Alex Salmond has insisted he will not stand down as Scotland’s first minister if the Scots vote No in their referendum on independence on September 18.
Speaking to voters on a walkabout in Glasgow’s Buchanan Street with deputy Nicola Sturgeon on Thursday, Mr Salmond was asked if he would resign if Scots voted to remain part of the union.
“No,” Mr Salmond replied. He rejected suggestions that he would hand over to Ms Sturgeon in the event of this happening. “We will continue to serve out the mandate we have been given and that applies to the SNP always. It applies to me – all of us,” the Scotsman newspaper reported.
He added: “I don’t think there is any reason to suspect that we will be in that position, in two weeks’ time we will see Scotland make a substantial and decisive movement with Yes.”
The walkabout was celebrating 10 years since Mr Salmond and Ms Sturgeon took over at the top of the SNP. It coincided with both David Cameron and Ed Miliband publicly signalling that they would not resign if Scotland voted “yes”.
Speaking at the Nato conference on Thursday, Mr Cameron said “emphatically” that he would not resign if Scotland voted for independence, although it would “break my heart if Scotland were to leave the UK”.
Labour leader Ed Miliband visited Blantyre, a former mining town in the west of Scotland, on Thursday where he faced questions about whether he would be forced to resign as Labour leader if the Scots voted for independence.
Mr Miliband avoided the question, saying: “This is not about one individual – this is a big decision for Scotland.”
An opinion poll this week gave the No campaign a lead of just 53 to 47, prompting Tory MP Edward Leigh to claim that party leaders had been “complacent” and that Britain could be heading for “a national humiliation of catastrophic proportions”.