News

The campaign against Scottish independence must move beyond economics to arguments of the “head and heart”, Prime Minister David Cameron has said.

Alex Salmond with Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon yesterday

Defiant Salmond to hold independence vote in 2014

Alex Salmond last night fired the starting gun for a "battle for Britain" as he announced plans to hold a referendum on Scottish independence in the autumn of 2014.

Leading article: Playing a risky game on Scottish independence

At first glance, the Prime Minister's efforts to seize the initiative on Scottish independence appear to be a clever piece of manoeuvring. On closer examination, however, they look worryingly like another instance of government by short-term tactics, of a desire for boldness that does not take account of the full spectrum of consequences.

ALEX SALMOND: The Scottish First Minister wants to hold a referendum in the autumn of 2014

Coalition divided over Cameron's plans on Scottish independence

Cameron faces opposition from Liberal Democrats over plan to require SNP to stage poll in 18 months

A statue of Robert the Bruce at Bannockburn

Spirit of Bannockburn thrives north of the border

While symbols of nationalism proliferate at the site of the battle, not everyone's mind is made up, says Hamish Macdonell

Uncertainty 'harming Scotland's economy'

Uncertainty about Scotland's future in the United Kingdom is having a damaging effect on its economy, David Cameron has warned.

Scots offered vote on breakaway next year

David Cameron is to take the high-risk gamble of offering to hold a referendum on Scottish independence next year. He aims to call Alex Salmond's bluff by challenging him to stage a vote on Scotland's place in the UK within 18 months.

MSPs vote to reject welfare bill

The Scottish Parliament has refused to rubber-stamp controversial benefit changes linked to Iain Duncan Smith's welfare reform programme.

Cabinet Secretary Sir Gus O'Donnell who has warned that holding the United Kingdom together will be an 'enormous challenge'

'Enormous challenge' to preserve UK

Holding the United Kingdom together will be an "enormous challenge", Britain's most senior civil servant has warned.

Johann Lamont: union backing

New leader for Scottish Labour Party

Johann Lamont scored a crushing victory over her rivals to be named the new leader of the Scottish Labour Party yesterday.

Call to ban alcohol sales at 'pocket money prices'

Thousands of lives could be saved if cheap alcoholic drinks were made more expensive, medical experts said.

Jeremy Laurance: Why low alcohol prices are a matter of life and death

A senior doctor, now chairman of a large NHS trust, described to me a meeting he attended at No 10 of experts advising the Prime Minister on the perils faced by young people in the presence of alcohol. Sir Terry Leahy, the former boss of Tesco, was present, and he ferociously defended the right of supermarkets to charge what they like for alcohol. The price had no bearing on the amount people drank, he said. The doctor was outraged and launched a one man boycott of the supermarket. "I have never shopped in Tesco since," he said.

Labour tops Tories on donations

Labour outstripped the Tories in party fundraising over the summer by nearly 30%, the latest official figures show.

Labour gains in Midlands marginals

Labour gained two West Midland marginals from Tories in the latest council by-elections.

Tory MSP confident of breakaway bid

Scottish Conservative leadership candidate Murdo Fraser believes he has the financial backing to overhaul the party despite a warning by its biggest donor about the implications of a "separatist political group".

Mary Ann Sieghart: Time to call the SNP's bluff

Governments have offered them more money, begged them to stay and tolerated their tantrums. To what avail? No gratitude

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