Shadow Trade & Industry Secretary Alan Duncan’s remarks that Scottish devolution has made it "almost impossible" for Britain to have a Scottish Prime Minister have produced plenty of newspaper headlines this morning.
Mr Duncan told BBC1’s Politics Show that "I’m beginning to think it is almost impossible now to have a Scottish Prime Minister because they would be at odds with the basic construction of the British constitution." He continued: "It may be that the Labour Party have created this massive problem for themselves and are now regretting it. We, the Conservatives, have a majority in England. We have MPs from Scotland essentially telling England what to do when they are doing the opposite in Scotland, have no control over what they are doing in their own constituencies in Scotland and are not in any way accountable for the effects their actions have in England."
David Cameron’s office has already distanced itself from Mr Duncan, saying that his was "a personal view". Mr Duncan’s language was certainly sloppy. Did he mean an MP with a Scottish constituency or any MP who was born in Scotland? Presumably the former – otherwise Liam Fox may be having words!
Mr Duncan made his intervention after The Observer reported that Conservatives will embrace English votes for English laws. The Conservatives prefer this option to a full English Parliament. Oliver Heald, Conservative constitutional affairs spokesman, believes that the English have no appetite for the expense of a new tier of MPs (according to today’s Scotsman).
The Labour Party is accusing the Tories of abandoning their Unionist credentials. "A source close to Mr Brown," told The Times "that John Major was forced to rely on the votes of Ulster Unionist MPs after losing his Commons majority… “There is now clearly only one party which represents the Union and is prepared to stand up for the union, and that is the Labour Party,” he added."