outlined in the Daily Record last week, could face a backlash if he backtracks.

Former Sports Minister Kate Hoey said she had been contacted by a number of Labour colleagues about the issue of English votes for English laws. She said the party should not let a short-term disadvantage prevent it from doing “the right thing”.

Additional reporting from AP

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