Scottish Tory leader Annabel Goldie was in Westminster today to attend the shadow cabinet meeting – something which she will now be doing on a monthly basis. She also briefed Westminster based journalists, and took the opportunity to emphasise the need for her and David Cameron to work closely together, as well as for First MInster Alex Salmond to have a relationship with the UK Prime Minister.

She said:

“I think it is important for David Cameron and I to work closely together and I have decided that attending Shadow Cabinet at Westminster on a monthly basis will help cement what is already a very good relationship. In this digital age it is still important to meet face to face. I have been to Shadow Cabinet at Westminster on a number of occasions and know what a useful experience it is.

"Like David Cameron, I believe that the UK and the Scottish Governments need to work closely together as do Westminster and Holyrood. Gordon Brown and Alex Salmond do not meet with each other to stand up for the people of Scotland. David Cameron and I will.

"Gordon Brown has fallen into the SNP’s trap of gripe and grievance politics and it is threatening the Union. David Cameron and I will not make the same mistake. As Conservatives we are unswerving in our support for the Union and we will not allow the Labour SNP turf war to damage the UK.”

She went on to describe Labour as being "clumsy and inept" in terms of the way is has treated its relationship – or rather lack thereof – wth the SNP administration at Holyrood and siad that the key to a prodcutive relationship was "mutual repsect" between London and Edinburgh.

She pointed out that tomorrow will be the first time in about ten
months that Alex Salmond and Gordon Brown have met, and lay much of the
blame for this on Mr Salmond, saying that it suited him in pursuing a
"provocative agenda". She reminded journalists of David Cameron’s
promise to meet Alex Salmond within seven days in the event of becoming
Prime Minister.

I asked her the same question I asked David Cameron at his press conference
the other week: whether backing an early referendum on independence
(wth the aim of secuirng a no vote) after a Tory general election
victory would be the way to shoot the SNP fox. She said that "an
independence referendum is not on our agenda" and indicated her
intention to continue to oppose a referendum bill whenever the SNP
administration put it forward at Holyrood.

Jonathan Isaby

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