Alex Salmond blasts William over 'foolish' meeting with Gordon Brown

Alex Salmond blasts Prince William over ‘foolish’ meeting with Gordon Brown, accusing the future king of being involved in ‘unscrupulous unionist desperation’ to stop Scottish independence

  • Salmond claimed meeting in Scotland was  ‘unscrupulous unionist desperation’  
  • Mr Brown, the ex-Labour PM, was one of the leaders of the pro-union 2014 team
  • But William also met with SNP First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on visit to country 

Alex Salmond blasted the Duke of Cambridge over Scottish independence today and demanded the royal stay out of the fight to keep the United Kingdom together.

Scotland’s separatist former first minister said it would be ‘foolish’ for Prince William to become embroiled in the row over the country’s future after he met Gordon Brown on a recent visit to Scotland.

Mr Brown, the former Labour prime minister, was one of the leaders of the pro-union camp which won the Scottish independence referendum in 2014. 

Mr Salmond, who was first minister when the vote on Scotland’s place in the UK took place, accused pro-UK leaders of ‘unscrupulous unionist desperation’ by trying to recruit the royals to campaign for the union. 

But his bizarre rant came after William met with other politicians on his visit, including his SNP successor Nicola Sturgeon. 

The current First Minister is demanding a new referendum after the SNP was returned as the largest party at Holyrood in the election three weeks ago. 

Mr Salmond, who now leads the fringe Alba Party, said: ‘Whatever Prince William thought he was doing by agreeing to a confab with Gordon Brown just as he set up his latest campaign for the union … we should have no hesitation in seeing from that meeting, unionist preparation for attempting to persuade a constitutional monarchy to intervene in a constitutional debate which should be left to the people.’

He added: ‘It would be very wise for the royal family to follow what has been the Queen’s example over her long reign, to keep the monarchy over and above politics, and it would be foolish to have a situation in which it can be said that the monarchy is involved in the Scottish Constitutional debate.’

Scotland’s separatist former first minister said it would be ‘foolish’ for Prince William to become embroiled in the row over the country’s future after he met Gordon Brown on a recent visit to Scotland

Mr Salmond, who was first minister when the vote on Scotland’s place in the UK took place, accused pro-UK leaders of ‘unscrupulous unionist desperation’ by trying to recruit the royals to campaign for the union.

Mr Brown, the former Labour prime minister, was one of the leaders of the pro-union camp which won the Scottish independence referendum in 2014.

Mr Salmond’s bizarre rant came after William met with other politicians on his visit, including  SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon, who wants a new referendum

William and Kate sat down for private talks with the former prime minister and his wife Sarah at the Queen’s official Edinburgh residence during the final day of their royal tour of Scotland.

The future king later gave a highly personal farewell speech as his week-long visit drew to a close, describing how Scotland has ‘shaped’ him and praising its people and values.

The argument over Scottish independence has intensified after the Scottish National Party’s landslide victory in the Holyrood election earlier in May, which also produced the largest pro-independence majority in the Parliament in the history of devolution.

Boris Johnson has since stood by his pre-election position, saying the focus should be on the recovery from Covid-19 and not on another independence referendum.

A spokesman for Kensington Palace said: ‘During his time in Scotland Prince William has spoken to a broad range of people from different communities including politicians from across the political spectrum.’

The duke sat down for talks with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at the weekend and also met Alistair Carmichael, Liberal Democrat MP for Orkney and Shetland, when the Cambridges opened Orkney’s hospital.

But Mr Salmond claimed it showed ‘poor judgment on both sides’ for William to meet Mr Brown.

He added: ‘Back in 2014, David Cameron made a last-ditch desperate and failed attempt to drag the Queen into politics.

‘The Brown meeting shows poor judgment on both sides, but the same degree of unscrupulous unionist desperation. The independence team should take note.’

With Holyrood having a majority of independence supporting MSPs, Mr Salmond insisted that the case for Scottish independence must now be progressed ‘as a matter of urgency’.

The Alba Party leader said: ‘It is quite clear that the forces of the union, David Cameron previously, and now Gordon Brown, have no compunction in getting themselves ready and set for what is coming in the next referendum campaign.

‘However, the Scottish Parliament elections have left them in a state of disarray. That is why the case for Scottish independence must be progressed now as a matter of urgency.

‘The Tories at Westminster are surprised that they are not already facing a renewed constitutional challenge and are wondering what on earth is going on.

‘It would be infinitely better for the independence side to seize the moment and strike when the iron is hot to progress the constitutional issue.

‘Alba’s membership continues to rise as we press for the case for Scottish independence to be progressed with urgency and democratic determination.’

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