Darling warned Cameron not to pursue EVEL following Scottish vote

The former chancellor warned that whilst the issue of Scottish MPs voting rights on English-only matters needed to be addressed, to link it with further powers to Holyrood risked putting the SNP back into the ascendency.

The former chancellor warned that whilst the issue of Scottish MPs voting rights on English-only matters needed to be addressed, to link it with further powers to Holyrood risked putting the SNP back into the ascendency

The leader of the Better Together campaign, Alistair Darling, warned David Cameron not to make any moves to dilute the voting power of Scottish MPs just moments after Scotland voted to stay in the Union.

According to the Guardian, during a phone call with the prime minister in the early hours of 19 September, the former chancellor warned that whilst the issue of Scottish MPs voting rights on English-only matters needed to be addressed, to link it with further powers to Holyrood risked putting the SNP back into the ascendency.

Just hours later however, Cameron used a statement outside Downing Street to call for a process to allow some sort of English Votes for English Laws (EVEL) to work in tandem with further powers for Scotland.

The statement led the SNP to cry foul that Westminster was back tracking on the famous vow provided to the people of Scotland by the main UK wide parties.

According to the Guardian, the prime minister’s announcement also led to what it describes as an ‘angry Gordon Brown’ to make a swift phone call to the Cabinet Secretary, Sir Jeremy Heywood, to warn of a heavy price being paid by the UK parties as a result of the PM’s political posturing.

The reports of the warnings come as William Hague yesterday presented a series of proposals to address the West Lothian question.

It came as new polling has revealed support for restricting the rights of Scottish MPs to vote on English only matters.

The data, collected by ComRes for ITV News, found that 53 per cent of voters in Britain support the idea of not allowing Scottish MPs in the UK Parliament in Westminster to vote on issues that do not impact on Scotland, with 23 per cent opposing the idea and 24 per cent who did not know.

Interestingly, of those surveyed in Scotland, more people support the idea of restricting the voting rights of Scottish MPs (43 per cent) than those who were opposed to it (40 per cent).

The poll found also that 44 per cent support the idea of giving more decision making powers on issues such as tax, education, policing to big cities and regions in England and Wales with 40 per cent agreeing with the need for a fully-fledged English Parliament.

The results are likely to increase the pressure still further on Labour to come up with a more eye catching policy. It will need to tread a fine balance between regaining the confidence and support of Scottish voters whilst also seeking to attract  the middle England votes which will be vital if the party is to make it to Number 10.

Ed Jacobs is a contributing editor to Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter

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18 Responses to “Darling warned Cameron not to pursue EVEL following Scottish vote”

  1. Selohesra

    Cameron is not too fussed about a rise of the SNP – he has virtually no votes to lose up there. As it is he can split the Left and damage his main opposition. I’d say if we were honest about it he has played things rather well.

  2. CharleyFarleyFive

    How do Labour expect to be taken seriously when they introduce devolution and then expect MPs from devolved parliaments to prop up their vote on English matters? It’s so transparently unjust that there’s no credible defence.

  3. Guest

    Yes, of course your opposition to the Union…as you look to your short-term goals only, as ever…

  4. Guest

    So just like all your main policies, then. Perhaps you should start by ending your economic war Britain’s poor before you start talking about others.

  5. Selohesra

    I was not commenting on my views – rather the fact that Cameron- someone I don’t have much time for & did not vote for – has out manoeuvred poor Miliband on this

  6. Guest

    And now you try and move the goalposts.


  7. Selohesra

    Having reviewed them I believe my initial comment and response were entirely consistent – so can only assume your alcohol impaired judgment is making you see things that aren’t there again. Why not leave it a bit until you sober up before commenting again Leon.

  8. th43

    What do you mean “your”? Is justice for England’s voters just a Tory thing then?

  9. swat

    I simply refuse to dye my eyebrows or half my beard or half my head of grey hair.
    And I wish others would do the same. EVEL will come whether the Tories and Labour like it or not. Because it is only fair in a Federal Britain. Labour will havre to accept that it won’t be able to rely on the Scots votes to save its skin, but will have to work that extra mile to persuade MPS of whatever persuasion that it is fit to govern.

  10. David Lindsay

    “English Votes for English Laws” would be a judgement call by the Speaker on each occasion. It would never happen in practice. Not once.

    England is so dominant within the Union that anything applicable here, except perhaps some purely ecclesiastical legislation, could always be argued to have some kind of effect on one or more of the other parts.

    The devolution of benefits would be the denial of equal citizenship within the United Kingdom, and that it had already happened in Northern Ireland would not make that any better or any less true.

    However, if income tax is going to be devolved, then there is no remaining case, such as there ever was, for the Barnett Formula. Simply none.

    The powers are coming back to the English cities and counties, and must come back to them all equally. As, strictly on the basis of need, must the money.

  11. Little Ted

    scotland will be Englands bitch for ever, they should have voted to look after themselves, ha ha.

  12. AlanGiles

    Gordon Brown appears only to make “angry” phone calls, which, I suppose, is progress of a sort from throwing phones in a tantrum.

    Every statement or “offer” to use the new buzzword Labour make is interlarded with the word “fair” or “fairness”. It is not, in my opinion, fair, that Scottish MPs can vote on matters which affect only England and is therefore of no concern to them.

  13. Guest

    Charley; Thanks for your concept there.

    You’re a good Tory. And no, starving voters is not justice.

  14. Guest

    Yes yes, two-tier democracy will come, regardless of democracy, and absent any federal structure, as you try and smash the union as usual.

  15. Guest

    So you blame me for your drinking habits, LordBlagger, as you lie
    away as usual rather than admit your moving goalposts.

    Unlike you, I’m not a drunk. Get over it.

  16. Guest

    And you’re not in Britain, and hence should not be commenting on a UK site. Fair!

  17. Selohesra

    Wow – 4 days to reply Leon – you must have been on a major bender there. but even after 4 days all you have is abuse rather than coherent response to initial comment – you may as well have not bothered

  18. Guest

    Keep screaming that I have your issues, when you’re simply not that important to me, Lord Blagger.

    That you call the truth abuse shows your mindset, as you demand there be no debunking of your drunk ranting.

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