Scottish independence: Gordon Brown hints at return to frontline politics to combat SNP


Nigel Morris
Friday 12 September 2014 00:44 BST
Former Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown makes the case for Scotland staying in the UK
Former Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown makes the case for Scotland staying in the UK (Getty Images)

Gordon Brown has hinted at a return to frontline politics in the Scottish Parliament in order to confront Alex Salmond over the nationalist agenda.

The former Prime Minister has adopted a low-profile in Westminster since leading Labour to defeat at the general election in 2010.

He is widely expected to step down as the MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath at next May’s election, but has refused to comment on his intentions.

But Mr Brown gave a glimpse of his possible plans during an appearance on the referendum campaign trail in which he accused Mr Salmond of deceiving voters about the National Health Service.

He told an audience in Kilmarnock he would join Johann Lamont, the Scottish Labour leader, at Holyrood if the First Minister continued to “peddle lies”.

The Nationalists have claimed that only a Yes vote in next week’s referendum would save the NHS from privatisation.

But the Better Together campaign points out that control over health has been devolved to Scotland since 1999 and is unaffected by policies south of the border.

Mr Brown said: “If Alex Salmond wants to continue to tell you he is powerless to do anything about the NHS while he is First Minister of Scotland under the existing powers of the Scottish Parliament, if he continues to peddle that lie, let him make way for the Labour Party and we’ll run the health service properly.

“I say this to Mr Salmond himself - until today I’m outside front-line politics - if he continues to peddle this deception that the Scottish Parliament under his leadership cannot do anything to improve the health service until he has a separate state, then I will want to join Johann Lamont in fighting him in securing the return of a Labour government as quickly as possible.”

Three days ago Mr Brown spoke about his baby daughter’s death and his partial blindness as he vowed to “nail the lie” that Scotland’s health service is in peril.

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