Scottish independence: Tory revolt against 'devo max' grows as Rail Minister Claire Perry joins

She said: Scotland should not be offered “promises of financial party bags”

Andrew Grice
Friday 19 September 2014 08:38
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Rail Minister Claire Perry said Scotland should not be offered “promises of financial party bags”
Rail Minister Claire Perry said Scotland should not be offered “promises of financial party bags”

The Conservative Party revolt against David Cameron’s promise of further devolution to Scotland grew today as one of his own ministers joined.

Claire Perry, an ally of the Chancellor George Osborne, said Scotland should not be offered “promises of financial party bags”, and criticised the “whole raft of goodies on offer for Scotland that will be paid for by us south of the border to appease the Yes voters”.

In a last-minute attempt to persuade Scots not to leave the Union, Mr Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg promised new powers for the Scottish Parliament and to safeguard the Barnett formula, which gives Scotland more public spending per head of population than England and Wales.

Tory backbenchers, who have already demanded an English Parliament, rallied behind Ms Perry. Anne-Marie Morris, MP for Newton Abbot, said the “devo max” policy was “not thought through” and many of her constituents felt it was unfair.

James Gray, MP for North Wiltshire, said: “Talk about feeding an addiction. The more you give them, the more they want, and we would be back with calls for independence within a decade or sooner.” He added: “For too long the rights of 55m English have been subordinated to the shouting of 4.5m Scots. That must end."

Michael Fabricant, a former Tory vice-chairman, said: “Even if Scotland votes No, serious questions will be asked about the complacent mishandling of the vote by No10 and the incompetence by [Ed] Miliband.”

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